Monday, January 5, 2009

New Years Surprises, Revelations & Resolutions

The holidays are over, the tree is down, the family room and life in general are back to normal this morning. And what a great Christmas it was. Several of the high points were being able to surprise the Mrs with a gift, (that is rare), and being able to find a "wishbone" necklace to give my daughter. The wishbone reference is a long story involving my grandson and a Christmas wish from several years ago. It is better saved for a later post.

On the subject of surprises, I had an odd one this morning.

To give a little background, one of my best "tool" acquisitions was five years ago, November last. I decided I wanted to get into wood turning and after about six months or so of research, daydreaming and planning, I purchased a Oneway 12/36 lathe. I went all the way with accessories including a bed extension to enable me to turn longer pieces, with the plan being to build Shaker rockers and chairs. I also was very much interested in turning bowls, segmented pieces and parts for furniture. All has gone well and although I don't consider myself "accomplished" yet, the learning has been without incident. I have made several things that I am really proud of (pictured above) and have the wood stored to build a set of dining room chairs and a trestle table.

This is the surprise. One of the things I promised myself when I got the lathe was to keep a journal of the learning progress. I would keep a record of the things I had learned, the mistakes I had made and in general how to repeat things I had done "right".

This morning, I fetched that journal into the house to look it over and found I had not made an entry since March of 2004! Now, I knew I had been remiss, and not used it like I had planned, but I had no idea it had been THAT long. After thinking about it for a minute or so, I realized that I have not turned anything in six months or better also. I'm sort of ashamed.

So here are my New Years' resolutions: Not only am I going to be more diligent in keeping notes, I'm going to try to be more organized in other areas as well. I'm going to clean up the shop and reorganize things to have more sensible storage. I'm going to finally build a workbench more suited to hand tool work, and use more hand tools. I'm (by God) going to learn to use handplanes without shredding every piece of wood they come in contact with. I'm going to get on with the projects I have planned in the back of my head and do more planning on paper, than in the back of my head.  And finally, I' going to get rid of the things I tend to save for no earthly reason other than I can't bear to throw them out. (OCD rears it's ugly rear end.) This one resolution alone will get me enough space for the Laguna 16" band saw I plan to purchase in the spring. All noble promises, so wish me luck.