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Philly

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Hi All
Whilst sitting down with a nice cup of tea reflecting on my current projects progress (and trying to work out why its taking sooooooooo long! :roll: ) it hit me. As a hobby woodworker I don't spend as much time in the shop as i'd like to. Also, I am bombarded with great new jigs, tools, ideas, methods to try, etc. So when I do get a chance it often isn't as productive as it could be, although I do learn a lot.
So I thought I would try and organise myself for the future-I took stock of the machinery I have and the strengths/weaknesses of each for different operations. I then put together this....

Tenons- tablesaw/dado or Rat
Mortises-hollow chisel mortiser
Rebates/grooves-router table or dado( :twisted: )
Dovetails-by hand or Rat
Bridle Joint-Table saw

Biscuits
Pocket hole jig

Now, by using the same method each time I need to make a particular joint I should be able to be more productive as this is the method I will always use (and therefore be up to date with the technique, in theory :lol: ) Set-up time and test runs eat up a lot of time but are necessary. But if you use the same methods in your work you should at least be in with a fighting chance.
Oh, I didn't really mention cutting joints by hand too much, as if you have 12 tenons to cut it is faster to set up a tool than by hand (IMHO).
So what do you lot think-is this a good idea to be more disciplined or, as a hobbiest, should I just enjoy whatever I do in the shop?
Your thought, pleae,
Philly :D
P.s. Here's my latest project if you're interested.....
http://www.philsville.co.uk/workinprogress1.htm
 

Chris Knight

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Philly,

I'll have to think about your question - meanwhile congratulations on a great set of pictures! What is the offical gloat count? (I'd like to compare with my score for your picture set). It should look great when finished too!
 
A

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Hi philly

I get to this point every so often at work and home (especially with jigs getting in the way :lol: ). I suspect that planning would be a better solution than trying to become a 'production' workshop. Enjoy carrying out tasks in different ways, it's part of the fun :wink: :lol:

Planning in broad terms focuses the mind. deadlines are fantastic when set by yourself and strictly obeyed. If i give myself until 4.00pm in the garage I get LOADS done (and leave dead on 4.00), but on the other hand, if I just stroll in and leave when my wife starts to get annoyed i tend to get little done, just tinker really - even though I am usually in there longer!!

I try to organise my time on paper or Microsoft outlook when things are getting a little tight due to the various pressures put upon me (mainly by work). What works for me on these occasions is to actually allocate a set time for various activities but keeping them planned in pretty general terms though

For instance a ficticious Saturday might look like this:
9.00-11.30 university work
11.30-12.00 forum
12.00-12.30 plant tomatoes out and weed veg patch then lunch
1.30 - 5.00 in garage playing with wood :p
5.00 cook tea and time with family..........

the secret is to KNOW that you will stop on the deadline you set

I think that in the end, you should just accept the lack of structure and progress and enjoy what you do in whatever way gives you the most pleasure :wink:
 

Aragorn

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Philly
I think in general it is a good thing to make joints the same way for some time, whatever that may be. It gets you really used to the setups, the hiccups, the results... and it gives you an old reliable that becomes second nature to do.
When we feel like it, we experiment with new methods, but when time is short or we just want to get something done, we have our old reliable way; no fuss, few errors... :wink:

I think the important thing is to be aware of the limitations of any given method, and to know when to it's time to choose another way. Then we are not ruled by the limitations of our machines/jigs/space etc, only by our imaginations.

Also to recognise that their is rarely a best way - just our way. Being open to new or different methods of working will only make us more versatile woodworkers.
 

Scott

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Philly

I agree with Aragorn about doing it the same way for a while so there's at least one way that you're confident of getting acceptable results. That's great for when the piece itself needs to be progressed.
Saying that though, I'm happy to expand my horizons and try doing things different ways. Trouble is it usually leads to "tinkering" just as Tony describes and I find I've lost an entire day making a few test joints. Enjoyable but not particularly productive! :)

In the end up I'm not really too bothered about trying to improve efficiency because I use the hobby to relax so I prefer to plod on at whatever pace and in whatever manner suits my mood.

Maybe I should also say that I've had to virtually teach myself to slow down and enjoy working this way in order to get away from habits i have at (my real) work where I have so much to do and in so lttle time that I land up working myself into the ground in the name of efficiency :?

Slow down and go wit da flo is my new motto! 8) :D

Cheers
Scott
 

dedee

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An interesting subject and one close to my heart as I too have very limited time in the workshop and like to make the best use of it.

I have plenty of time (at work) to plan and think about what I want to do.

Recently it took me two night time sessions just to prepare the shop (where to place the TS, changing the blade, setting the fence and making an outfeed table) in preparation for ripping 10 boards over the weekend which took about an hour.

There will be a similar process to go through in order to cut the tenons - all the marking & setting up will be done during the week then hopefully I can cut the tenons in one go.

So in conclusion to Philly's question I would say plan ahead in order to get the most out of the time available. I always enjoy what I am doing providing I do not feel my time is wasted.

Andy
 

aldel

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Philly,
I think there is a clear divide between woodwork for a living and as a hobby.
As a profession, time is money and things need to be planned and completed in the most cost effective way. This generally means the criteria are the quickest and simplest way commensurate with the quality of finish required.
Now as a hobby things are very different. To me hobby is defined as something you do for pleasure and relaxation. Something to take you away from the pressures and stress of working life. Something to absolve you from meeting deadlines and targets. When you have a high pressure job it is all too easy to allow all those things to creep into your hobby because for you it has become the norm.
Please don't do it. Enjoy your woodwork as a hobby. Does it really matter what methods you use or how long it takes? Don't bring your work practises home.
It has taken me six years of retirement to see the light and wind down.
Apologies for the lecture, just enjoy woodworking.

Aldel :D
 

Midnight

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Philly...

the one thing your post doesn't mention is why you enjoy woodworking; what is it that keeps you coming back into the shop??

Aldel's right; the more you rationalise, harmonise and organise, the more "work-like" it becomes... if it's this that turns your crank then by all means go for it...

If not... what's the point..??

Last I heard, this wasn't a race; deadlines are things you get paid to meet IMHO... there's little to be gained otherwise...

Personally, there's usually too much learning curve in every project to bother with all that farfing about... I work each piece till it's fit for purpose, it takes as long as it takes and it's finished when it's done...

For me, the attraction is the opportunity to build to my own specs, my own QA standards, t-hell with deadlines, especially when it leads to compromises... disorganised?... probably, efficient?.. HELL no... do I enjoy it..?? Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh yeaaaaaaaaa.... the only rule to date is that no matter what I'm doing, I'm done for the day by 8pm... there's always tomorrow....
 

Philly

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Thank you all for you responses! :D
Sorry if I came over a bit "moany" in my original posting. That was not the impression I meant to give. What I was trying to put over was this-It is my hobby, I love it in all its little ways. I am happy to spend a day tweaking instead of making something, and the workshop is as much a hobby as building stuff. BUT-I know I can work more efficiently (not Too efficiently, obviously :wink: ) without compromising my hobby. If I had a toolbox of hand tools and no other equipment it would focus me on making, and I'm sure I would complete projects quicker as if I wanted to cut a tenon I would grab the saw and away!
I'm sure we have all has TPTB question why we need the lastest hand/power/cordless widget-gloat for workshop. Surely they should make our work go smoother???
Any more thoughts?
Philly :D
 

Gill

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Aren't you subverting your own thread, Philly ? Changing the subject from time-management to the justification of tools ;) :) ?

I wonder how many of us actually need (or indeed) use a lot of our tools. Many of us will know of master craftsmen from the past who could work magic with just an adze, a saw, a chisel and a hammer. My grandfather, for example, was a miner who made a wonderful music seat (sadly no longer in my possesion :( ) with just such rudimentary tools. It was his one and only woodwork project, knocked up over a weekend, and it became a family heirloom. Sometimes I wonder if the pursuit of high quality tools is a distraction from the overall goal of making something that has William Morris' qualities of beauty and/or usefulness.

Gill
 

Chris Knight

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Philly,

Your question interested me but I have not been able to answer it satisfactorily despite thinking about it for a while.

I enjoy woodworking in all its forms and am happy to embrace many different ways of doing things. I think the enjoyment comes from several sources, one is seeing something I make come to resemble as closely as possible my original conception or hopes for the thing, the second is the pleasure of working the material itself and the third is learning to overcome the challenges the design and execution throw up and a fourth is using good tools for the job in hand.

I make no great distinction between hand work and machine work provided I can work accurately to my plan/ idea although I have enjoyed the acquisition of hand skills.

I have had to struggle with my impatient character all my life and woodworking has been great medicine for this.

As to tool purchases, I have always liked the "tools of the trade" for anything I have ever done, I am just glad I have managed to put aside my interests in more expensive pastimes like sailing in favour of woodwork. For me they are part of the pleasure I get from our interest.
 

devonwoody

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I enjoyed reading and thinking about the threads written above. The main thing is tobe happy and enjoy what you are doing in life.

Philly loved looking at your pictures but.......
is there anyway it can be set up as a slide show, each time I went to enlarge photo and then close I had to re-enter your url.
 

Philly

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JJ
Sorry, the photo gallery is part of Frontpage, the program I make my web-site with. It is a bit annoying-I'll see what I can do.
Cheers
Philly :D
(Who is very happy, honest! :lol: )
 

CHJ

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devonwoody":26tfqryf said:
Philly loved looking at your pictures but.......
is there anyway it can be set up as a slide show, each time I went to enlarge photo and then close I had to re-enter your url.
Can you not use the Back button in your explorer to go back?
If not, try Right Clicking the image and select Open in New Window from the resultant menu.
 

dedee

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CHJ":1na4v59g said:
try Right Clicking the image and select Open in New Window from the resultant menu.
Or Philly could set his images to do that automatically when he sets them up in Frontpage. In Frontpage highlight the picture, right click, select picture properties, select General tab, and change traget frame to _BLANK



Andy
 

CHJ

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dedee":3vglrkfi said:
CHJ":3vglrkfi said:
try Right Clicking the image and select Open in New Window from the resultant menu.
Or Philly could set his images to do that automatically when he sets them up in Frontpage. In Frontpage highlight the picture, right click, select picture properties, select General tab, and change traget frame to _BLANK



Andy
Thanks Andy I was only looking at a solution for devonwoody with no thought to helping Philly :oops: :oops:
 

dedee

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Glad to be of service Philly

I am sure it was someone here who passsed that tip on to me.

Andy
 
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