First, let me say “sorry” to my fellow bloggers and my subscribers for my absence. Frankly, I have been worn out and I needed a break from a number of things, but now I am back.
I have two interesting commissions on the horizon; I am going to make a custom pool cue rack, and a friend of mine wants a custom dining room table that can extend up to 10’ feet. I also have to prepare for the Baltimore American Craft Council Show in late February. I have also fallen behind on my Virtual Handtool School homework. So with all this work, I better be prepared.
Generally, before I start any new project, I like to have the shop ready. What does it matter? I’ll tell you. On a Time and Materials commission or even a fixed price commission, time is everything. Time is money, and time stops for no one, especially for a dead line. So how do I save time? I get the shop ready for each new project. Now I am sure part of this process partially stems from my OCD tendencies, but there is more to getting ready cleaning up saw dust.
The most important thing for me is getting all my tools ready. Are all my chisels sharpened? Are my planes sharp, tuned, and clean? Is my table saw top free of rust and waxed? Are my handsaws treated with mutton tallow? Does my bandsaw have the right blade in it, and is the top clean and waxed? Are my clamps ready to go? This is the type of preparation I like to have done before starting a project. Once I start, I don’t want to lose a bunch of time grinding a nick out of a chisel. It’s kinda like a surgeon who has all his/her tools properly placed and ready for action as needed.
When I start drawing or writing, I like to be left alone and the same applies to the shop. Once I’m in there and the muse has channeled into me, leave me alone. So why have a messy shop or misplaced tool interrupt that flow. Once that connection is made with the muse, the laws of time seem to change, and I love being in that zone.
Do you do this, or am I just crazy?