Author Topic: time between projects  (Read 1884 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline HowardH

  • Posts: 1417
time between projects
« on: September 18, 2022, 04:00 PM »
I just finished my last project and cleaned up the shop this afternoon.  Tools back in their Systainers, saw dust blown out into the driveway, stuff put back in the cabinets, etc.  I don't have anything else scheduled for awhile although my wife told me I need to build a toy chest for the daughter of a friend of ours.  I was curious as to how long any of you guys will go between projects?  I always feel a bit guilty if I don't have something going on regular schedule, mostly because of the well into 5 figure investment I have in tools. Other than for work or medical reasons, how long has your longest stretch between projects?
Howard H
The Dallas Texas Festool Fanatic!

Mark Twain:  "I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a letter approving of it." "If you tell the truth you don't have to remember anything."

mft1080, P1cc, MFT/3, T15, TID-18, RO150FEQ, ETS EC 150, MT55cc, RTS400, CT22, CT36E, 800, 1080, 1400, 1900 rails, OF 2200, OF1400, CSX, C18, VacSys, Vecturo, Domino, Qwas dogs, Parf Dogs, Zobo's, Syslite Uni, CMS GE, Sawstop contractor, PM 1500, Shaper Origin. Felder AF-14

Offline woodbutcherbower

  • Posts: 451
Re: time between projects
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2022, 04:28 PM »
I was curious as to how long any of you guys will go between projects?  I always feel a bit guilty if I don't have something going on regular schedule, mostly because of the well into 5 figure investment I have in tools. Other than for work or medical reasons, how long has your longest stretch between projects?

As a commercial woodworker - around ten minutes [sad]

Don't feel guilty, @HowardH - feel lucky. Woodworking as a hobby (irrespective of $$$$ tool investment) is an enjoyable and rewarding pastime which should be free from any form of pressure, deadline or guilt, especially when it's self-imposed. Relax, chill out, enjoy your hobby, and remember that those neatly-stored and cleaned boxes are ready and waiting for when the next project comes along.







You really need to get that toy chest started ..... and sweep your driveway.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2022, 04:34 PM by woodbutcherbower »

Offline ChuckS

  • Posts: 3821
Re: time between projects
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2022, 06:12 PM »
Usually, as a hobbyist, I do a furniture build every 5 to 7 months, with 4 or 5 smaller projects done outside those builds, averaging 6 finished pieces -- small and large -- a year (for the past decade).

I have had the guilty feeling not because of my tool investment, but because of the time remaining for me to do projects actively given my age. I'm planning to start disposing of my tools and machines in about 10 to 15 years.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2022, 06:26 PM by ChuckS »

Online Bob D.

  • Retailer
  • *
  • Posts: 2979
    • My Cordless Workshop
Re: time between projects
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2022, 08:14 PM »
"I have had the guilty feeling not because of my tool investment, but because of the time remaining for me to do projects actively given my age. I'm planning to start disposing of my tools and machines in about 10 to 15 years."

I was thinking the same last week. I have two SILs and two Grandsons who are now both pre-teen. The bulk of my tools will go to the four of them. Some were given to me by my Grandfather and Great Uncle back in the 60s. Closing in on 70 so not a lot of years left I figure. Fifteen if I'm lucky. I hope I'm here long enough to get some time in the shop with the Grandsons. They don't have much interest now, hopefully they will later.
-----
It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?

Offline Steve1

  • Posts: 214
Re: time between projects
« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2022, 07:19 AM »
I probably go about 6 month break between major projects, but might do some minor projects in between.

Been working on my current dresser project for an embarrassingly long time, since spring.   Just doing the finish now.

After that, I have a small project planned for making my own table saw miter gage, fixed at exactly 90 degrees.

Next will probably be a couple of barrister bookcases for the office.   Maybe I will take this opportunity to start working with white oak instead of hard maple.

Offline kevinculle

  • Posts: 500
Re: time between projects
« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2022, 07:49 AM »
I would suggest a change in perspective, among the most productive activities over the long haul are workspace organization, maintenance, alignment and calibration of your machines, and honing your skills like hand tool sharpening and joinery fabrication.  I prefer to learn and develop new skills on smaller jobs that only might take a few days to execute, rather than on a large build where a less than perfect outcome has much higher costs down the line.  I may only build 4 or 5 significant projects in a year, but I spend at least a few hours of most days in the shop.  Of course, being blissfully retired from the workplace for over 13 years makes that easier to accomplish.

Offline Crazyraceguy

  • Posts: 1886
Re: time between projects
« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2022, 09:59 AM »
I always struggle with the term woodworker, same as I do carpenter.
I guess I just over define them in my mind?
When on a job-site, the other trades refer to us as carpenters. That always strikes my funny, because I think of framers as carpenters. It is definitely a skilled job, but not even close to a cabinetmaker.
Guys who do windows, doors, moldings, etc are trim carpenters.
"Turners" are different, some overlap into other things, others not so much.
Tabletop CNC guys making signs, etc.
Luthiers?
It's all wood.
What I do is mostly sheet goods. It does involve some hardwood, but it's not an everyday thing.
I make a few table legs, shelf edges, and occasionally clad something in weathered old barnwood.
Once in a while I even do commissions for picture frames or cutting boards.
I think of woodworkers as the ones who do really cool carvings and ornate things like Cabriole legs, furniture, etc.
Cabinetmaker has changed a lot over the decades. It used to be all solid wood, furniture-like. Today, it's almost all sheet goods of some sort.
That said, there is never "time between projects". Many times, I work on more than one thing at once. I'll start something big, get interrupted for another more pressing job, then go back.
CSX
DF500 + assortment set
PS420 + Base kit
OF1010
OF1010F
OF1400
MFK700 (2)
TS55, FS1080, FS1400 holey, FS1900, FS3000
CT26E + Workshop cleaning set
RO90
RO125
ETS EC 125
RAS115
ETS 125 (2)
TS75
Shaper Origin/Workstation
MFT clamps set
Installers set
Centrotech organizer set

Offline woodbutcherbower

  • Posts: 451
Re: time between projects
« Reply #7 on: September 26, 2022, 12:13 PM »
@Crazyraceguy The distinction between different aspects of the trade has become blurred over the years, especially as guys have expanded their skillset to increase the scope of their work.  In the UK, what’s generally accepted is;

Carpenter = framing, studwork, joists, floorboards or panels, roof trusses and other roof sections, bargeboards, fascias, fencing, external cladding etc. etc. In other words - anything fairly rough, mostly hidden, and to do with the actual structure of the building, as opposed to anything decorative.

Joiner = anything decorative. Kitchens, doors, windows, staircases, baseboards and all other trim, panelling, custom client work, flooring, canopies, pergolas, decking, etc. etc.

My business card says ‘joiner’ on it, because that’s what I mostly do. I refer to myself as a ‘woodworker’ on here simply because ‘joiner’ isn’t really a common term in NA, and I’m conscious of the forum’s largest group of users. I don’t know what else to call myself which covers the scope of my varied work.

The actual truth (as you’ve seen from project pictures I occasionally post) is that I do all of the above, plus traditional cabinetmaking as well. A cut’s a cut - irrespective of whether it’s an 8” x 8” roof purlin or a tiny rosewood panel moulding.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2022, 12:25 PM by woodbutcherbower »

Offline 4nthony

  • Posts: 389
    • Slack for Recon Tools
Re: time between projects
« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2022, 12:50 PM »
@Crazyraceguy The distinction between different aspects of the trade has become blurred over the years, especially as guys have expanded their skillset to increase the scope of their work.  In the UK, what’s generally accepted is;

Carpenter = framing, studwork, joists, floorboards or panels, roof trusses and other roof sections, bargeboards, fascias, fencing, external cladding etc. etc. In other words - anything fairly rough, mostly hidden, and to do with the actual structure of the building, as opposed to anything decorative.

Joiner = anything decorative. Kitchens, doors, windows, staircases, baseboards and all other trim, panelling, custom client work, flooring, canopies, pergolas, decking, etc. etc.

My business card says ‘joiner’ on it, because that’s what I mostly do. I refer to myself as a ‘woodworker’ on here simply because ‘joiner’ isn’t really a common term in NA, and I’m conscious of the forum’s largest group of users. I don’t know what else to call myself which covers the scope of my varied work.

The actual truth (as you’ve seen from project pictures I occasionally post) is that I do all of the above, plus traditional cabinetmaking as well. A cut’s a cut - irrespective of whether it’s an 8” x 8” roof purlin or a tiny rosewood panel moulding.

A friend of mine calls himself a finish carpenter, and like you, he also builds doors, cabinets, installs trim, etc. Though, he doesn't consider himself to be a woodworker because, as he says, "I don't build furniture". He sends me pictures of some of the jobs he works on and I've no doubt he has the skill to build furniture.

He's also a Milwaukee guy, but I don't judge him because of it lol [cool]
Recon Tool Notifications

Anthony

"The best way to get a correct answer on the internet is to post an obviously wrong answer and wait for someone to correct you." - Kevin Kelly

Offline ChuckS

  • Posts: 3821
Re: time between projects
« Reply #9 on: September 26, 2022, 12:59 PM »
Snip.
Carpenter = framing, studwork, joists, floorboards or panels, roof trusses and other roof sections, bargeboards, fascias, fencing, external cladding etc. etc. In other words - anything fairly rough, mostly hidden, and to do with the actual structure of the building, as opposed to anything decorative.

Joiner = anything decorative. Kitchens, doors, windows, staircases, baseboards and all other trim, panelling, custom client work, flooring, canopies, pergolas, decking, etc. etc.

Snip.



I do nothing of the sort of work outlined in the examples given under your "Carpenter" or "Joiner" term.

"Woodworker" is an encompassing term, and that's how I refer to myself, being a furniture maker (carcases, tables, chairs, etc.). Under "Woodworker" we also cover cabinet makers, woodturners, woodcarvers, etc., hats that many furniture makers, including myself, may also wear. That's why woodworking is fascinating and never boring. You can always learn some new skills if so desired even if you've been in it for decades.

Here, within the woodworking circle, no woodworkers I know call themselves carpenters, although I never correct or explain when people (non-woodworkers) refer to me as a carpenter. Those are also the people who usually won't notice a small error or imperfection you've made on a piece if you don't point it out!

As for business cards, this retired fellow still has fun in his woodworking interest:

« Last Edit: September 26, 2022, 01:15 PM by ChuckS »

Offline Crazyraceguy

  • Posts: 1886
Re: time between projects
« Reply #10 on: September 27, 2022, 10:56 AM »
I guess I just think of a carpenter as a tradesman/professional.
To me a "woodworker" is a hobbyist, who may or may not make any money from it, though the definition is rather loose.

@woodbutcherbower I get what you are saying about this being an international forum. That is part of what makes it so interesting to me. I like the different perspective. The terminology is a lot of that. I am always amazed by the terms that we do share and the ones we don't.
Rabbet = Jointer
Planer = Thicknesser
Router bit = Router Cutter
I have also heard the thing we call a jointer referred to as a planer. (Not by Americans)

The guys you refer to as Joiners would essentially be Finish carpenters here, though "deck builders" are kind of a specialty.
It seems that, at least in my observation, that so many things have become specialized.
Framers do literally that. They put up the core structure of floor and ceiling joists, wall studs, roof trusses and stairs. Those may be temporary for construction purposes (and replaced later) or permanent. Then they move on to the next one.
Carpenters do the sub-floor, exterior sheathing, roof decking (but not the shingles), windows, doors, etc.
Trim Carpenters then come along to do the interior finishing. That's the base boards (skirting), window and door casing, handrails on stairs, finishing of stairs (if they are not carpeted), built-ins like shelving/mantles, etc.

This is all home construction though, there is way more to it, which is why the confusion.
As has been mentioned, furniture making, though a lot of that is "factory" built now, is part of it.
Cabinetmaking, mostly the same, although there are small independents of both.

So many people insult the CNC guys, saying "It's not real woodworking", but I completely disagree. That is a skill too. The machine might do the actual work, but you have to know what to tell it. Those things are a funny combination of smart and stupid. They will do exactly what you tell them....you better know what that means. It won't think for you, adjusting to "what you meant" versus "what you said".

The hand tool only crowd could say the same about power tools.

I guess that's the point of confusion for me. I don't think of what I do for a living as "woodworking". At home, sure. I do turnings, boxes, cutting boards, etc. so I have it covered in that way.
I used to frequent a forum called LumberJocks. Many of the guys over there are absolutely fantastic. They do ornate carvings, complicated turnings, all kinds of impressive stuff.
At one time this subject came up, to some degree, to which I responded that I didn't consider my work projects to be woodworking. A whole bunch of them jumped right in to say "it absolutely is" in some way or another.
This is a fascinating conversation. I hope it continues.
CSX
DF500 + assortment set
PS420 + Base kit
OF1010
OF1010F
OF1400
MFK700 (2)
TS55, FS1080, FS1400 holey, FS1900, FS3000
CT26E + Workshop cleaning set
RO90
RO125
ETS EC 125
RAS115
ETS 125 (2)
TS75
Shaper Origin/Workstation
MFT clamps set
Installers set
Centrotech organizer set

Offline woodbutcherbower

  • Posts: 451
Re: time between projects
« Reply #11 on: September 27, 2022, 02:06 PM »

So many people insult the CNC guys, saying "It's not real woodworking", but I completely disagree. That is a skill too. The machine might do the actual work, but you have to know what to tell it. Those things are a funny combination of smart and stupid. They will do exactly what you tell them....you better know what that means. It won't think for you, adjusting to "what you meant" versus "what you said".


@Crazyraceguy You're 100% on the money regarding CNC. There's a small local company who have invested very heavily in the technology, and some of the work they turn out is absolutely mindblowing. Last time I was down there picking up some 'carvings' they'd done for one of my jobs, they'd just finished machining an incredible curved staircase. Sure - I could have built it to a similar standard, probably taking somewhere between 3 and 4 weeks. It had taken them a day and a half from start to finish. Same goes for the company I use for my occasional granite or quartz kitchen countertops (worktops in the UK !!) - they have a £250,000 CNC water-cooled carbide cutting/routing machine which can do literally anything imaginable including heavily molded (moulded in the UK !!) edge profiles and super-perfect scribes to uneven walls. But as you say - it's all down to flawless site survey measurements and the skill of the guy writing the program (programme in the UK !!). Garbage (rubbish in the UK !!) in = Garbage out.

And as for those who say it isn't real woodworking = BS. Virtually every precision component holding an airplane (aeroplane in the UK !!) up in the sky is machined to critical tolerances on CNC. Would anyone claim that's not 'real metalworking' I wonder?

And incidentally - the stellar work you turn out would exclusively be termed 'bench joinery' over here. It's highly skilled work resulting in a decorative + functional object, but built in a static shop (workshop in the UK !!) environment as opposed to out onsite. As you say, buddy (mate in the UK !!) -  a fascinating discussion.

Something else you might find interesting = trades over here refer to their fellow trades using certain universally-accepted terms;

Carpenters/joiners = Chippies
Electricians = Sparks
Plasterers = Spreads
Plumbers = Soaks

We also universally recognise the terms 'first-fix' and 'second-fix'. In the case of an electrician for example, he'll initially come onto the jobsite to first-fix = Running cables and ducting, installing switchgear, backboxes, positioning power supplies for lighting, installing the main circuitbreaker boards and so on. The protocol is to have everything dead and isolated except a single circuit powering sockets, so other trades have power for their equipment. Much of this stuff is run through framing and therefore becomes inaccessible later. Once the other trades have finished, he'll then return to second-fix = installing socket fronts, light switches, installing lighting fixtures along with all of the visible, decorative stuff - hooking everything up to the cables and power supplies he installed on his first-fix. He'll then test the entire installation and issue a Building Regulations NICEIC compliance certificate (same as code in NA).

Kevin

« Last Edit: September 27, 2022, 02:44 PM by woodbutcherbower »

Offline ChuckS

  • Posts: 3821
Re: time between projects
« Reply #12 on: September 27, 2022, 03:19 PM »
Snip.
To me a "woodworker" is a hobbyist, who may or may not make any money from it, though the definition is rather loose. Snip.

Sam Maloof always referred to himself as a woodworker, hence one of his books titled as Sam Maloof, Woodworker. While in interviews, he called himself a woodworker, in press, writers prefer to label him as a Furniture Designer and Woodworker... or a Chairmaker (but he had built many many fine furniture pieces other than chairs before he was famed for his chairs).

Offline squall_line

  • Posts: 1518
Re: time between projects
« Reply #13 on: September 27, 2022, 04:37 PM »
Those things are a funny combination of smart and stupid. They will do exactly what you tell them....you better know what that means. It won't think for you, adjusting to "what you meant" versus "what you said".

The hand tool only crowd could say the same about power tools.

I'm in the software field, as is my father, and we have been, to a certain extent, for quite a while. He used to have a sign on the wall that said something to the effect of "These silly computers only do what you TELL them to do, not what you WANT them to do."  I use a similar line at work almost weekly at this point.

Offline luvmytoolz

  • Posts: 165
Re: time between projects
« Reply #14 on: September 27, 2022, 05:25 PM »
I've always thought "woodworker" was a perfect label for anyone like myself who has worked on projects from tiny woodturnings to larger major house renovations, and everything inbetween. I primarily do a lot of ornamental giftware but still work on quite large projects and furniture, and have always thought of myself as a woodworker, or also as a craftsman as there is quite a bit of design element in most of what I do.

I also do a tremendous amount with the CNC, and fully agree it is definitely woodworking, there is an amazing amount of designing and detail that goes into creating something on the CNC, of which the machining is quite often the smallest part of the entire project as with this carved Tas Blackwood door I'm (still) working on.

Offline Crazyraceguy

  • Posts: 1886
Re: time between projects
« Reply #15 on: September 27, 2022, 06:11 PM »
@squall_line  your statement is far more eloquent.

@woodbutcherbower
Over here, the "first fix" would be called "rough electrical". It's pretty much the same as you said, running the wires, breaker panel, receptacle/switch boxes, etc. They are all dead, no devices in them, just wires sticking out. On new construction, they normally have a central hub for power. They put a small breaker box in a "stick" in a central location and the wires run straight to the main panel, which will all be removed later.
Plumbing is basically the same "rough plumbing". All of the supply and drain/vents are run, but non-functional.

Electricians here get the "sparky" name, similar enough.
The rest of the trades really don't though, unless you insult a "Pipefitter" by calling him a plumber.  hey are not the same thing...and they will tell you so. Pipefitters do fire-suppression sprinkler systems. The on time I made the mistake to call one a plumber, he said "Do I look like a turd-herder to you?" in a slightly agitated tone.

I have heard a lot of the UK terms from watching Youtube woodworkers.
It seems that a lot of them are in the UK or the US.

I have been tangentially involved with CNC, since 1980. I got my first machine shop job while still in high school. I worked for the Coromant division of Sandvik, as a "Manual Machinist", though they didn't call it that then. They had a couple of Bridgeport vertical milling machines. These were the first CNC machines that I ever saw.  They really only did one thing with them though. They were both equipped with fixtures that held onto insert holders. They machined the pockets that held carbide inserts for drilling heads. They really weren't so different than you can still see now, in that type of machine, and those are in the hands of hobbyists.
This was rather crude though compared to the CNC machining centers of today. 4 and 5 axis machines are doing far more than was possible back then.
Now it has been adapted to plasma cutters, lasers, 3D printers and realistically those little vinyl cutters too. The technology is definitely going to improve and be further adapted.
I'm still in the dummy phase of it though.  I can run the CNC "routers" as an operator, from the machine itself, but know nothing of the in-put side of it.
The beam saw is far more user-friendly as far as at the machine itself, but is also far less capable too. It can receive input from the engineers in the office, but in reality, you can do the same thing right on the touch screen.
I'm very much still in the learning phase of my Shaper Origin. I just don't get enough time for it, yet. Hopefully the new Studio package will help me along some.
I would like to get a One Finity machine for home use too. That's a retirement goal, but the shop to put it in has to come first.

 @luvmytoolz that looks fantastic. Is it the same (or at least carved too) on the other side?
Interior door? Certainly no one would put something like that toward the weather?
How long did it take to cut that upper portion?
« Last Edit: September 27, 2022, 06:16 PM by Crazyraceguy »
CSX
DF500 + assortment set
PS420 + Base kit
OF1010
OF1010F
OF1400
MFK700 (2)
TS55, FS1080, FS1400 holey, FS1900, FS3000
CT26E + Workshop cleaning set
RO90
RO125
ETS EC 125
RAS115
ETS 125 (2)
TS75
Shaper Origin/Workstation
MFT clamps set
Installers set
Centrotech organizer set

Offline woodbutcherbower

  • Posts: 451
Re: time between projects
« Reply #16 on: September 27, 2022, 06:19 PM »
@luvmytoolz That panel is FANTASTIC. Woodwork meets art. I'm in awe.

Offline luvmytoolz

  • Posts: 165
Re: time between projects
« Reply #17 on: September 27, 2022, 06:54 PM »
@luvmytoolz that looks fantastic. Is it the same (or at least carved too) on the other side?
Interior door? Certainly no one would put something like that toward the weather?
How long did it take to cut that upper portion?

Thanks! On the other side it's just plain panels as it's a bedroom door, the girls side has the carvings just to give it something special to give them something pleasing to look at. As with most of my projects I severely underestimated the amount of time it's taking to properly sand in-between all the vcarving as Tas Blackwood can be a little stringy, Myrtle probably would have carved better, but not looked as nice however. I'm also incorporating a carved fancy'ish vent at the base to ensure air flow, another "simple" project that's taking me a while to get it to the aesthetic level I would be happy with.

For the large carving, it's based on a William Morris design from the late 1800's, (frontispiece of what is considered the first true fantasy book created and was J.R.R.Tolkiens inspiration!), his works and legacy (The Arts & Crafts Movement which later morphed into Art Nouveau) are just incredible sources of beautiful images and patterns. The keepsake box design released free by Micheal with Vectric is very much inline with Morris's type of designs.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2022, 07:01 PM by luvmytoolz »

Offline luvmytoolz

  • Posts: 165
Re: time between projects
« Reply #18 on: September 27, 2022, 06:55 PM »
@luvmytoolz That panel is FANTASTIC. Woodwork meets art. I'm in awe.

Thanks muchly!

Offline Crazyraceguy

  • Posts: 1886
Re: time between projects
« Reply #19 on: September 27, 2022, 07:44 PM »
@luvmytoolz  For your own daughter? That's kind of what I get from your wording. Cleaning fuzzies is one of those jobs that feels like it is never done, like filling pits in a slab table top that has a lot of figure/character. Have you ever tried a brass or plastic bristled brush? They can break this stuff out without rounding over the details, like sanding can. It is also faster and less nit-picky.
CSX
DF500 + assortment set
PS420 + Base kit
OF1010
OF1010F
OF1400
MFK700 (2)
TS55, FS1080, FS1400 holey, FS1900, FS3000
CT26E + Workshop cleaning set
RO90
RO125
ETS EC 125
RAS115
ETS 125 (2)
TS75
Shaper Origin/Workstation
MFT clamps set
Installers set
Centrotech organizer set

Offline luvmytoolz

  • Posts: 165
Re: time between projects
« Reply #20 on: September 27, 2022, 08:13 PM »
@luvmytoolz  For your own daughter? That's kind of what I get from your wording. Cleaning fuzzies is one of those jobs that feels like it is never done, like filling pits in a slab table top that has a lot of figure/character. Have you ever tried a brass or plastic bristled brush? They can break this stuff out without rounding over the details, like sanding can. It is also faster and less nit-picky.

Yes it's for my daughter whom I want to bring the mood up a bit for, so I'm borrowing a quote from William Morris; “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.”

Only part of the quote though, I can assure you my house is very full of junk that will surely come in handy or be valuable one day! ;-)

As I also like carving Greenmen images which are quite intricate, I've got drawers full of stainless steel and brass brushes. The fibres on Tas Blackwood though are quite soft so mostly just bend but not break off cleanly. I don't mind though as the timber grain is incredible, the chatoyance in parts of it are truly a thing to behold.