What makes a shop appealing?

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In the thread about burning out on woodworking, we mentioned quite a few reasons that we do what we do.. I wanted to add something my neighbor said the other night that really made sense..
He comes by when he has a project or if I need help on one of mine, or just shows up some nights with his coffee...
He mentioned the other night that one of the reasons that he liked hanging out in my garage was that he loved the smell of sawdust...
Thinking back to my dad's sign shop and his wood working tools, I realized that I've been addicted to the smell of sawdust all my life... especially pine or fir, 2 common types of lumber in the west..
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mac davis writes:

You'd love the road in front of my house. There are several sawmills, one just three miles up, and one down a side road. These days, the trash wood (slabs, sawdust) gets ground up and trucked to wherever. The trucks have mostly open backs and high side vents, and the intense aroma of resin rich pine tends to precede and follow them.
Charlie Self "The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness." John Kenneth Galbraith
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mac davis wrote:

Too true! My shop is in the basement (cellar) and I love to open the door and take a deep breath. Why hasn't someone made sawdust into aftershave?
Josie
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<snip>

Pure gum turpentine? ;-)
Patriarch
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Hey, that's it? Now I know what to buy!
Jois
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What makes it appealing the same as a bell ,a crapper ...excuse me a clapper.....mjh
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On Sat, 9 Oct 2004 15:29:41 -0400, "firstjois"

THEY DID! Just ask the maid for some.
It's called PineSol. ;)
Wear it at your own risk.
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I enjoy just having a reason to visit with my friends. For some folks, it's golf, or other sports. Others get together to play bridge, or pinochle or cribbage, and/or enjoy an adult beverage.
My wife quilts. I don't know that I've ever met a disagreeable quilter.
For me, it's an excuse not to be an old grump.
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mac davis said:

We have a friend like that. She was over one night while I was ripping up 2.5"x 2" strips of SYP for a workbench top. As the smell of pine wafted it's way into the house, she just had to come out to sniff the air. Apparently reminded her of her childhood in Tennessee.
I love the smell, just don't like the dust...
Greg G.
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mac davis wrote:

Right now my shop smells of incense cedar. I also get a good whiff of white oak and it brings back memories of Jack Daniels for some reason.
I like being in the shop - so much so that I have a table and chairs out there as well as a refridgerator (gotta have a cold one on hand!). My neighbor has his woodshop across the street too. So when his garage door is open and mine is open, the saws are running and we often walk back and forth to see each other's ongoing projects.
I guess I am a tool freak too :>
Philski
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wrote:
<snip>

I can relate to the table and chairs... I have a couple of folding chairs by the garage door and a tv... if I'm not listening to the stereo, (every shop has a mega watt stereo, doesn't it?), the tv is on, mostly for neighbors stopping by to unfold a chair and visit.. I guess to me, my shop is like some folks "study"... I don't go there just to make sawdust, but to be in my "own space" and just relax...
It's a place with no pressure, schedules, or deadlines... and you're there because you WANT to be, not because you have to be..
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mac davis wrote:

Exactly! You and I are a LOT alike. I too have a TV (small 12" screen) that is usually on so I can keep track on my Sunday Football...And the chairs are those Coleman camping folding chairs....Damn! We must think the same as well. I go out there and just sit to sip a beer and browse through some woodworking mags or plans and formulate an idea or two...
Philski
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wrote:

Hmmm - maybe your neighbor is "casing" the place? :)
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The smell of the shop as the appealing element makes a lot of sense. The sense of smell is very strongly associated with memory. Stepping into a shop with the lingering odor of turpentine from finishes, or the smell of fresh-cut wood can bring back very pleasant memories either from childhood or from a previous session in the shop. When we moved several years ago, our 3 year-old son, when I opened the storage area on the temporary apartment's porch exclaimed, "It smells just like Daddy's shop at our old house!" That's because I had stored some finishes that included the turpentine and beeswax with which I had finished the workbench frame.
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...

Right on. I have a small stereo ("boombox"), a little 12" TV, a radiant heater on the ceiling, a good workbench, and a comfortable stool to sit on.
During the early evening I can mill and use power tools on the wood (kids are awake), but in the later evening it's all quiet -- layout, marking, sharpening, hand tools or finishing.
Sometimes a good thick Porter is a handy accessory.
Cheers, Nate
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On 12 Oct 2004 11:25:42 -0700, n snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (Nate Perkins) wrote:

Exactly! Last night was a pretty good example... I'm building drawers for a rolling bench/router table... cut out most of the parts over the weekend.. I took advantage of working at home to glue up 4 drawers yesterday... I'd take a break from work, go out to the shop and glue and clamp a drawer, then work for an hour or so and come back out and do the next drawer... In the evening, I cut and routed the drawer guides, face moulding, etc.. lots of wonderful noise, saw dust, chips, etc...
As it got a bit later, (I try not to use power tools after 8 or maybe 9 at night so that the neighbors let me live) it was miller time, as I won't drink when I'm using power tools.. Just a really cool night, having a brew, listening to some mp3's on the box, and doing all the hand fitting, shaving, etc... my own little world...
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...

Definitely, no beer before or during power tools .. I'd like to keep all ten!
Pretty soon it's going to start getting colder here in Colorado. I've been thinking about getting an electrician out to rewire my garage, and maybe install some larger radiant lamps in the ceiling.
Cheers, Nate
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Nate Perkins wrote:

No beer during shaving and fitting either! Every scar I bear has been from a mishap with chisels, saws and gouges (or knives or dogs, or surgery, but those are other stories.) The nastiest one was from an ordinary dovetail saw, cutting ordinary joinery 101 tenons on a piece of scrap.
That was when I was sober! :) So for me, if it's Miller time, it's time to lock up the shop.
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Silvan wrote:

I can agree with that, my other hobby is winemaking and my #1 rule is when the first cork is popped the shop is closed.
Rick
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On Wed, 13 Oct 2004 20:19:55 -0400, Silvan

oh, I wouldn't use anything dangerous if I was drinking... last night, I spread the parts out on a workmate next to my chair and played at hand sanding them while I listened to music with a few friends.. kinda like ladies knitting, I guess.. lol
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