Gotta start somewhere….

So here we are. Blogging. How did that happen. I guess thanks to watching too many youtubers make a french cleat wall, and staying home much more during the pandemic, I finally got off my butt and started to make a proper shop.

My house is approaching 100 years old, and it has a basement. Right away you know, the house needs work, as nearly all houses that old do, and the tools are in the basement. Accurate on both counts. My basement was a bit of a mess – a previous owner stored inventory down their for her mail order business (more about that some other time) and so I had lots of metal shelves, but little room to work. The ceiling is low, the floor gets wet sometimes, the power is quirky.

Typically what I kept in the basement were the tools you would expect of a DIYer. Lots of painting supplies, a cheap tile saw, a compressor, a hand me down contractor saw, a miter saw, you get the idea. It’s not that I didn’t have better tools, it’s just that I kept those at my parent’s house, in my Dad’s shop. He’s retired, he built his house around his basement shop (10 foot ceilings!) and that’s where the good stuff was. The jointer, the cabinet saw, the outfeed table (oh, how I dreamed about having enough room to have an outfeed table), the band saw, a signed poster from Norm Abrams etc. You know, a woodshop.

If there was something I wanted to build, it happened there. My older daughter wanted a loft bed – so, many trips to my parents later, and she had a loft bed. I just didn’t build much of anything here, and just figured I would go there. Then came COVID. Suddenly I was working from home and “threw together” a standing desk of 2x3s and an MDF top with wood lying about the basement. No paint, no finish, barely even sanded – but it worked, and that meant I could work. A week later the schools closed and my younger daughter needed a desk. This was also 2x3s and an MDF top, but it’s painted and the top is properly sanded and sealed. Progress, of a sort.

They were projects, built in my basement, but everything about them was a challenge. I had no easy way to do anything beyond making simple cuts on the miter saw. I bumped in to stuff every time I turned around. Things didn’t work. I tripped circuits. Dust got on everything. I was spoiled by my Father’s shop, but finally recognized that I needed to make time, and make a functional shop – so that I could get back to the real woodworking projects I did years ago, and not spend all my time going from one DIY project to the next. I still have plenty of those, but now I aim to try and build some things that please me, not just the things I feel I need to get done.

My younger daughter wanted me to start a youtube channel of my own. That might be a step too far for me at this point, but it planted the seed. Someplace to show what I have done, and to inspire myself to do more. Maybe someplace that was more than just photos in a bin. Maybe….

Well, you are here, and you read this far, so you know, the next step was indeed, Sawdusting.

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