LumberJocks

The Journey #2: Every Cut A Lesson

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by wmgworks posted 11-18-2015 05:59 PM 618 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: A Bit Of Background Part 2 of The Journey series Part 3: Finding a Solution »

I tend to try and find meaning behind everything that happens during the course of my day. I strongly feel that if a situation arises, and you do not learn something from it, you have failed no matter the end result of the situation. The theme of this series of posts is lessons learned through wood working basically. How this whole journey is teaching me life lessons and how to find meaning in what you do other than just the thing you crafted. Last night was no exception.

Being a family man, it’s almost impossible for me to get time in the shop during the week (or even most weekends it seems). So, I have to take every opportunity to get in there when it arises. Take last night for instance. After everyone finally fell asleep at 10:30 I crept out to the shop to put in some time.

So there I stood under the dim light of a single 40 watt bulb, freshly purchased used barely sharp hand saw in hand. My cheapo little woodworking vice clamped to my work surface with a pallet slat between it’s jaws. And a big ass grin on my face. This was it. My first cut in my workshop. I lined up the saw with the mark I made and gleefully started sawing. Below is the cut

To say that’s “a little off” is like saying King Kong is a little bigger than a monkey. That cut is TERRIBLE! But, rather than get all bummed out and feel sorry for myself, I chuckled (definitley out loud) and some lightbulbs immediately came on in my head.

1) Slow down and pay attention. Now, I wasn’t sawing with reckless abandon and cackling madly (at least not out loud I think). But I was so into the moment I wasn’t paying attention to the line I drew (which I could barely see in the light anyway). Slow down. This isn’t a race. No one is puting pressure on your to get this done. This is a hobby and not a career. This happens to me in life as well. I get so hyperfocused on a particular thing or place I am going to and I totally miss things around me. I’m focused on getting the chips from the top of the cupboard and I step on the cat. I’m focused on walking to work and I miss the free pallet on the side of the street. I’m focused on my goals and I miss the opportunity to spend some quality time with my wife or kids. Slow down, Dave! Pay attention!

2) Saw a bit off the line. When I made this cut, I put it dead center on the line. If I would have put it a hair to the right I might have been in a better position. You can always take more off but never put more back on. The lesson here is learn by doing and making mistakes. Do it better the next time.

3) I need more light!!!! The good news is I have more light. The fixture currently hanging over the work area only has one of two tubes that work. I have another one that both of them work. The lesson here is to prioritize my projects in the shop. I’m so anxious to start creating sometimes I don’t take the time to properly get my work area setup to produce the best results. This is kinda the Slow Down thing again. I get like that on other projects at work, too. Sometimes I am so excited to get a solution in place I don’t take enough time to plan and map things out. And then I end up having to redo the work. Much like this piece. I can either straighten out the cut and my project will just be a little shorter (which is likely what I will do) or I need to put this one in the scrap pile and use a new piece. If I would’ve had better light (as in setup my area correctly first) I might have seen how far off the line I was getting and corrected myself.

I didn’t get to do much more than this last night. My neighbor walked in and we started talking. But this one little incident – this 5 minutes of cutting – helped me make all these connections to what I was doing.

Every cut a lesson. Hoping more will be learned tonight.

-- Butchering wood since 2015



3 comments so far

View David Taylor's profile

David Taylor

326 posts in 554 days


#1 posted 11-19-2015 12:27 AM

I hear you, loud and clear! I have just got to the point in my shop build where I can start to make thing for the shop, like an outfeed table I just put on my project page, or the drill press cabinet I am about to embark on. But I have been building the building itself for a year and a half, and have not created anything that could be called woodworking in all that time. I am itching to do so! I made the outfeed table because I need to make a workbench, have a great big slab to make it, and need to cut that, but couldn’t because I didn’t have an outfeed table.

But the urge to build SOMETHING, other than carpentry-wise, is overwhelming! Do this, then do that then this other thing, then I can finally get a project – a real, actual woodworking project, going. Like you, I am taking life lessons along the way. Patience. Slow down. It’s not a race, it’s a hobby. These things you say resonate with me also.

Thanks for posting!

-- Learn Relentlessly

View wmgworks's profile

wmgworks

193 posts in 452 days


#2 posted 11-19-2015 12:44 AM



I hear you, loud and clear! I have just got to the point in my shop build where I can start to make thing for the shop, like an outfeed table I just put on my project page, or the drill press cabinet I am about to embark on. But I have been building the building itself for a year and a half, and have not created anything that could be called woodworking in all that time. I am itching to do so! I made the outfeed table because I need to make a workbench, have a great big slab to make it, and need to cut that, but couldn t because I didn t have an outfeed table.

But the urge to build SOMETHING, other than carpentry-wise, is overwhelming! Do this, then do that then this other thing, then I can finally get a project – a real, actual woodworking project, going. Like you, I am taking life lessons along the way. Patience. Slow down. It s not a race, it s a hobby. These things you say resonate with me also.

Thanks for posting!

- dyfhid

It’s tough to wait. I have several organizational projects that need to be done so I can have more than a 5’x2’ section to work in. But certain logistical issues are keeping me from getting to those. In the meantime, I have a pile of wood I salvaged from a pallet and have a couple small projects in mind to get my tools dirty. I’m luckier than you because at this point I don’t need to (or have room to yet) build shop fixtures. All I need is a work surface to cut up some small pieces, glue them together and give them a little sanding. I have everything to make that happen. And nobody is asking me to make anything for them. HOWEVER. Had I taken the time to hang the right light over the weekend rather than doing whatever else I did I might have had better results last night.

-- Butchering wood since 2015

View Reaperwoodworks's profile

Reaperwoodworks

94 posts in 402 days


#3 posted 12-29-2015 01:36 AM



I hear you, loud and clear! I have just got to the point in my shop build where I can start to make thing for the shop, like an outfeed table I just put on my project page

I just joined and it’s so refreshing to see other people struggling with the same things I am! Congrats on building your shop, that’s huge! Mine was completed almost 2 years ago. I’m on my 3rd (and hopefully final) reorganization and tool placement.

When you get around to that outfeed table, check out the one the wood whisperer did on his channel. I built this one for my tables saw. You can knock it out in a few hours. I like that it has a replaceable top. I’m going to make another one here soon as I’ve used mine as an assembly table and its looking a little rough now. Cheap and fast! Single sheet of plywood. Click me

-- Website: www.reaperwoodworks.com, Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_ognomZyK6V0VwdokBcixw

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com