In Progress

It’s been a long and frustrating journey in the shop since I started working on our furniture project. I’ve screwed up and had to undo a full days work, wasted time looking for help, couldn’t work because there wasn’t enough room or tools, and once I finally did have to tools and room, it took me a minimum of 50% longer to do a job than it should have. I’ll explain: I’m doweling some of walnut boards together to make a larger board. I check out the doweling jig, drill, and bit, and maybe some other things like tape and a ruler. I get to work and am about half way done when the shop guy walks out around 11 for lunch and says, “No power tools!” Well that’s all the work I can do until he decides to come back…at 1:15! So there isn’t really anything left for me to do, so I get lunch myself. Come back finish up drilling and testing everything like the clamp orientation, etc. then I get him to go check my work because I don’t want to screw up again, and that takes him a good 15 minutes to get the 20 feet over to my station because he gets preoccupied with OTHER people needing help. Finally, I’m able to glue up and then it’s just a waiting game. I decide to bring home some pieces to at least drill overnight. Justin’s roommate Kyle has all kinds of tools, and thank goodness! We set up a little table outside their garage in the morning and got an entire (that is, 3) boards doweled accurately in about 15 minutes. The day before, I spent from 10 am until 3:30 pm (including the lunch break) doing essentially the same amount of work. That was it for me. I went to Home Depot and bought clamps, went to school to pick up the rest of my boards and finished them at Justin’s house. I/we did 3 boards total, or 9 individual dowelings and glue ups of 3 each in one day, stress free. I am beside myself. I’ve never felt so stressed and frustrated and helpless all at once. The place that we are supposed to get stuff done in and that we have access to power tools and machines was essentially screwing me up! If I had done it that way, it would have taken me at least 4 days to do the same amount of work!

Anyway, that’s that, and that’s even somewhat of an abbreviated version! What I got done yesterday was of much better quality than what I got done alone using tools that probably needed to be sharpened (it took me at least 2 minutes to drill a hole about 3/4″ deep; using Kyle’s drill bit, it took about 10 seconds, if that). There were even points where the bit was burning the wood, which wasn’t good, but at least it smelled nice!

I’ve attached a picture of one of the glued up boards. Yes I know the tags are still on the clamps, and there is a reason for that. It took me 5 hours to do that same amount of work alone at school, and probably a combined total of 30 minutes (not including the waiting time for the glue to set) to do it at home. It’s been CRAZY! I still have a ton of work to do, so it’s off to work for me!

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