My workshop isn’t much, but there’s all the basic tools – saws, sanders, screwdrivers, and sandpaper.  I have glue and clamps.  Tools are everywhere – on hooks, in drawers, on shelves or scattered on my assembly table.  It’s a small space, barely enough room for me and a few projects.

In winter, half the shop can be heated and in summer there’s a fan to kick up dust and provide a little air.  I often check the temperature before venturing out there.

Time is one thing lacking – never enough time.  I have a number of half finished projects and a longer list of projects I’d like to start.  I’d like to create more, do more, but … well, life, work, stuff.  There’s never enough time.

A few years ago I was asked to do a woodworking project at church.  My answer was, “The only way I can work on your project is by not finishing someone else’s project.”  Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to do everything you want and all the things you’re asked.

Life isn’t like that.  There are choices that we don’t want to make.

I’m not the greatest woodworker.  Precision is always a challenge for me, both because I don’t have enough skill and I haven’t invested in the best of tools.  The table saw fence isn’t parallel, the router table isn’t flat, the bandsaw blade bends, and I often miss add all those little fractions (quick, what’s half of 3/4 of an inch?).  There’s no promise that anything delivered from my shop is flat, square or level.

Still, there’s satisfaction in working the tools to craft something.  Reality rarely meets the fancy drawings I make.  I know I am a better craftsman than I was ten years ago.  I’ve learned a lot and have more confidence.  I make plenty of mistakes and often am frustrated that my results don’t meet my ideals.

The only real goal I have is doing what I can and being able to say, “I made this.”

About Andrew Reynolds

Born in California Did the school thing studying electronics, computers, release engineering and literary criticism. I worked in the high tech world doing software release engineering and am now retired. Then I got prostate cancer. Now I am a blogger and work in my wood shop doing scroll saw work and marquetry.
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24 Responses to Workshop

  1. First of all, 3/8 (though it took me a minute), second of all, I have no doubt you build stuff way better than 99% of the people I know, most definitely myself included. Cool that you’re humble about it, though. That’s more impressive than anything.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I laughed at the fraction question….math….ack!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Debra says:

    I can imagine you have many requests for your beautiful woodworking. There are still only so many hours in a week. I’m constantly trying to squeeze in more, but not successfully! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Flojo says:

    My husband’s projects are sometimes not perfect, but they are always good enough. I rely on him to take care of all those pesky repair or creative jobs. I feel sorry for women whose husbands have to call in an expensive professional. Your wife, like me, is blessed.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. My finished woodworking projects are often not quite what I’d seen in my mind’s eye, either. Our projects may not be perfect, but at least they work! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Christi says:

    “I made this” is a great goal! And while it may not seem like it now, it means a lot to other people too. I have some pieces my dad made and a small curio shelf my great grandfather made.


  7. Parallels your poetry and writing I think… Beautiful description of the conundrum of imperfection!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. dorannrule says:

    Crafting and creativity are the most satisfying endeavors. You have those talents for sure.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. That is appealing–being a creator. Like people who love gardening or cooking. There’s a satisfaction from creating you don’t get from working for someone else.

    Oh–I can help with the time thing. Put a clock in your workshop.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. willedare says:

    Thank you for this short, sweet and inspiringly human blog post. I agree with Jfwknifton. Perfectionism can sometimes be a curse — preventing us from finishing (or even attempting — anything. Hurrah for anything you and your slightly inaccurate tools manage to create!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. jfwknifton says:

    You could comfort yourself by the old Islamic idea that everything produced by man must contain imperfections as only God can create perfection. You are just making absolutely sure that you are carrying out the rules as prescribed.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. dfolstad58 says:

    Looking at something I did myself gives me satisfaction no matter the project size or complexity- it helps if it works!

    Liked by 2 people

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