AW Episode # 012 – When Life Interrupts Your Woodworking


Oh my!  It has been forever since I was able to podcast!  Between loosing several weekends to illness / busting it at the office / and certain life events, I have not had a spare second.  Even though I am still sick, I wanted to publish a podcast to get back into the flow of things.  So, I am apologizing up front.  This is not my best episode, but I am releasing it anyways to get back into the flow of things.

Today’s subject really has a simple answer.   When life keeps you out of the shop and interrupts that big project, change your focus to little things, at least until you have the time to devote to that big project again.  What did I do?  I turned some pens and bottle stoppers on my lathe and started making wooden boxes out of scrap wood to protect certain electrical plugs around the yard.  My Christmas light obsession was being crushed by record levels of rain.  I was not about to spend 60 hours putting up Christmas lights and they not work due to the GFI tripping in the rain.   So, the problem areas were protected by small wooden boxes that I painted black.  I got 75% of my lights to work, despite the second highest amount of rain in Georgia recorded history.

I am looking forward to 2014 and making it the best year ever!  Until next time, I hope everyone can get into their shop and build useful works of art.


Starting the 2014 woodworking year off right

Hey Avid Woodworkers!

I know it has been a while since I have posted anything or published a podcast. It is not due to a lack of desire or passion to do it. It is, unfortunately, due to a series of life events coupled with another passion/obsession of mine. . . Christmas Lights.

Hopefully you will forgive me, because it is 2014 and this is the year that we are going to build a record number of Useful Works of Art!

In order to do that, I think it is helpful to sit back on reflect on what happened the previous year. Ask yourself, “Did I accomplish what I wanted to in the shop? Did I finish all the projects I wanted to?” If yes, then repeat that success for the next year and see if you can improve on your workflow so you can do even more or take on more challenging projects. If no, why not? Where you over ambitious? Did you get side tracked with other projects that were not on your original list? Or, did some unexpected life events really throw you off? If it was the latter, that is ok.

In case you are interested, here are my thoughts on what happened with me:

So if you have not gathered from my podcasts, I tend to fill every aspect of my day. I have trouble sitting still. That is great, except for when things happen that you do not expect or are not on your calendar. This year, I got sick almost a record number of times. More than I have in the past five years put together! So, I have to look back to the last time I was really healthy all year. It was 2007. I don’t think I got sick in 2007. Why is this important? Because I don’t have much time to woodwork. When I loose several weekends to illness, that has a major impact on finishing my projects (not to mention, podcasting on a regular basis).

What did I do in 2007 that was different? I had lost significant weight and got on a regular workout program. What happened this year? I kept telling myself I did not have time to workout because I had to get some time in on this project, that project, or podcasting. Did skipping working out give me more time IN TOTAL over the course of the year? No, not when you account for the negative health ramifications of gaining weight and leaving my body vulnerable to illness. So, I am going back to working out at least five days a week. Yes, that takes away thirty minutes a day, but staying healthy keeps me out of bed and in the shop.

So, please learn from one of my mistakes. Don’t sacrifice some form of exercise in exchange for time in the shop. If you are like me, it will catch up to you.