Archive | May, 2013

Wait ‘til Next Season!

30 May

(So yeah, I finished this post a month into next season.  That’s how it goes.)

I closed up the shop for the winter.  The saws, workbenches, and assorted tools are all shoved into the corner.  Time to take stock of the year’s output…  Such as it is.  I didn’t make anything big and the thing I spent the most time working on (the baskets) still aren’t integrated into the project they were intended for.

Assigning Blame

So I really hoped to do more this summer.  I mean, in terms of accomplishments.  I learned a lot from the various projects I did, but don’t really have a lot to show for the effort.

A lot of the funk seems to be from a sort of paralysis from having a number of pedestrian projects that need doing, but when I look at the cost of materials and the cost of just buying the stuff from Ikea, well, it just doesn’t seem worth it.  I mean I’m not creating something really unique and it’s not saving me any money.  Why bother?

Secondly, I didn’t spend enough time with Sketchup during the off-season so when the garage finally warmed up, I really didn’t know what I wanted to make.  I really have a hard time staying motivated with Sketchup.

What to do About It?

The Sketchup problem is really hard to solve.  I found the time when I spent the most time with sketchup was back when I had some boring TV to watch.  It left enough cycles for me to be able to focus on Sketchup without being too bored with Sketchup and not too interested in the TV.

Since cutting out cable, it’s become hard to find that kind of TV.  I mean, it’s not like there’s not boring stuff on YouTube, it’s just that it’s over in 5 minutes and it’s time to find something else and who knows what amazing weird thing will be uncovered next?

So I don’t know what to do to make that better.

But as to the expensive lumber…  Well that I got covered.  I found a fellow with a sawmill and a big pile of walnut and assorted other stuff and now I’ve got a couple hundred board feet of walnut, red elm and maple.  Now my only problem is that the good wood is now cheaper than the secondary wood in my stacks.  Seriously.  The poplar I bought at my local lumber yard costs about the same per board foot as the most expensive walnut that I scored…  a pair of 8’x22” 5/4 walnut slabs…

So now I need to source myself some cheap secondary wood.

I think I need to make a move on Craigslist or something.  Surely there’s big piles of fir out there for me to buy at a reasonable price…

I find inexpensive lumber very liberating.  Without it, well, it’s really frustrating to spend hours and hours on a thing that costs the same if not more than what it would cost at a furniture store and looks about the same.   I felt if it wasn’t a treasure, it wasn’t worth making.  Now, I can create a piece that I feel is just average and at least be able to say it was way cheaper that way.

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