Counterproductive – meant in two ways

Slowly workin’ away on the workshop.  It’s still fun.  So, I am going slower to stretch it out a bit.  Plus, I am getting a bit fussier in my work these days.  When we started into this DIY madness ten years ago, a ‘cut’ within half an inch was good enough.  Now, not so much – now it has to be a snug fit or it won’t do.  ‘Magine that?  Just as the project begins to wind down, we get good at it.

Well, Sal’s standards are higher, too.  That is definitely the larger part of it.  She nags til it’s done right.  She calls it supervision.  I must admit that things fit better and look better.  But she’s relying on my design and engineering so it may not actually BE any better.  We’ll see.

We used to work to the 30-year rule: “It only has to last as long as we might and we are not likely to last 30 years so relax!”   Sadly, we are now working to the 20-year rule.  And, ironically, we are getting better and better.  By the time I am working to the five year rule, I will be the Stradivarius of the cottage world.  Go figure, eh?

Ever built a workbench?  Well, I have.  Lots of them. Had to – they kept falling apart.  So, this time, I wanted to build one that would last.  You know, at least twenty more years?  But all the great workbenches I know of that last a long time are of the heavy-duty, blackened by the charcoal from the Smithy’s furnace and misshaped from the constant blows of his massive hammer – type.  Only aesthetically pleasing workbench I ever saw was a gazillion dollar masterpiece on display at Lee Valley.  It’s still there, of course.  Honda Civic’s are less expensive.

And, anyway, a man has to build his own workbench if he already went and built his own workshop, don’t you think?  It would be wussy not to.  So, I am.  Slowly.

Trying to think my way through this…….how to produce a nice, orderly work counter?

Normally that is not such a chore.  I can visualize.  But not this time.  This time it is hard to see order from what has always been chaos.  I have a plethora of tools spread higgledy-piggledy all over the place.  I have a batch wherever I ended up as I finished, started or interrupted one project after another.  Many tools make it from project to project but some are still back at the last effort.  Or the one before that.

But make no mistake, I am pretty good with this system.  I can remember back at least six projects…..Hmmmm, when was the last time I used that special clamp………….?  That would be January of last year.  I was down at the boatshed.  And I’d go down and check and sure enough, there it is.  Just where I put it.  A little over a year ago…………

Having duplicates of tools helps, too.  In my system, triplicates is even better.

Normally, ya don’t fix it if it ain’t broke and my tool-finding system works just fine – if I lived alone!

IF you have a wife who thinks cleanliness is next to Godliness and can’t help herself from tidying up, my system is severely flawed.  She sneaks around and tidies up.  Behind my back.  And so, things get put away and I don’t know where they are.  “Hey, Sal!  You seen my skill saw?  I was just cutting some two-bys and I went to pee and when I came back, it was gone!  You see any strangers lurking about?  What the hell?”    

“Oh, sorry Sweetie.  I just saw it lying there and so I packed it up and took it downstairs and put it in that locker where the other hand tools are.  I think it is under a lot of stuff.  I just cleaned up. Oh, and all the two-bys are under the house.  Under a tarp.  Tied up.”

“I was gone three minutes…………..?” 

“Snooze ya loose.”

2 thoughts on “Counterproductive – meant in two ways

  1. Have you noticed that gophers spend hours each day digging? Seems the reason is that as the first digger is digging, following along a few minutes later, digger two is filling the newly excavated holes. It’s Zen really, the yin and yang of balanced forces. The circle of life. The metric of countervailing exuberances. It’s mete.

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  2. I have the opposite problem at work.
    Im a bit of a neat freak and my coworkers are pigs. I clean a work bench and put all the tools back.
    15 minutes later it looks like a room full of spastic jugglers with Tourettes Syndrome have been there with delusions of self importance……
    Sometimes I’ll leave the bench for a week or so but the pile just developes layers of tools.
    Then I snap and clean it up……..
    My lot in life I suppose.

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