Jeff Foxworthy, the “You Might Be A Redneck” guy has written a Redneck
Dictionary that may be next on my book purchase list. There are Redneck
terms and phrases, which, when you really think about them, are very
Case in point “I’m fixin’ to . . .” - in a woodworking context.
Whether you’re a Normite or Neanderm, there are ALWAYS things you MUST
MUST do, or SHOULD do, before you get to actually doing the thing you
intend to do. Regardless of how the work is to be done, there’s a bunch
of preparatory operations to do - fence settings, depth of cut
adjusting, parts identification, measurements and marking, layout lines
to inscribe, stops to set, test pieces to make BEFORE doing the real
thing, test finishes on scraps of the real thing, inumberable dry
fitting, checking, etc., etc., etc. ( to quote Yule Brenner - who?).
Unless you do limited production runs of all the a parts for a
particular piece, I’m guessing close to three quarters of the time
involved with making something is actually “fixin’ to”. Another 15 to
20 percent of the time is spent “ cogitatin’ “, another southern term
I’ll leave for others to define / describe.
Then there’s the modifcation / improvements to “store bought” tools and
machines. Think of all the mods you’ve made to just about any machine
or commercial jig in your shop. Hell, even a Lie Nielsen socket chisel
or plane could use some tweekin’ - a micro bevel, a little shaving or
sanding to get the grip just right, maybe a few passes on 8000 grit to
polish the back.
Having really thought about this, I’ve concluded that a VAST majority of
my shop time is devoted to “ fixin’ to “, most of the rest is “
cogitatin’ “ and very little actually making, assembling and finishing a
piece in wood.
Oh, and I’m pretty sure Waiting For Godot was writtern while the author
was “waiting for the glue to dry” or “waiting for the finish to dry”.
But that’s a topic for another time.
So what’s your “fixin’ to” time eater?