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Thread: How Long Did That Take? ....

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    London, Ontario
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    How Long Did That Take? ....

    Tonight I snuck down to the shop.

    It had been a pretty full evening. First there was supper, then some cleanup in the kitchen. Then my two oldest kids and I went out back with the hose and layed down some water on our ice rink. (now is the time to get out lots of water, with those frigid temps!) Then we all sat together and watched a bit of TV. Then it was bath + shower time for the kids and getting them ready for bed. Then I went back outside with the hose for another 20 minutes to spray down the rink again. I came inside and hear my beloved wife reading a bedtime story. So I snuck down to the shop. I just had a bit of gluing to do. I was in there for less than five minutes measuring the spot, laying on some glue, and then clamping it up to set. Then it was back upstairs and to the bedrooms in time for the last paragraph of the story. Then it was prayers and tuck the kids in.

    My shop time is like that sometimes, especially with 4 young kids aged 5-11. Five minutes here, 20 minutes there, maybe an hour one night a week if it's a project on the go (as opposed to just puttering). And usually I can negotiate some uninterrupted time on the weekend.

    Five minutes here, twenty minutes there, and some uninterrupted hours at other times. And a few months later the project emerges from the shop.

    Then someone asks me: how long did that take you?
    Or even worse, when some woodworker asks me: how many hours?

    I have no idea. None.

    And frankly, I don't really care.

    ...art

    ps: Hmm, maybe if I installed a time clock and punched in every time I walked into the shop... Naaaah. I still like my hobby fine the way it is.
    There's usually more than one way to do it...
    www.wordsnwood.com ........ facebook.com/wordsnwood

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Bloomington MN USA
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    268
    Art: Know what you mean when they ask how many hours did it take? I don't have the kids to contend with as mine are all grown. But I go out to my shop and start to work on one thing and get side tracked and start several other things while I am out there. Enjoying every minute,maybe not the most productive at times but for me thats the fun of being in my shop. Always making small impovements that make things more covienient for me. Some times I just build a drawer and put it in a shelf to make it easier to get at what ever was on the shelf. Or putting a lazy susan to hold my cans of wood stain.So I can just spin it to see what was before hidden behind all the cans. The project that I originaly started got side tracked, Finnaly finished it,but how much time was spent on just that
    If you make a mistake it was part of the original plan!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    Boca Raton FLorida
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    101
    My wife once said to me after watching a plumber replace a john ,"Why does it take me so long ". I had recently replaced ours and it did take longer but it did include two trips to the local box store. After that I started keeping track of time on projects and telling her when I was finished. Now whenever I get that question I actually have an answer. It has become a habit, albeit a strange one. Sometimes I just stand in the garage and stare at stuff for hours. I just don't seem to know what to do next. I usually don't include that in the time, although my wife always wonders what I'm doing when she checks on me and I'm just standing there. For whatever it's worth.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    North West Indiana
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    Art, you are a positive role model for all of us. What a great use of your time, quality time with the wife and kids, work in the shop and show up to say prayers and show as well as state your beliefs in front of your kids. I applaud you and your wife for the time spent and examples set. If more kids had family time and families such as yours, teaching would be the easiest job in town!
    Jon

    God and family, the rest is icing on the cake. I'm so far behind, I think I'm in first place!

    Host of the 2015 FAMILY WOODWORKING GATHERING

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Delton, Michigan
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    17,472
    good post art
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    Indianapolis area
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathan Shively View Post
    Art, you are a positive role model for all of us. What a great use of your time, quality time with the wife and kids, work in the shop and show up to say prayers and show as well as state your beliefs in front of your kids. I applaud you and your wife for the time spent and examples set. If more kids had family time and families such as yours, teaching would be the easiest job in town!
    Well said Jonathan! Great way to spend your time Art!
    ________

    Ron

    "Individual commitment to a group effort--that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work."
    Vince Lombardi

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    Kea'au Hawaii. Just down the road from Hilo town!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gene Miller View Post
    Sometimes I just stand in the garage and stare at stuff for hours. I just don't seem to know what to do next.
    Gene I've done the same thing many times too. It happens to me more when the shop is in a mess.
    Aloha,

    What goes around, comes around.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    London, Ontario
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gene Miller View Post
    Sometimes I just stand in the garage and stare at stuff for hours. I just don't seem to know what to do next.
    Been there. Done that.

    This happens to me more when I'm doing a home reno project. I can do it, but sometimes I have to work out in my head just how to do it. Which is why it takes me a lot longer than that plumber your wife mentioned. Those guys have already gotten in all the practise on other jobs, so when they get to you they just zip through it. For most DIY'ers, we only get to do a home reno project a few times.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathan Shively View Post
    Art, you are a positive role model....
    Eek, I'm blushing. Actually I usually have a much bigger role in bedtimes (ie: I'm supposed to be reading the story ) than yesterday, but because it's ice-rink-building time, my wife was taking over some of my ordinary jobs.

    Got me out of doing dishes too....
    There's usually more than one way to do it...
    www.wordsnwood.com ........ facebook.com/wordsnwood

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    St. Louis, MO
    Posts
    583
    We're living the same life. Man, does that all sound familiar. It takes me much longer than i ever anticipate to get shop projects done. I simply start in and go until they're finished. My wife wonders why i bother. But then she's got her hobbies too. What adds to the fun is tht the kids often join me in the shop. They putz on their own things. Occassionally we work on something together, and i'm usually finding ways they can help on a given project. Of course, there are things i really don't want them working on (it's usually difficult to have them help with the finishing stage on a furniture project), but i can typically let them do the same task on a piece of scrap wood.
    It slows you down and can be a bit frustrating at times, but generally speaking, it's great fun.
    I just countersunk the finish nails and filled the holes on the base molding for my dining room built-ins last night (the finishing touch). I had meant to get them done for Thanksgiving. Cest' la vie.
    Next up - rebuild of old small Craftsman drill press for kids workbench. Should be and interesting little project.
    Paul Hubbman

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