Tuesday, December 24, 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.

No comments:

Post a Comment