Last week Rob wondered what sorts of issues, besides heating and cooling, prevent you from spending more time in your shops. Several readers share their thoughts. – Editor
“COVID 19 has really been distracting me! I live in a condominium complex for people 55 years and over. For the last four years, we have had a beautiful fully functioning wood shop: 22′-6″ wide x 50′-0″ long with air conditioning, heating, high ceilings, big windows and a very good lighting system. Three years ago, the shop was in pretty bad shape. I drew up plans for a remodel and presented them to the board of directors with a budget of $2,200 that they approved. The board also approved a separate request for a new $3,500 SawStop table saw. We have a long list of high-quality tools and accessories in our shop. Unfortunately, our whole complex, and all amenities, was shut down on March 13. So, seven months with no woodworking! I have big withdrawal pains, because I’m 75 and have been involved with wood since I was 15. Unfortunately we will not be able to open until sometime next year. I miss the wood shop! Take pity on me!” – Bob Wollweber
“The following is a list of things that distract me, in no particular order:
- Taking care of the house, because the house never learned to take care of itself.
- Other hobbies, as you need another hobby to distract you to keep you interested in the first hobby.
- Gravity Cat. That’s the invisible cat that always knocks things off the workbench at exactly the wrong time.
- The real cats. They are the ones laughing at you because of Gravity Cat.
- Lousy sight. Especially when one brushes the blade of the handsaw over several fingers.
- The Internet, because I am always looking for that next best project for the next lifetime, when there is time to do it.
- The magazines. Looking forward to the next Woodworker’s Journal, to skim through and know that I will get back to it, along with the other five year’s worth of periodicals.
- My sense of humor, because I will search my brain for the next gut-buster to tell my wife and see her laugh.
- Videos. Videos of woodworking, videos of cats, real and not real, videos of my other hobbies, even magazine videos, and videos to make one laugh.
- This is a short list, but so is a small boat that ran aground.” – Carl Timko
“In April of this year we moved about 160 miles, and my shop space went from a total about the size of a two-car garage, down to a one-car space. We have a three-car garage, but I only get one space for the workshop. All my tools are still surrounded by “stuff”, some of which will eventually be unpacked and moved into the house, and some will remain stored in large cabinets that, surprisingly, were already installed (a bonus, you could say). We will build a solid wall with a door to separate the shop, and its attendant sawdust, from the automobiles that will both now reside under cover — another improvement from our previous residence. I am now starting the process of building that wall; not a small task at age 81, but I do have some help. I hope to get the wall done in the next two weeks, but I still will not have easy access to power…extension cords will have to fill the bill for a little while longer until I can afford the cost of new wiring. While I have only two or three 110-volt outlets, I am able to do some very small projects/repairs without too much grief about the sawdust. The entire garage is well-insulated, so heating and cooling are not likely to be a big issue throughout the year. I’m hoping that I will be able to complete my Christmas gift projects before the holidays are upon us. It will most likely mean some late evenings as the calendar is relentless and unforgiving.” – Gordon Patnude
“I have been watching the terrible fires out West and the devastation they have caused along with the storm damage from hurricanes along the Gulf Coast. I believe there are many woodworkers who were wiped out. Trying to deal with insurance adjusters on replacing the tools is a daunting task. As a 74-year-old, I have been stocking my shop for over 50 years with new, used and inherited tools. Last year I started an inventory using Google Spreadsheets as they are free and stored on the Cloud, so I can access them with any computer anywhere. I don’t have to have my original computer or a thumb drive that might get destroyed. I believe it would be a great service to your readers to run a series of articles on setting up a shop inventory on their personal computer using Google Apps.” – Michael McDonald