Immersion Woodworking

I look at my WorkSharp ball cap (my old Logosol disappeared at some earlier date) and realize that it was originally black, not brown. I look at most of my shoes, and note that they're all trending towards brown. I look at most of my Levis and note the shellac, poly, varnish and various stains and dyes. Most of my T-shirts show the same, as do my hands - and to a lesser extent, my glasses. Though it hasn't occured yet, I foresee sneezing producing a saw dust cloud. In place of Dust Bunnies in the corners and under furniture - there are wood shavings and sawdust. I see a downed tree or a stack of logettes on the side of the road and I slow down to check it out, occassionally loading some of that wood into my van. I often leave the chainsaw in the van - just in case. I network with tree trimmers and arborists, other woodworkers and get to know the guys who man the desk at the local woodworking machines and equiptment store as well as a few a local woodwirking supplies and tools stores. I bought a used metal fireproof cabinet to keep finishing stuff in. My To Do List includes upgrading my dust collection system to a cyclone and 6" ducting. I'm running out of space in the japanese garden to dispose of the saw dust and chips I seem to be generating at a surprising rate. You can only use so much mulch.
Slowly, in small increments, I'm becoming a Galoot - the product of Immersion Woodworking.
Do you have any more symptoms I should watch for?
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My second job as a youth (jsut out of high school) was a millwright in a mobile home factory. I worked at a table saw 8 hrs/day, almost exclusively ripping softwood lumber. This was before the recognition of health and safety stuff (i.e. repsirators, dust collection).
EVERY NIGHT after work, in the shower, I sneezed out the most unGodly goop. LOT's of unGodly goop. Brown, slimey, unGodly goop.
Once it gets inya', it dudn't come out as dust.
-Zz
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A few I have noticed:
When you start out your woodworking sentences with "in my day, we used to have to XXX and XXX". If you start talking about making your own nails, filing rods down to make your own screws and things like that, you are a goner. (Or was that goober...)
Start wearing long sleeved flannel all the time and convince yourself that identifies you as some kind of traditionalist.
Put a small pot bellied stove in your shop to burn your scraps in the winter. You have gone over when you fuss over the stove more than you work. Around Christmas time you start thinking of the old Norman Rockwell paintings with old fella playing around with the wood burner. You relate.
Buy huge glasses so you can get trifocals you can actually see through, and get them in safety glass to boot. You are already gone if you wear them with the secretary's neck chain, or if you wear half glasses down your nose while you are talking to people.
You start drinking half decaf/caf coffee out of an old mug you rarely wash out. Your mug has a story you get a chuckle out of every time you tell the story.
You start understanding more and more about what Norm is about and what he is doing and appreciate his show.
You would rather goof off in the shop than watch sports inside.
You skip lunch while exploring the mysteries of cutting compound angles with hand tools.
You look at difficult projects and start trying to figure out how YOU would build a spice chest with at least ten of the 350 - 400 recognized Japanese methods of joining wood. You announce dovetails are for lightweights.
You doze in your shop when no one is around.
You doze in your shop when others are around and they panic because they can't find you.
You sit down a lot when you work on your projects. Even your orthotics and extra thick hush puppies won't keep your knees from barking.
You spend all day sharpening your chisels. The next day you spend all day sharpening your planes. When finished, you think you have had a "helluva couple of productive days".
You hang silly things on the walls like clocks that rotate backwards, silly sayings, and you replace your old sawblade clock that was given to you with an old fashioned clock radio. Preferably with a dial tuner. Function the clock portion is optional however because when you are in the shop you don't watch the time anyway.
You quit taking the portable phone with you to the shop. "Screw 'em", you declare. "If they want me, they know where I am." This is often announced to your spouse after recharging your mug with the half caf concoction.
Repair projects for friends and relatives start to show up. You don't want to embarrass yourself in front of your friends and you do like to show off a bit, so their projects are completed in a timely manner. You feel like Krenov when you hand back a chair that you secured the stretcher back to its original position. But the stuff for your family could take a couple of years of careful consideration, and by the time it gets coated with a layer of dust and shop grime, you are hoping they forgot. You do every time you go in the shop.
You have a lot of tools that just have one or two things you need to replace or repair, and they will be as good as new. However, when you need that tool, you forgot you had one in need of minor repair (only for a few years) and you went out and bought a brand new one. Whoops!
You have a lot of tools you never use. Some have been declared nothing but junk. Yet you keep all of them....
Charlie... it's lifestyle. There's more, no doubt. But that's my take.
Robert
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Outstanding....
snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

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On Wed, 8 Oct 2008 07:27:05 +0100, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote (in article

Beautifully written. Wickedly accurate. I'd laugh out loud but I haven't "been" for nearly an hour yet and I'd probably have a nasty accident.
Now, where did I put that fire bucket?
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Here's one that's happened to me recently. I found I now I have more planes than my wife has shoes. ;)
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wrote:

Pairs of shoes, or inidividual shoes. if the latter, i'm impressed.
jc
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