The Shop

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You know, there ain't no Republicans in my shop. There ain't no Democrats, neither. There ain't no Conservatives and there ain't no Liberals. It is equally lacking in Socialists, Communists, John Birchers, MADD women, NOW women, or women in general.
Ya see, a shop, properly thought of, is a respite from all of this bullshit.
A shop, properly thought of, is a respite.
JOAT has a famous reflection on what a shop is and those who can know will know the reference.
I'm hanging out in the shop more and more these recent days.
THE WORLD has gotten way too freaky. I need to be in an environment where the choices are between oak and walnut, or between cherry and poplar.
As THE WORLD seems to demand more complexity, I respond by seeking simplicity.
In the spring I made a footlocker for my son to take to boy scout camp. It was made of left over cherry and left over hardware but it turned out to look pretty nice.
People liked it and now I've commited to making one for the boy scout auction in October. The materials alone are about $400.00. The sheet of 1/2" cherry ply (A-1) cost me $149.00 plus tax. The rest is for solid brass hardware. If it doesn't sell for more than $800.00, I might as well have written them a check for the four hundred bucks.
Is that really true?
Hell no!
I get to make a second version of a project that I liked and get the opportunity to address what I felt to be the flaws of the first piece.
I intend to make one of these a year at least until my son is out of scouts, and I'm hoping that will be seven more years.
No Republicans - no Democrats - no nothing but good soul filling shop time.
I should pay them to have the opportunity to do something meaningful in the quiet of my shop.
Where the music is always good.
And the radio is never tuned to politics.
And there is no TV.
And the cell phone is never on.
And the only sound that I need to hear is the thrumming of the Unisaw and the counterpoint high of the shaper, with the occasional tenor of the lathe and the piping interruption of the compressor.
Sweet symphony.
I need it now more than ever.
tom
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"Tom Watson" wrote:

You have just defined why I'm a cruising sailor.
Sailing gives you a place to put the round pegs back in the round holes, the square pegs back in the square holes, and the rest get washed overboard.
Lew
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*SNIP* of good stuff...

Amen. Me too. I am getting pretty tired of everyone and everything. I have been working pretty much solo for the last few jobs, and it has been really nice. Peaceful, quiet, and focused on the work and the task at hand.
I miss 1975.
I was happy with the music on the radio on the way to work. I could work off a hangover by about 10:00 am. I was working full time in construction for a guy that thought back breaking labor built good character. I think he was right.
If I had a good week, I got a good paycheck. If I had a better week than that, I got lucky with the wimmin' and had some scratch left over.
Good overtime meant someone was barbecuing. Ice cold beer (off the ice) and Texas brisket.
I slept like a baby because I was worn out all the damn time because I decked houses on the weekend when I could get them. I didn't worry much past paying my bills because I didn't have any extra money or other nice things to worry about.
Now when I am out on a job stringing out the cords, getting "set up" to work, and getting started, I try to remember what it was like then. Things today are so troubling...
Mostly I think, it was quiet. On that first construction job, we all had assignments to do, and my boss didn't like idle conversation so there just wasn't any. Radios weren't even allowed on the jobsite. Everything seems so noisy and annoying these days.
Yeah, it was quiet then. Just the sounds of busy tools and machines all day. It was peaceful then, and a man could think things through while he was working.
All of us blue collar jerks didn't care who was in office or running for office because we knew then as I know now, none of them care about the people they represent. Party has nothing to do with it. We didn't argue about politics with each other. In the end, we knew what we thought simply didn't matter. So we had another beer to settle up the differences of opinion.
I am doing all I can to get back to that place, wherever it might be. A job site, the shop, wherever...
Great post, Tom.
Robert
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Remember when you could move everything you owned ...in one trip ... in your pickup?

Undoubtedly, it's "responsibility" that's responsible for the loss of the "peace of mind" we had in our youth. Seems those who exhibit the most, suffer the most.
--
www.e-woodshop.net
Last update: 8/18/08
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Absolutely. And when one of my amigos moved (in with his girlfriend, thrown out by his girlfriend/wife, or found cheaper lodgings) we charged a six pack a piece to move them as it actually took most of one morning to move all belongings and tools.

You know, without being sanctimonious about it I think that is true. There is always one more thing I MUST do, one more thing that needs attention, one more thing I need to plan for, one more crisis to be resolved. I know on this, I am not alone by a long shot.
Like I said, there just doesn't seem to be a quiet place to be anymore. Where does a man do his thinking these days?
Robert
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

We all need to find our own places. You reminded me of a poem that's become one of my favorites (and it somehow wasn't when I was much younger...)
http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto/Misc/Verse.html#miles
Methinks he's caught the feeling rather well.
--
Morris Dovey
DeSoto Solar
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Mine's the southwest wall of Sterling Castle in Scotland. Went there and just felt such a sense of peace staring out over the countryside in March that it's stuck with me ever since.
Closer to home it's in the shop, but recently I'm finding that playing with my 2 year old son is just as fulfilling, if not as quiet or therapeutic as woodworking may be.
-Nathan
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"Morris Dovey" wrote

Ah ha!... another C. Rossetti fan to boot. You may find it hard to believe, but I thought I was the only soppy sentimentalist around here. :)
--
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Swingman wrote:

I suspect there may be two or three others as well. :-]
--
Morris Dovey
DeSoto Solar
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Guilty. But you already knew that. I reviewed, just the other night, some Robert Frost with my daughter.
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"Robatoy" wrote

I once chose Rossetti's "Remember" to deliver as the eulogy at a friend's memorial service ... I think I may have actually made it through the whole thing, but in one breath ... otherwise, not.
--
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wrote:

At the edge of the St. Clair River. On a bench. With an order of french fries.
http://www.weather-forecast.com/locations/Sarnia/webcams/98
then it's a short walk to the pub to wash those fries down, and then it is a 10 minute walk home.
http://www.upsndowns.net /
Better than yoga.
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On Fri, 26 Sep 2008 09:36:15 -0700 (PDT), " snipped-for-privacy@aol.com"

Sailboat.
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On Sep 26, 12:16pm, snipped-for-privacy@dog.com wrote:

On my bike on a 60 - 80 mile ride. Alone. In farm country.
D'ohBoy
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Damn hard to "soar through the air with the greatest of ease" while you're holding up the "safety net". ;)

Tom mentioned JOAT's reflection ... it's been at the bottom of the "Shop" page of my website for for four or five years now:
http://www.e-woodshop.net/shop.htm
I'm out of a shop at the moment ... it's amazing what extraordinary steps some of us will scheme and plan just to be back in one. I'll keep you posted. :)
--
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"Swingman" wrote

I am not understanding that.
I thought it may be due to an impending move. But is seems that the shop building itself is defective and must be replaced? Or some kind of local drainage issue? Or ????
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"Lee Michaels" wrote

All the above ... and while I don't want to jinx the making of the lemonade, it can't be too soon. Once you have an extremely well equipped shop, it's hard to imagine how inconvenient it can be to be without.
--
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Gone fishin' for that lunker bass.
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"Chuck" wrote

Funny you said that ... for the first time in years (since college in the mid 60's, actually) I've become interested enough in fishing again to go looking at used bass boats, on Craigslist, in 3 states, just a click away, everyday ... got the icons on my desktop!
But just looking, you understand! :)
--
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On Thu, 25 Sep 2008 17:44:40 -0700 (PDT), Tom Watson

thanks for the reminder tom! thumbs up to you!
skeez

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