Woodworking and Potato Chips

When does it ever end? Why does it affect nine out of ten woodworkers? You have probably seen commercials for it. You’ve seen a man walking along the beach with his dog while the announcer lists the symptoms: guilt, burning desires, odd dreams, empty wallet. Yes, I’m talking about New Tool Acquisition Syndrome (NTAS). Do you wake up in the middle night desiring a new set of chisels, do you while away the hours making up excuses to justify the purchase of a 132” drum sander? Speak with your doctor, or better yet, speak to your wife and let her slap some sense into you.

This time last year, I remember speaking with my accountant and telling him that I would be not be reinvesting my profits back into the business this year. But! I do want to buy a new table saw for a good price at the big woodworking show. And wouldn’t you know the bearings on my lathe started to go, so I went ahead and bought a new and better lathe, then the commissions started rolling in one after another, and what do you know, most of my profits went back into the business.

In my defense, owning a lathe is lot like a bag of potato chips, once you eat one, you just can’t stop! And once you start turning, there’s always just one more tool that you need. Ask any turner and they will tell you the same thing. Oddly enough, I do almost all my work with my 1/2” bowl gouge. Hummmmm, go figure. Hey, but that 4/9th’s spindle gouge will come in handy one day I’m sure.

Once again, I will categorically state that 2011 will be different. I will put a majority of my profits back into the household coffers. Although, I really do need a router plane, and it would be nice to have a better tenon saw, and that new work bench I want to build won’t come cheap. But I swear Honey, that new sliding miter saw just followed me home!

So when does it ever end? Can you really say, “I absolutely have everything I need.” It is a vicious cycle, the more tools you get, you more you want.

Stand up and admit you have NTAS and tell us your story. (It will feel better once you get it off your chest.)

About yaakov

Husband, Abba, Furniture Maker, Turner, Bookseller, and all around working stiff.
This entry was posted in In Yaakov's Workshop and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Woodworking and Potato Chips

  1. bongotastic says:

    I started only last year. Rapidly, I started to see bandsaws, jointers and thickness planers in my dreams. There cannot be a single project that I could think of that just didn’t absolutely required them… nothing could be done anymore. I must have drove my wife close to insanity until I applied “the band-aid solution”. I must say, the next time that I walked in a power tool store, I felt this powerful sense of inner peace as I realized that I did have everything that I wanted.
    However, this doesn’t hold for hand tools… and to be honest, that drum sander begging for a home last week just looked like what I need…

  2. bob says:

    I too have this problem and try not to spend too much but when i think i need something i buy it. It is a good thing my wife doesn’t know how much tools cost. I have a problem with too much wood, i have a very hard time turning down so called free wood even after i have ran out of any place to put it. This year i will try to do better. I keep telling myself i don’t need any more wood, unless it is some thing i don’t have.

  3. Lazy Larry says:

    My name is Larry and I am a toolaholic….
    I now have two Torque workcentres… one is set up with all the usual attachments… and the other is set up with the larger arm and a Hitachi 12 inch SCMS… and I have just set up an Incra router table with LS 17 positioned and Unilift.. now I just need the Wonder fence…..

  4. rakeandfleam says:

    Wise words Yaakov! I seem to have a bit of OTAS myself…Old Tool Acquisition Syndrome! 😉

  5. Torch02 says:

    I’ve had this come up every now and then. One thing that has helped restrain my impulses is that I’m absolutely out of room in my one-car garage/shop. I have to move things around to use a lot of my tools, so adding new tools doesn’t make any sense.

    Well maybe another plane… or hand saw… those will tuck in a corner easily, right? 😉

  6. Great post, Yaakov. Now, can I go buy…..I have three new band saw blades and a new part for the saw coming in the next week. I bought them last year. Do they count to 2011? What if I sell more carvings than anticipated? Then…. Oh, by the way, would you like to buy a few of my carvings? I found this new……. 🙂 Shalom.

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