This may seem like a wierd question. It came up in a post below. I have
of late discovered that I really enjoy woodworking with someone else.
Not that I still need solo time so I can get a more done but say once a
week I have a friend over we woodwork sometimes indepently sometimes on
the same project, afterwords we have a beer and play pool. Maybe it is
just because I am an extrovert, maybe I am just wierd. Whatever the
case I really enjoy working with/teaching others in the shop. I find it
nice to bounce ideas off each other and have someone to show the
brilliant, if insignificant, way I discovered to solve a problem.
So the question?
Do you like to woodwork alone?
Do you like to woodwork with a "buddy" for lack of a better term?
It occurs to me that if a lot of people are like me we ought to set up
a method of connecting newbies in a given area with more seasoned
termites. Again, maybe I am alone on this one.
For me, working with someone else in the shop is distracting. If it's my
workshop and they're using MY tools, I am legally liable for anything that
happens so I'd be more intent on watching my friend that what I'm doing.
Good recipe for mistakes and accidents.
I prefer to go it alone!
It's funny I like to have someone to show the result of the efforts
prior to delivering to a client, but don't generally find working with
someone else to be that great. It's nice to have someone in the same
area to talk to occasionally, but I get uncomfortable with people using
my sharp planes and chisels that don't know how to sharpen them, or how
expensive they were. I think if I could work in a really large shared
space where everyone had a studio with their own equipment I would get
into it, but as it is I like working alone.
There are certain operations where two people can more than double the
output: cutting up plywood on a panel saw, running stock through a
planer or wide belt sander, ripping on a table saw, and some assembly
If the other person is safe, sober, and knows what he's doing, it's
enjoyable for me to have someone else in the shop.
I've also worked in other's shops --- primarily making parts for
Windsor chairs and settees.
Bingo ... last week, with help, I cut parts (except for end panels, thanks
again, Leon!) and put together 5 large wall cabinets in less than a day.
working alone it took me another 4 days to do the remaining 9.
Actually, I enjoy working with another woodworker, whether they are skilled
or not, as long as they enjoy it ... and it sure makes for easier assembly.
Besides, SWMBO needs an occasional break. :)
Geez Swingman, it took me 4 days to build 7 cabinets. ;~( I did however
totally sand and stain all of them. Now the raised panel doors. BTY you
can rest assured that my cabinets went together just fine, although I had my
I think it really depends on what I'm doing and how big the job is...
For example, I sure wouldn't want help turning a bowl, but it's nice to have my
wife doing the staining and stuff while I work..
Some of my best experiences in my shop have been helping a few neighbors with
their small projects.. mainly the planning, cut out, etc...
A neighbor is refinishing an old chair and keeps it in the shop (the cats won't
let him take it out) and he comes by on weekends to sand, strip, whatever...
it's nice to be working on a project and have someone to talk to or help one
another lift or carry stuff..
Other times, my garage/shop is my refuge, and I want to be alone...
I actually got back into wood turning last year when I was trying to find
something to interest our 2 sons, that were visiting from out of state.. fired
up the Shopsmith and put a thin branch on it.. sort of worked on it whenever
they were nearby, and eventually all 3 of us were involved in turning, the 2 of
them for the first time.. that was very cool..
Please remove splinters before emailing
After you have worked with the same guy for over 20 years you start to
have thoughts of bad things that can be done with power tools!
Damn I'm glad I'm on vacation next week!
<just kidding....... mostly>
I'd say 80% of what I do is alone, and I like it that way. Hard to carry on
a meaningful conversation while you are subtracting 11/16 from 1 5/8. If a
neighbor drops by, I'll just stop what I'm doing. OTOH, while screwing
together a simple assembly or wiping on stain, I don't mind anyone being
around. The radio is almost always on.
I actually got into the hobby via a friend who was patient and
generous enough to work with me in his shop. He taught me a fair
amount and I got interested enough to continue. Actually, I probably
had the seed in me beforehand, but he helped get it growing.
There are times when it's nice to have help also (hanging cabinets,
cutting ply, generally manhandling large objects)..
That said, there are other time where it's nice to work alone.
So, in answer to your question - a combination of both, ratio to be
determined by your own wishes/needs.
On 31 Mar 2005 10:08:03 -0800, "hikinandbikin"
I don't even like the wife in the same area when she's just watching.
It's too distracting for me to worry about what someone else *might*
be doing to my tools, which, aside from my house, are the largest
investment I have.
Aut inveniam viam aut faciam
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