Refuge - Thoughts On Being In The Shop This Evening

So often in the past I have come out here with a hand full of lists and a head full of plans - trying to fill the 'unforgiving minute' with more than its alloted sixty seconds.
The press of making a living made being in the shop an experience too often governed by the cares of money and time.
Even though it was work that I thoroughly enjoyed, it was still work - in that it had to be done according to the rules of time and money.
Tonight I came into the shop, after a day of haggling and whining over money and time at my current and still new job - and found the shop to be what it has not always been before - a place of refuge.
I cleared the workbench, as I had always done first thing when getting in the shop - but this time it was only to make space for the laptop - to read the newly filtered and blessedly tranquil newsgroup that has so often been a friend to me.
There was enough space left over to place a beer - so crisp and cold that one more degree less would have begun to freeze it.
I dusted off a few of the machines and visited the wood rack, for the first time in a long time - thinking about what sort of things might be made from this good stuff.
My daughter needs a desk and I found myself sketching out a rough design. Maybe I'll draw it up and make the cutlist - and maybe I'll just wing it.
The second beer found me standing idly and looking at the sun set and how it played on the waters of the creek behind the shop.
I felt my shoulders drop below the level of my ears, for the first time this day.
I was thinking to myself - this is what the shop feels like to a man who does his woodworking for the simple joy of it.
I liked that feeling.
Regards,
Tom.
Thomas J. Watson - Cabinetmaker, ret. tjwatson1atcomcastdotnet (real email) http://home.comcast.net/~tjwatson1 /
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You said it so well, Tom.
My shop is a studio apartment (400 sf) and after a day dealing with tenant problems and maintenance this is MY domain in the evening, don't bother me. Sometimes I have a project for the wife or our many Grandchildren (25), some time I just relax and clean getting ready for the next project. A beer, YES, time to unwind.
I too have a laptop in my shop where I check out the latest problems and solutions on the wood newsgroups. I have learned so much from the novices and pros on this group and others, some very nice people. Oh, so relaxing.
Just finished a jewelry box w/music for a Granddaughter graduating from HS (4.0), next year 2 more. Not sure what to make for them but I have time to think about something unique for each. Both boys. It's amazing what our minds can come up with when in our shops, looking at pieces of wood from all over the country seems to inspire something new to create.
Yes, my shop is my place to get away, relax and create whatever. I inherited that from my Father and I hope our Sons will get that from this old man.
Just rambling, Al in WA

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...and I miss it. Thanks for that Tom...you took me back and reminded me of a goal....Y.A.S. (yet another shop!)
Rob
--


http://www.robswoodworking.com

"Tom Watson" < snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com> wrote in message
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What a bunch of dreamers. Just got back from great north , Gloucester Mass, happened to live in the real one much of my misspent yute.
Was dremin of eating my weight of lobsters ,so did it instead of dreamin............mjh
-- http://members.tripod.com/mikehide2

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wrote:

Tom, you need to submit short bits like this to the woodworking magazines. That was very well stated, you captured the essence of the shop for those of us who do this as a hobby. It is a place and a chance to create something substantial and useful, yet without (most of the time) an imposed or arbitrary deadline and without the dependence upon others to provide inputs or products at exactly the right time.
The sun on the waters for me last Saturday was watching a family of quail foraging in the desert behind the shop. The youngsters were about 6 inches tall. Fun stuff.
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On Fri, 04 Jun 2004 03:57:25 GMT, Mark & Juanita

I'll second that suggestion.
-- Vidi, Vici, Veni --- http://diversify.com Comprehensive Website Development
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When you take the equation TIME = MONEY and remove MONEY everything changes. Sometimes, when everything synchs up, even TIME goes away.
It might be that being at the point in life where "earning a living" is no longer an issue, being a parent has pretty much been done (though your kid(s) will always be your kid(s), regardless of his/her/their age), being the son or daughter has passed and perhaps being a spouse is also gone, one finally has, maybe for the first time, the opportunity to do whatever you want to do.
I've wondered where in life one has the fewest constraints and the most options, along with the physical abilities to pursue an option. It seems that the time after high school or college and before marrying and "settling down" the first window of opportunity opens - a brief time when running away and joining the circus can happen. Then that window closes. Twenty five to thirty five years later another window opens and you can run away and join the circus if you want,but are wise enough not to. This window stays open a lot longer - if you're health stays good and you choose the right options.
This Metal Period -gold teeth, silver hair ( if you're lucky) and lead butt if you stop "doing"- is the best of times. And if you happen to fall into working with wood, well you'll never run out of things to do or things to learn.
Truly the best of times.
Enjoy the hell out of it Tom and I look foreward to the stuff you come up with just because you wanted to. You will post pics right?
charlie b
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Something I have comed to learn over my 51 years. If your want to ruin your pasion for a hobby, try to make a living off of it!
Tom Watson wrote:

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wrote:

Probably true, but today I had a chat with my daughter who enters high school last year and has a knack for wooddorking. I propesed that we could formalize a domain I bought a while back (woodenwabbits.com) and set up a company. For an income, she could work for the company building consumer goods like adirondack chairs, and other Paddy O'Furniture, planters, etc, as well as the small turnings she loves to do, and if it works she could avoid the "summer job search" that high schoolers have to do every year, and maybe develop a real business.
Granted she wouldn't make a "living" per se, but as an alternative to a "do you want fries with that" summer job....
djb
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In the stillness of the shop I feel my destiny In the dreams of what I can do I feel my pride In the sounds of the tools I feel my strength In the end I find out who I am.
Roy Neudecker
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"royneu" wrote in message

"Nine finger" Ned?
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Last update: 5/15/04
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who are you, Roy?
dave
royneu wrote:

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