Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Year in review

So did I get everything done this year that I wanted, no.Did I reach the goals I wanted to do this year, no.Is this disappointing or unexpected, no.There are always things that I want to do but I do not get to because something more interesting comes up.So here are some of the highlights:

* I had a goal of making enough money to buy a lathe.I did not even come close.I did have some sales but as most hobbies, I lost more money than I spent, but I almost broke even.My wife says I will never get a lathe because there are more important tools that I need or want.To be honest, she is probably right.I am going to need another belt sander.My current one is starting to jump the belt and I feel it is going to die soon.I also need to build a router table and get a plate for it also.I am also going to need a miter saw.I will someday have to return my father's saw, but right now it works where it is at.In fact I have his planer also.

* I still want to make the Marvelous Transforming Toys from a few years back.I even have some of the patterns attached to blanks.There are just other things that came up.I did catch up on all the construction equipment in the Wood Magazine publication and then another one came out a couple of months ago and there will be another piece in a month.It never ends.

* I never did any of the craft shows or online sales.It is not that I cannot do it, it is the fact that I am scared.I have a firm belief that if I commit to something then I fulfill the commitment.These toys and projects take a lot of time and I want to make sure they are safe.I want to have the toy complete before it is sold rather than take orders in fear that I will miss a child's birthday or Christmas.

Enough with the things I did not accomplish this year and on to the stuff I did do.

* The biggest thing is that I now have a garage. I can go out there when I want (and if it is ok with the wife) and spend a few hours and then come in to spend time with the family.I have a decent set up and I like how it all came together.

* I have switched to shellac.Not a huge thing but it is a pretty drastic change for me.I am glad I have all the equipment to use it.

* I finally finished a bed that fits a mattress.I love it.Beech was very nice to work with and it came out great.I have one more to make.I do not know if is going to be a bunk bed or not.We had a recent addition to the family so I have a couple of years to plan it all out.

* I have become a lot better at the scroll saw, evidenced with the last Christmas project.I am starting to lean more that way.The projects tend to take less time and setup is a breeze as long as I do not change the angle of the blade.I do not believe I will ever get into intarsia.It seems a little too precise and a lot of "sand until it looks good" projects and all the pieces have to fit perfectly together.

*I am listening to the Wood Talk podcast and realize there is a lot of stuff that I do not know about woodworking.One of them is strictly hand tools and so I am not even in the same league.It is interesting the things that I am picking up and they have the same problems that I encounter.So I am moving into using some of the technology that I have had at my fingertips.

* I also learned there is a difference in sandpaper.I am in love with the Ekoforce by Uneeda.I am getting smoother finishes, the paper is lasting longer and it does not clog up.

Goals for this year:

* Finish the monster trucks! I am almost done but the handwork is killing me.I also have some planes I need to finish.

* Of course catch up on the Wood Magazine construction equipment.It is a fantastic set.Maybe I will design one that is more toddler friendly.The acorn nuts keep coming off despite super glue and they are a choking hazard.

* We just got a CNC milling machine in the sample shop I manage.I am planning on learning it.I will not abuse my responsibility but I do have some access for personal projects.This is not the CNC machine that will carve ornate figures or designs.It is meant for sheet goods.The smallest tool I have on it is a 1/4" ball end mill.

* Of course there is a Christmas project I have one planned.I don't think it will out due this year's.I am open for more.

* Last but not the least, not to accomplish anything but have fun doing it.

I am amazed at the traffic my blog gets.It isn't that great but it is interesting.I will occasionally see the traffic that comes through, where it originated and what they were looking at.To my surprise the most popular post is the "rocker template".I do not know why.There are a lot of hits also on the construction equipment and scroll saw projects.
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