Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Year in review 2014

It is another year over and one more begins.  It was an interesting year for me.  There were some changes made last year that affected this year and some unexpected surprises. Here are the highlights of the goals I had last year.
  • I wanted to finish the monster trucks.  Check, done and complete.  I am grateful they are complete.  It was a fun little project but one I will not soon repeat.
  • Catch up on the Wood Magazine construction equipment.  I did and I am now three behind.  They have a front end rear loader, cement truck and crane that I have not done.  Honestly probably will not either.  These toys have become more intricate and fragile that I really do not want to build them.  In addition the hardware alone for the cement truck was $54 plus shipping.  Really not worth it.
  • The CNC equipment has been a lot of fun to use.  There have been some projects that have been posted on the blog from this piece of equipment.  I still feel guilty sometimes that I am cheating when I use it.
  • The Christmas project was completed and I have requests for more.  It will be featured later when I take pictures and post it.
So in review, here are some of the highlights of the year.
  • The biggest and most noteworthy is that I have started to design.  It has been so much fun and rewarding.  I designed a dump truck at the beginning of the year and things just started to fall into place. Two of the projects were directly a result from requests.  I am currently working on the city trucks version of my designs.  I hope to have them completed end of February.
  • We moved again.  The garage is slightly smaller but I did buy a miter saw and a drum sander.  I actually purchased it with money that I had earned over the past two years.  I am far from funding my hobby but I felt like it was an accomplishment.  I am still far from a lathe.  I am still going to need some type of dust collection in the garage before I think about a lathe or planer.
  • I joined the Inland Empire Scroll Saw Association.  Small little group of relatively old people, but they have a lot of fun and have a lot of talent.  It is a little bit of a narrow scope of wood working but it is something that I am learning and growing in.  In November they have a toy drive of all handmade toys.  The group donated over 1500 wood toys.  I think I added 9 to the mix.  We will have to see what next year brings.  I have committed to make two of everything, one for my kids and one to donate.
  • I was contacted about my alien nativity.  It was some one interested in making one for a school and where I had purchased the plans.  He was from England.  It was a nice little reminder of why I created and maintain this blog and how small this world has become with technology.  I also found the shepherd plans and so my nativity is complete.  This was also the first year that I displayed my nativities for all to see at the Upland Creche festival.  I do not know if there was any comments but it was nice to show them off since they do not get displayed much.
My favorite projects this year.
  • First was the train.  Let's face it, it is an awesome train!  It was a challenge and was my first big design project.  There were things that I learned and it was enough of a challenge to keep the project interesting until the end.
  • A close second was the excavator.  It actually scoops!  The design was the challenge of project and I was always anxious to see it all the moving parts would work together.
I don't know what next year will bring.  I have some ideas but I really don't know.  Here are some things that I would like to accomplish.
  • I am going to continue designing. I have about three designs in process and hope to add some more.  I am thinking I need to design some toys for girls but not sure what to make.  
  • I am going to stick with the scroll saw association and see where that takes me this year.  I have learned that my toys are simple in the way of design.  I like being intricate with the scroll saw designs.  I do not have a Christmas project picked out next year. Maybe I will take it off.  
  • I hope to get a website launched.  Several people tell me I need to sell my stuff.  I think that I will start with plans.  I really have a fear of not making deadlines.  If I miss a deadline, I ruin a kid's present.  
It has been a fun year.  I am looking forward to 2015.  

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