Shops as Refuge

In his editorial last time out, Rob paid homage to time in the shop by referring to it as a refuge — a concept that struck a chord with several of our readers. – Editor

“Rob, I enjoy reading your articles, but I never write anyone about what they wrote! So this is a first. Your article on your shop being your refuge and it recharging your batteries really hit home with me. We moved 2-1/2 years ago to a home that had no shop. I tried to make part of the garage into a shop, but everything was shoved up against the wall and packed away where it was hard to find anything. To work in the shop, it took 20 minutes just to move the cars and set everything up, and then another 20 just to put it all away! Needless to say, if you only have an hour to go out and play in the shop, well it just ain’t worth it. Just this last week, we decided to move to a house that has a detached double garage workshop in the backyard. I don’t look forward to moving, but I can hardly wait to set up at the new shop. It was hard for me to explain to my wife why a dedicated shop was important, but your article said exactly how I feel in a way that my wife could understand. I like to refer to playing in the shop as my therapy. I love making things for others or teaching folks how to turn or just general woodworking. Thanks again, and I will continue to watch for your articles.” – Rick Gillespie

“I agree on your assessment of the security of being in your own workshop. So much so that if you are of a religious persuasion, it is almost spiritual. A friend of mine and I always state that going into our shops is entering the church of the spinning log.” – Larry Giust

“I agree! This afternoon as I was crafting an addition to my lathe tool holder, I was thinking about the satisfaction I get from my growing knowledge about how to properly set up a tool to achieve my goal safely and accurately. Also, I enjoy the act of setting up for an operation (which often takes me longer that making the cut).” – Gene Pitstick

We also got virtual nods of agreement from those who know what the term “orderly chaos” means in their shops. (Some chaos, it seems, is more orderly than others.) – Editor

“Rob, I couldn’t agree with you more. My shop is definitely my refuge from daily life. In fact, I have been known to get lost for hours in there. And yes if something is out of place, it is because I put it there, or didn’t put it where it belongs! Thanks for the great eZine!” – Dan Ackermann

“An orderly world… What a great introduction to the latest issue of the Woodworker’s Journal eZine. Very true and recognizable!” – Hans Laros

“Nice to know that some one else’s workshop is much like my own. Orderly chaos. But I doubt if I could remember where everything is, as you apparently can. I am often surprised at the things I manage to find amongst the accumulation of bits and pieces. Mostly, like you say, though, it is a place of refuge. Regards from Australia.” – Allan

A Grandpa Cradle for Babies Through the Years

Another reader shared about one of the projects he has created in his shop: a grandchild’s cradle that served as a gift for many years, and many grandchildren. – Editor

“Just received my eZine issue and was looking at the Readers Projects. I have a comment for the Baby Cradle made by Gary Bayless: I, too, made a cradle for my 1st grandchild. I placed a brass nameplate at the head of it with his name and birthdate. The cradle was passed on to each of my grandchildren with a nameplate added each time. Within a few more years, hopefully I will be able to add great-grandchildren. Wonderful memories. (Fortunately my grandchildren were spaced out that all were able to use it.) Also added another tag on the side rail when I first made it: “Made with love, Grandpa Jeff.” – Jeff Mathewson

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