Sunday, January 5, 2020

A New Year Begins

Wishing everyone a Happy New Year!

The beginning of a new year is always a good time to pause and take stock of things.

When I started this site back in the late summer of 2017, I figure that the site would be basically a repository of all the various projects that I had attempted - a virtual notebook for me to jot down how I built something in the off chance I needed to build it again at some point in the future. I figured a website would be a better method to capture things than simply writing it down in some notebook that would eventually get lost in the pile of junk that usually I have sitting around my desk.

At the same time, if folks such as yourself find my ramblings informative and/or entertaining, well, that is just icing on the cake for me - and really it makes me quite happy to pass my experience along.

2019 was a pretty eventful year for my shop. At the beginning of the year, I was where I was for many years, in a tiny room in the basement of my home, with all my tools crowded around the perimeter, leaving a tiny little space in the center of the room for me to work in.

For smaller projects, it worked pretty well, but for anything larger than a breadbox, I needed to move operations outside.

In the warmer months, this worked pretty well, but I did need to cut back my operations during the winter months - it's just not safe using a table saw with frozen fingers!

This past summer, I was given the opportunity to have the use of an old barn at my parent's place. While it was a 5-minute drive away for me, it also offered me the potential to triple the space of my old shop, and more importantly, a chance to have a space that could be heated to work on those larger projects in the dead of winter - no more frozen fingers!

Doing all the moving and shop layout planning did cut back on the project output for a few months but it also sparked a few project ideas, like a larger workbench, that I would never have been able to build if I didn't have the new shop space.

In the end, I have pretty much the shop of my dreams, with all my tools, wood and supplies all within easy reach.

The issue with getting a bigger space is that of course you just need to fill it up with more stuff. True to form, 2019 was the year that I fully married my tech life with my woodworking life with the addition of my laser engraver and my CNC router.  It really allows me to multi-task (I'm running my laser engraver making the next project while I'm writing out this post - all on the same computer).

Of course, I had to tell the shop supervisor that his services were no longer needed, but he wasn't too upset that his position was made redundant, he quickly found a new gig supervising the card marking enterprise that another member of my home was starting up.

However, as with any large expansion, you will also see an increase in management oversight.

The management team

And with any large enterprise, you will also need to have security guards controlling access to the area where the valuable tools are kept.

On guard, lest a screwdriver goes astray

While for the moment, they seem to be quite content to monitor from afar and huddle around the shop heater, making sure that it's putting out the appropriate amount of heat, I do find that I still have the same issues to contend with, as I found out when a black kitten greeted me one evening with an ear that was the same shade of red as the project I had just painted.

Some things never change.

But now that I've comfortably settled into my new surrounding, I am quite excited with the possibilities that lie ahead in 2020,

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