Thursday, October 31, 2013

One month in the new shop.

I spent three hours tonight moving big pieces around, and coming to terms with just how much I want to get rid of, really. It's been a long process, and it's one I really couldn't have done successfully at my old shop... there was just too much space, and it was too easy to indulge myself when it came to not getting rid of things that I didn't actually need. I have 3 routers that I haven't used in years, that are almost new, and a few old planes that I never got around to tuning up. Bags of hardware, a locking doorknob set that was going to go into a huge door we had up in Lawrence, not to mention bench parts... There are a lot of bits and pieces, including 2 old library card catalogs that I was using to hold it all, in the base of a huge storage tower that I originally built to hold the pile of junk that I couldn't quite get rid of. Tonight it hit home that I just can't afford a hoarding habit, even if it only consumes 8 square feet of floor space. One of the projects on deck right now (and due by Thanksgiving... don't want to think about that...) is a hay rake dining table, and I need the real estate if I'm going to build something that big.

It's hard to draw the line sometimes, and decide that familiar things need to go for the good of the shop. That said, I was just reading one of my entries from September, that talked about how the shop needs a mission statement, and a dedicated focus on usefulness and productivity. That sentiment shines a bright light on my need to run a very lean shop... and not just because of space constraints.

On a separate note, I got to meet some of the other inhabitants the other day. There's a catwalk connecting us to the neighboring mill building, and that floor is also filled with woodworkers, with a lot of overall experience. I found out that there's another wood shop in that building that's been up and running for almost 30 years, too. I talked to the finishing guy who works on the second floor. He does some restoration, some refinishing, and was very excited to find out that I knew how to cane chairs. He has some work for me to do, it seems. And so on. When I moved out of Medford in 2008, I felt like my time there had been a failure. Moving out of Lawrence is bittersweet. It was a good shop. But even though it's smaller, the new place feels like it's going to give me more room to grow as a woodworker, and a small businessman.


The wiring went in on Monday, though it's not yet hooked up to the table saw or dust collector. I ordered a stand for the dust collector, which should be here next week, and then I'll get that up and start worrying about ductwork. Not that there's much to worry about. Compared to the old shop...

...this one should be pretty easy.

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