Gye Greene's Thoughts

Gye Greene's Thoughts (w/ apologies to The Smithereens and their similarly-titled album!)

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Shaping my world

One of the things I enjoy about middle age is having a stronger sense of what I like, and what I don't like.  This means that I can shape my environment to be more enjoyable, based on my own aesthetics.

And one of the things -- apparently! -- that I like doing is hand-tool woodworking.  And although I don't log as much shop time as I'd like, I've been doing it enough over the last two or three years that I'm getting a sense of my workflow -- and can optimize my shop to better suit my approach.

I used to have a free-standing shelving unit perched on the back of my workbench, and I laid out my often-used tools on that.  But because it was **on** my workbench, if I did anything that jiggled the workbench (pounding, sawing), things would sometimes fall off.

So, in June or July of last year (i.e. about six months ago), I built a free-standing tool rack:  it has L-shaped feet and it rests on the floor behind my workbench.  In other words, it is physically de-coupled from my workbench -- so when the workbench jiggles, the tool rack does not.

So last night, after several months of stalled progress, I **finally** hung up my most often-used hammers, right next to where I typically stand. (The delay was caused by trying to finish the doweling jig, so that I could produce dowels that I could use to hang up the hammers.  I finished the doweling jig on Sunday, and Tuesday [yesterday] I made me some dowels.)  A fairly heavy hammer (heavier than a typical claw hammer), a lighter hammer (but heftier than a typical tack hammer), and a mallet (made by my late paternal grandfather).

I already had a few chisels lined up (vertical, to the right, in a re-purposed dish-drying rack), and two of my often-used handplanes underneath.  Notice also the blue brush, which I use every few minutes to whisk away the sawdust and shavings.

I have room for one more hammer (a tack hammer), but I won't put it there unless I find myself using it fairly often.  I also need to re-assemble my other "go-to" handplane and put it next to the others (a block plane, and a wooden scrub plane).  

Also:  less-impressively, I've added a cup next to the faucet nearest my workshop (there's no running water to my shop).  When I'm thirsty but can't be bothered to inside to get a drink, I drink from the faucet.  Except that I end up getting water all over my cheek and beard.

Over the weekend I salvaged a plastic cup with a handle from my neighbors, who were just going to throw it away.  So yesterday I put a look of twine through the handle, and drove a nail into the side of the free-standing hose reel that's near the faucet.  Seems to work:  I think I used it five times that day!

As an aside, you'll see the white plastic container on the ground. That has a bar of soap.  The plastic container was a disposable, microwaveable soup container, with vent holes on the top:   the holes allow the damp soap to dry out.  I used to just have the soap sitting on the lid of a plastic bucket -- but little critters (mice? possums?) kept stealing the soap and gnawing on it:  I'd find it next to the car with teeth marks in it.  Hence, the closed container -- but still near the faucet!

And the rustic, rusty sheet of corrugated roofing metal under the faucet is there to prevent splatter from staining the light-colored bricks.

Anyhow:  I'm really enjoying re-shaping my world to suit my ways.  :)


Labels: , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home