Tom Iovino came up with the idea for “Get Woodworking Week”. As I thought about it, it got me pondering the idea I had a few weeks ago. At that time I started and need to continue to follow my plan.
Everyone’s schedule is busy these days. Myself, I work full time, I am going back to school, I help coach my daughters basketball team, I help with my wife’s business when she needs it, I am a board member and webmaster for NE Wisconsin Woodworkers Guild, trying to do the blogging / podcasting thing, and there’s a ton of other stuff that I’m not thinking of right now too. Finding time to get in the shop is not always an easy task.
For a long time I would work my butt off all week with the hope I would get “ahead” on stuff enough to get a whole day in the shop on the weekend. But, somehow, even if I got ahead enough to get that days of worth of time (which rarely happened anyway) it was never used for woodworking. The weekends always fill up if there is time open. Either something comes up or a relative or friends finds out I have time and fill it for me.
So, last week I started just walking down stairs to the shop whenever there was time. There are times I would have no more than 5 minutes and times I got a couple hours in the shop. In the course of 5 days I finished up my mini router table base, designed and built a saw till (still working on the drawer), sharpened my chisels, practiced my dovetails, cleaned up and organized the shop, turned two pens, installed a bork splitter in my table saw, and finished up a few projects that have been waiting way too long. Instead of waiting until I had “all the time I need in the shop” just taking the time I can get I did more in one week than I could do in a couple of weekends in a row. Even if I did get the illusive full days in the shop.
During one week of committing myself to just get my “arsch” in the shop and do anything I have time for, I feel better and more confident in the shop when I go down there. There is no substitute for using the tools to get better at the skills we use as woodworkers. Even though I have made an uncountable number of cuts with my tablesaw using it almost every day makes things go much smoother. And having limited time gets me to use it safer and more efficiently. Cutting a board to a line with a hand saw or planning an edge at 90 takes practice. The more often I do these tasks the more confident I am that the results will be dead on. Because of my time to unwind in the shop and do the woodworking I enjoy, I feel better and more relaxed too. I am defiantly going to keep up my new shop time no schedule, schedule.
So, if you have 5 minutes, 5 hours, or 5 days, take the time and sharpen, cut, plane, sand, carve, turn, and finish as much and as often as you can. You will be happier in your shop and no matter if you just started woodworking or have been making sawdust for a life time, you will increase and improve you skills.
It boils down to exactly what Tom stated with this week … GET WOODWORKING !!!