Why am I so slow....

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Hi all,
Today was a great day here in the north-east for retired woodworkers in the spring - a real rainy dismal day where you could justify being in the shop instead of outside in the garden transplanting, dividing or just generally at SWMBO's beck and call.
"Yeah - it's a wash out honey - can't even do our 3+ mile walk in this kind of weather" <g>.
10:00 AM: "I'll be down in the shop 'putzin' around' with the entertainment center project."
"OK"
--------
I can really build boxes good. A month or so ago, I made a couple of 44 (w) by 27 (h) x 26 (deep) cabinets out of oak ply - no problem - couple of hours in the shop at the end of a day.
In the meantime, we are deciding how to arrange the shelving in said boxes. Finally "we" agree that they should each have a "half" shelf about 12" deep with a bottom support (since I have about 1000+ LP's from the 70's on that I refuse to get rid of and that I will rip to digital when I get time).
So there I am - starting at 10:AM - measuring, marking, testing, re-testing - cutting, trimming, dado-ing (sp?). Routing a stopped dado in opposte ends of a cabinet with a dado for a middle support in said shelf and cabinet bottom.
6 Hours later - success - for 1 cabinet!
Jeez! And I have all the freakin' tools!
Is it just me? I am slow, so slow.... and Norm does so much in 25 minutes...
I need support....
Lou
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Loutent wrote:
Jeez! And I have all the freakin' tools!
Is it just me? I am slow, so slow.... and Norm does so much in 25 minutes...
I need support....
Lou Slow and steady wins the race. 'Cept I didn't know we were racing! "Run, rabbit, run. Dig that hole, forget the sun." Need any more support? Tom
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tom wrote:

Remember, Norm gets to leave all his screwups, false starts, etc on the editing-room floor.

--
--John
to email, dial "usenet" and validate
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[snip].

on the

Bite your tongue!
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loutent wrote:

No, you just need to learn to stop and smell the poesys IMHO.
Who said you are on the clock?
You or somebody who signs the pay check.
HTH
The other "Lew"
Lew
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<snip>

It's the deciding that takes time. It's also what makes it yours, and enjoyable.
Almost anyone can follow a set of plans. Or buy something at Walmart. And a lot can get done with 'production assistants' helping.
I'd rather create. So would Norm, I think.
Count your many blessings...
Patriarch
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Nope -- things take longer in real life than in "Norm-life". Been working on my entertainment center for the past 9 months (weekends and holidays). Of course, it would be a lot farther along if I hadn't decided, "hey I can add drawers on the bottom instead of shelves -- shouldn't take too long to do 12 drawers." Then, "May as well try doing the drawers dovetailed, that way I can be ready for the kitchen project". Then proceeded to use up about 2 weeks of Christmas holiday getting the feel of the Liegh jig -- still not satisfied with the results, but I had to finally call a truce and decide when it was good enough.
Putting finish on the cabinets now -- I still have to build the grids for glass for the top doors on the left and right side cabinets, but have deferred that until I get the glass in a few weeks. Maybe, just maybe I will be done in about 3 more months.
+------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+ A wheelbarrow! Why didn't you say we had a wheelbarrow; you should have included that in our list of assets! Westley -- Princess Bride +------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+
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snipped-for-privacy@hadenough.com says...

But I figure 9 months is about right. Especially that I'm of the age where "my get up and go has got up and went."
But it's a hobby - the purpose of a hobby is to pleasurably spend time.
--
Homo sapiens is a goal, not a description

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Speaking as a person with some television production experience, I can assure you that Nahm doesn't do it in one day--or even two. Watch for changes of clothes, background inconsistencies, moved items; these are usual giveaways some time lapse occurred between shots. TV production is a slow and tedious process and a lot of editing makes his presentation slick and seamless. He never makes a mistake. You're probably the hare and he's the turtle! Glenn
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6 hours? I would probably need 6 months, so it sounds to me like you are cooking along pretty fast.
-- "We need to make a sacrifice to the gods, find me a young virgin... oh, and bring something to kill"
Tim Douglass
http://www.DouglassClan.com
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I don't know what your shop is like, but I don't really have one of those gigantic boubles-sided 4-foot wide belt sanders that he can just feed an entire tabletop into and have it come out looking like it's ready for the finishing room within a matter of seconds.
I think Norm's speed is attributed to quite a few things: 1. He has very fast, accurate, and large machinery that makes jobs a lot easier 2. He has jigs for just about anything you would ever want to make (I couldn't even store all of those jigs) 3. He does have good skill 4. He pre-builds most of his projects "... and here's our version of the antique cabinet" 5. I'm sure he gets help from the production crew 6. He has premium selection of lumber and tools (I just spent a good part of the day just trying to figure out how I needed to cut a bunch of walnut planks for all of the parts for my project so that the visible parts wouldn't have holes from the rotted knots in the wood) 7. There is a lot of video editing and I'm sure a lot of mistakes (ever notice how it always fits perfectly on the first try? Or is that really the 4th try, but the other 3 were editied out?)
Most of the projects I build take up anywhere from 40 to 90 hours. I recently build a coffee table, a side table, and a TV table out of maple with inlaid mahogany and custom rosettes. That took 90 hours. Now I'm building a walnut dining room table (I gave up on the wenge, for those of you who remember me asking about wenge). I estimate that it will take me about 40-50 hours total to build this table. But one key thing to remember is that this is hobby for me -- it doesn't pay the rent, so I can take my time.
X_HOBBES

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    Greetings and Salutations....
wrote:

    As mentioned elsewhere, he actually builds THREE copies of the project.     1) The prototype, which deals with any glitches in the design of the project. It also allows him to determine what jigs and fixtures would help in the process.     2) Copy #1 - from which he builds and refines the jigs and fixtures that actually DO work on the project.     3) Copy #2 - The version that is filmed as it is constructed and goes on air.

    Apparently the only "help" he gets is cleanup. He does all the layout, cutting and construction. There have been some amusing moments over the years, when we get to see him running a full sheet of 3/4" plywood through the tablesaw (for, I believe, a bookcase project) and, struggling to get a Mission Style sofa together (a LOT of stiles, and some heavy bits that need to be laid in place).

    There is a lot of "excess" project edited out. Quite a number of shows have him working over several days on the finished project. They let us see him cutting the FIRST one of a repeated part, then skip over the rest. They probably DO cut out "oops", and recuts, but not all mistakes. I recall when he tried building a rounded base, wine cabinet, and, had to try at least three times to get the thin cherry to curve around the frame without breaking. It was probably the "worst" problems we saw though.     I will say that I have seen a number of times where the camera has panned away from what looks to me like an obvious error in cutting the stock, and, it is never mentioned.     Which, of course, makes sense. After all, NYW has VERY limited amounts of airtime, and, Morash does not want to waste it with proving to the world that Norm is human too.     Speaking of which, if we want to see the process, let me remind y'all of the webcam page at the website, which includes a taping schedule...     http://www.newyankee.com/yankeecam.php

    Hear, Hear! My shop time is more for balancing out the stresses of modern life...it is not there to be a profit center. If it were...it would not be a lot of fun, and, I would have to drop a chunk of cash on machines to cut down the unit price of the things I build.     In any case, it is really impossible for me, as an American, to compete on a per hour cost with the many excellent woodworkers in India, China, Malaysia, and other such countries. Until I can figure out how to keep the truck in Diesel while making $0.50/hour, that is just not going to happen.     Toss into that the simple fact that everyone works at a different pace. I might be able to turn out a nicely dovetailed joint in 20 minutes, where it would take someone else an hour (and Taig Fried (sic) about 3 minutes...and they would look a LOT better, too). Work at the pace that is comfortable for you...and don't sweat over whether or not someone else can do it quicker. If you get heat over it from the "SO", then, invite them out to the shop and let THEM try it.     Regards     Dave Mundt
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Not to criticise Norm's skill because I'm sure I'll never be in his league, but once in awhile I see him do something really unsafe. I'm not talking about stuff like cutting wood on the tablesaw without the guard because I know it's been removed for photography purposes.
The one time he made a cut on the tablesaw that really made me cringe was the time when he was constructing the four poster bed. He'd glued together the strips of wood for the curved sections that connected the tops of the four posts. He then took this curved piece and freehand, cut strips off it with the tablesaw. Except for sections of this curved piece that intermittently touched the tablesaw bed, the rest of it was held by him in mid air as he fed it though. I was gritting my teeth as he did it.
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You know, what you need is a good post-production crew to edit out all of your excess time! Don't compare yourself to the television- they fit a lot of work into 25 minutes because 25 minutes is what they've got. Hell, sometimes I spend 25 minutes just looking for a tool I need. Six hours to add the internal elements to a cabinet the right way is a drop in the bucket. Sure, you could've done it in 15 minutes with some L-brackets and a level, but it would have looked like junk- and I'm sure that what you did came out looking great. The extra care is almost always justifed, and FWIW, it doesn't sound like you're all that slow to me.
Aut inveniam viam aut faciam
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Options are limited.
Yell at one of the large and lazy offspring,home from college for the weekend? Turn your back and they're gone, sometimes while the glue's spread and you're playing "Beat the Clock" with the clamps.
Call down the esteemed spouse? She's result-oriented, and requires a full description of the eventual project, the pieces involved, and the effect it might have on that corner of the living room before she'll "hold this while I tighten this end."
If the kids are under thirteen or over 25, you've got a shop helper.
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I think that I usually spend as much or more time figuring out how I am going to make something, than I do actually making it. Then there is always the "whoops" factor, and I can't ever seem to get a job done without at least one whoops. The project, always seems to take way longer than I expect, even on my production pieces. I was semi-pro (made enough money to support my habbit, but not enough to quit the day job) for 10 years, and have been pro for 2 years. I am getting faster, and more importantly better. Most important is fun and satisfaction. robo hippy
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<snip>

right.. and the CSI guys get post mortem reports, DNA results, etc. in under an hour, so they can solve the case..
mac
Please remove splinters before emailing
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Ahh Lou, If Norm was that fast, we'd have a new project aired every day vs. the 15 or so per year. Don't get me wrong, I can't possibly build 15 projects a year but of course it's a hobby for me and this thing called work takes up most of my time...sigh.
Don't get discouraged! Hows that 1023SL working out for you anyway? Cheers, cc
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Hi cc,
1023SL greetings to you buddy - I'm having a great time with my 500 lb baby - how about you? It just purrs along with nary a quiver - have been making jigs for it - panel cutter & crosscut sled so far, with more to come.
Been working on adding a router table to the right side - so far I drilled a couple of holes in the fence and right wing (no political intent here!). Trying to decide if I should just make my own insert or cough up 50 bucks and get the 1/4 aluminum plate from Rockler - still cogitating (sp?).
How'd that rusty wing work out for ya? Knowing Grizzly, they made it right.
---------- To all,
As far as working slow, I sort of got a reprieve today. About 2+ hours and I finished my other cabinet - shelved and even stuck some oak strips on the edging! Almost in "production" mode now.
Seriously, a lot of time *IS* spent on setting stuff up, changing bits & blades and just standing ther wondering if there is anything that you didn't think of - before you run that first dado.
My comment about Norm was in jest of course. Since I have been watching/taping him since season "1", I realize that he takes at least *twice* as long to make something as what we see on TV. <g>.
Thanks all for your expertise & encouragement.
This is a great place (despite occassional "problems").
Layed back & enjoying the fresh-cut oak wafting about.....
Lou

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Hiya Lou, Well I'm sorry to say that it sounds like you've been putting your's to a lot more work than I have mine! I've gotten tangled up in doing saltillo floors in the house and haven't had so much as a minute to do anything in the woodworking realm. :( .
I do plan to get some bookshelves built, a dresser, a couple of tables and some chairs but until I get the tile down, the beast sits idle.
As for the wing, yup, they sent a new one immediately and didn't want the old one. I think I'll use the old one in some fashion as a sharpening station or something.
Glad to see you're getting your $$'s worth and it's working well. Can't wait to put mine through the paces. I hope to be done with all the saltillo stuff in a couple of weeks and then it's off to the lumber yard! Cheers, cc
wrote:

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