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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-02-2013, 10:10 AM Thread Starter
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Hi Forum Fraternity,
Now being retired and having loads of unnecessary time on my hands I found myself at a loose end due to lack of wood through lack of funds and as a result found myself trying to engage myself with witty conversation involving my wife. My god she said you must be bored out of your mind. I am I said I am desperate. Why donít you go and annoy these guys at the router forum was her last retort as she steered me out of the living room. Thatís just what Iíll do, so lads it was either her or you and guess who lost.

Now here in the UK we have a programme called Grumpy Old Men where celebrities sit and moan and groan about every aspect of life that affects them or not. I have therefore taken inspiration from this programme, so where to start.

My first gripe is Repetition

The phrase I hate to hear most is; I love that! Can you make me one? I like the opening comment but the second part, not so much. I belong to a breed of crafts person, and I use that term as regards to myself loosely, that hates repetition. Once my project is completed thatís it, I do not wish to make another dozen identical stools etc. Why because there is a certain amount of enjoyment in producing an item that you are proud of, but for me it is not the end product of your labours, itís how you get there, itís the planning, sourcing materials, working out the best way as to how to proceed, dreaming up and making jigs, making mistakes, in my case lots of them. When I have completed my project I feel like every other woodworker as I look at it. Proud. Yes. Could have done better. Yes. Altered this, angled that and so on, therefore is the first one the prototype, the one that gets you to where you want to go with your project. I donít know. All I know is that if someone who didnít know my abilities asked me to make a dining room table and six chairs and the very fact that they asked me I would have to assume they were clueless about my abilities. My first reaction would be I will make you a table and one chair, the thought of another five would drive me batty as all the thought processes would be in chair number one with little or no pleasure in the other five. My only way out of the situation would be to look at chair number one as the prototype and try to improve on the successive chairs hoping to get it right by chair six. I could just imagine the look on the faces of the people who asked me to create the dining suite i.e. a lovely round table with six eclectic chairs around the table, each one with its own individuality which sets itself apart from the rest in my endeavours to improve it. As they stood there gob smacked with mouths hanging slightly ajar as I asked them which chair do you think I finally got rightÖÖ Mouths still hanging open.

The more I analyse my attitude the more I must assume that I have to stick to bespoke one off projects as this writing process has allowed me to understand my reluctance to repeat a project i.e. I have just figured out that being retired and sixty plus years I canít remember how I made the first one.

Solved

Colin
Somewhere in Scotland I think!

Ps
If anyone out there wants any more gripes just let me know before I forget them
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-02-2013, 11:00 AM
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Grumpy OLD men? You came to the right place, Colin!
...what were you mumbling about, a minute ago?
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-02-2013, 08:15 PM
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Welcome Colin.. take a number and prepare to moan and groan at the next available topic!


Please no cutting in line!!!

Galatians 5:13
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-02-2013, 10:41 PM
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I have to agree with you on the repetition part. There are very few things I have made more than one of. There are sources of free wood you know. Old pallets and people getting rid of unwanted trees in their yards are 2 good ones. Not that a good rant isn't worth reading if it is done well.

Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-03-2013, 08:12 AM
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The reason you don't like to make the second on is because you are an artist. I also don't like to reproduce pieces of art I create and I don't when I am in my home shop. Now at work well I have to but take comfort in the fact that I only create it once on the computer and let the cnc machine do it over and over. Even when I do the staining each one is just a bit different. It is an artist nature so enjoy it.
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-03-2013, 08:42 AM
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I also agree with the not doing repetition of projects. One of the repetitions I do like is the filling with your malted elixir- gets rid of the blues after reducing a respectable piece of whatever to swarf.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-03-2013, 10:31 AM
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Colin,
I think you should write a book. I would be proud to be one of your first customers. Anytime you need to gripe let me know. My wife retired in October so I know of what you speak. In America we have plenty to gripe about.
Sincerely
Roman Zubar
Bloomfield Twp. Mi.
Northern Suburb of Detroit
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-03-2013, 11:31 AM
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Working with my hands, puts my head in a good place... Being on a fixed budget, I've learned to be creative.

There are other sources of re-purposed wood besides scrap lumber and timbers... Is to check the free or garage sale furniture. I get a lot of bed frames and other furnishings that I re-purpose... Okay- Some for the same purpose but refinished, repaired or modified.

There are also a lot of wood inside upholstered furnishings such as couches and chairs. You'd be surprised at how much beautiful hardwoods I've found inside them.

Heck, they also don't necessarily need to be wood. A lot of veneered furnishings and non-wood furnishings can be a good source also. I think that learning to edge band, repair veneers or to veneer in general is a worthwhile art to learn. It's almost forgotten by hobbiest, passed up for other things, making this technique more an art of craftsman and commercial technicians. But it is really easy once you learn.

Other non-wood sources... I don't know how many times I've taken large melamine closets (big wardrobes, armoires, clothes closets and cabinets... like from schools) that where falling apart... and they became hosts for many other projects.

What I've also experienced... Is that sometimes in construction, people will pay you to take something down and dispose of it... Or that to build something new, it replaces something old that needs to go away. If that will provide you with salvaged wood... then there you go. That doesn't necessarily mean you need to labor to take it down... contractors usually have to pay for the disposal. If you are one of those disposal sources (for wood), that would save them money.

"Don't worry, I saw this work in a cartoon once."
"Usually learning skills and tooling involves a progression of logical steps."

Last edited by MAFoElffen; 12-03-2013 at 11:50 AM.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-03-2013, 01:25 PM
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I have a Disney Grumpy mug that for some reason cheers me up. Turn 71 in a couple of months and have lots of reasons to gripe, but no one wants to listen, so instead of mumbling to myself, I just go out to the shop. Pretty soon, I don't remember what I was grumpy about. This is not intended as advice, by the way. That would just be another annoyance, right? My wife loves it when I head out to the shop. Maybe partly because my gripes go out with me, and I come back pretty happy and civil.

Thanks to all the suggestions about wood sources. I'm fortunate to have an OK financial situation, but man, the new wood is really expensive and I'd rather spend some of it on other kinds of fun stuff.
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-03-2013, 04:14 PM
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Colin
Repetition is a real downer-I make end of season gifts for our high school girls hockey team.
This year I'm making 20 jewelry boxes.Thankfully, my grand daughter graduates this year!
I won't be making them for her college team!
My wife also is just as happy about me going out to shop as I am.
"Grumpy Old Men" was filmed about 80 miles from me -maybe I should of tried out for a part!
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