Issue 208

Issue 208

The Fall Follies

Rob-Portrait351Fall is my favorite time of year for three main reasons: it is the kickoff of “back to the shop” woodworking season, it is the beginning of football season, and it is the opening of bird hunting season. Do you see a theme running through this? The only problem is that all these favorite activities compete for my time and attention — and to top if off, I occasionally have to work, too! As you can imagine, this leads to a fair bit of stress.

I have tried to combine them, but with poor results. For example, I was putting a finish on some end tables while listening to my Minnesota Vikings play football at the same time. As I applied the rub-on finish, the Vikes would sometimes do well and then occasionally blow a bit play, hey it’s football. But as a result, my efforts would vary with the plays, rubbing harder, faster, softer. This led to an uneven finish, which later had to be touched up and redone. I also discovered that even if you pound the table with an open can of wipe-on poly sitting upon it, the results can be a bit messy. (My Vikings this year have played absolutely lousy football, but somehow have managed to get themselves into a tie for first place in their division – I can’t figure out whether to cry or cheer as I am watching and listening to them.)

Fortunately, I have not tried to combine hunting and woodworking — I think that has disaster written all over it. The good news is that having too much of a good thing is a great problem to have. So I will bask in my good fortune and quit writing so I can follow up on all three!

– Rob Johnstone

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  • How Many Tools and How Many Trips

    How many tools will a job take and how many trips back to the shop? After some 50 years of home repair, I’ve come to expect to go back for more tools at least three or four times. More than that and I really feel dumb; less than three and I feel pretty smart. But why can’t I think of everything the first time?

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