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Tony Wilkins

What to finish...

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Here’s my unfortunate pattern. I feel good for a while, I get excited about woodworking, I start a project, I hit a rough patch with my health that lasts a few to several months, I start to feel good for a while, I get excited about woodworking, I forget where I was on my last project, I start a new project, I hit a rough patch... and on this has gone ad nauseum.

I’m hitting one of my good patches and want to get out into the shop. But I don’t want to start over, I want to finish one of my former projects. Here’s what I have:

1. A Roubo book stand as seen on Roy Underhill a few seasons ago. I’ve got the knuckle joint marked out and a little short of halfway knocked out.

2. A shaker table from Schwarz video. Ran out of energy trying to saw out the leg stock from 8/4 walnut but have the top and sides (minus the drawer) ready.

3. A Dutch tool chest. Have the sides sawn out and dovetail tails cut in one board but wasn’t happy with them. My first go at dovetails in anger.

4. The bookcase from The Anarchist design book. Got the sides, kick, and back cross board cut. Wife really wanted me to do this but got tired of waiting and went out and bought pasteboard crap (at least it was used and cheap).

so there’s where I’m out. Got all the tools I need for each project and the wood. Any thoughts on which one I should tackle?

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6 minutes ago, RichardA said:

The easiest.

Which one is that?

 

5 minutes ago, C Shaffer said:

Book stand. When the first goes badly...you have not lost much material. :)

Had that in mind.  My hang up with wanting to finish it is the amount of bowsawing curves on the top and making the feet.

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1 hour ago, Tony Wilkins said:

Which one is that?

 

 

Only you know the answer to that. Only you know how far along you are on any one of them, Only you know how much of which material you have on hand to complete any one project. Only you know if you're even interested in really finishing either one of them.

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I think for the benefit of you personally, if it were me, I think I would decide which one is the closest to finishing or the easiest one to get finished and go after that one.  Even if you had to do something like Steve mentioned, us a saber saw in stead of the bow saw.  But do something that gets you to the finish line and you have the feeling of a completed project.

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A few thoughts:

Whatever your health issues are, take a look at doing some physical therapy. Even for serious illnesses, moving around helps the body maintain strength, flexibility and endurance. Ideally your therapist can suggest exercises that help reinforce woodworking muscles.

As to forgetting where you were in a project, it can help to keep a notebook and write down what you finish, even if it's a mundane step like "calibrate table saw." That way it can help you recall what you were doing before the trail was lost.

If even your current pending projects seem daunting, do something simpler but relevant. Built a jig or some shop furniture. Sometimes the biggest hurdle is just getting started, and working on items that don't have a high emotional investment can help you get back in the saddle again. Get the easy win and go from there!

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17 hours ago, Tony Wilkins said:

Had that in mind.  My hang up with wanting to finish it is the amount of bowsawing curves on the top and making the feet.

I think I would recommend a scroll saw. If the sawing is running you down, minimize the sawing you do by hand. Many an old timer pass the time only cutting plaques and things with a scroll saw around here. I am not calling you an old timer or trying to insult your physical capabilities. I am simply trying to address what you have said and a bit of what might be drawn from that. 

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1 hour ago, ClassAct said:

A few thoughts:

Whatever your health issues are, take a look at doing some physical therapy. Even for serious illnesses, moving around helps the body maintain strength, flexibility and endurance. Ideally your therapist can suggest exercises that help reinforce woodworking muscles.

As to forgetting where you were in a project, it can help to keep a notebook and write down what you finish, even if it's a mundane step like "calibrate table saw." That way it can help you recall what you were doing before the trail was lost.

If even your current pending projects seem daunting, do something simpler but relevant. Built a jig or some shop furniture. Sometimes the biggest hurdle is just getting started, and working on items that don't have a high emotional investment can help you get back in the saddle again. Get the easy win and go from there!

I do physical therapy once a week.  My issue is nerve related; my myelin sheets are going away. 

 

1 hour ago, C Shaffer said:

I think I would recommend a scroll saw. If the sawing is running you down, minimize the sawing you do by hand. Many an old timer pass the time only cutting plaques and things with a scroll saw around here. I am not calling you an old timer or trying to insult your physical capabilities. I am simply trying to address what you have said and a bit of what might be drawn from that. 

The sad thing is I have a band saw sitting in the garage for 3-4 years waiting to get set up.  Any suggestions on a scroll saw?  Is that also called a jig saw?

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Jig saws are free hand. They will cut curves. Scroll saws have a table and typically cut with a finer narrow blade. I don’t use one to know models, I just know two grandads around me who never stopped cutting stuff until they passed. For work like those bookstands, either way will work. Just throwing out ideas. 

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