Finding a new excuse to go to the shop

Finding a new excuse to go to the shop

Post by JD » Thu, 27 Nov 2008 22:42:49



Hey all, been a while since I checked in on you. I've not been able to
get into the shop lately because I FINALLY finished my Ph. D. and that
required a lot of my time.

Since completing my degree, I have found I'm not as motivated to go to
the shop as I was before. I'm a bit disturbed by this, because I
really do like making piles and piles of sawdust. However, now I'm
wandering if my bowl turning was enjoyable only because I was avoiding
working on my dissertation.

I'm not planning on ever working on another dissertation (the Good
Lord only knows why I worked on the first one), but I would like to
find myself in the shop again. Finding the motivation to go to the
shop, build a warm fire, and begin slinging sawdust and shavings
everywhere has been hard to find.

For instance, this morning I have spent the past 3 hours looking at
various things here on the web. That is 3 hours I could have been
creating, inventing, and learning in the shop. At least I would have
had something to show for my time, instead of sore knuckles and
blurring eyesight from staring at this blasted screen.

The wife is at work, the kids are behaving themselves, the university
is closed for Thanksgiving Break (so I have no obligations), and yet I
can't find any reason to head into the shop. I suppose I'm looking to
borrow someone else's motivation. As a curiosity, I'll ask the
following question: What motivation do you use to go out into the
frigid temps to build a fire and work in the shop (Mac, you can
substitute hot for frigid if you prefer)?

Regards, safe turning, and happy Thanksgiving to all,

JD (Kentucky)

 
 
 

Finding a new excuse to go to the shop

Post by mac davi » Fri, 28 Nov 2008 00:48:30


BTDT, JD...
Just let it happen, pushing yourself to turn is the wrong path, Grasshopper..

leave the shop as "set up" as possible and spend time there, even if it's just
reading or something... The urge will hit you when you're ready..

Quote:
>Hey all, been a while since I checked in on you. I've not been able to
>get into the shop lately because I FINALLY finished my Ph. D. and that
>required a lot of my time.

>Since completing my degree, I have found I'm not as motivated to go to
>the shop as I was before. I'm a bit disturbed by this, because I
>really do like making piles and piles of sawdust. However, now I'm
>wandering if my bowl turning was enjoyable only because I was avoiding
>working on my dissertation.

>I'm not planning on ever working on another dissertation (the Good
>Lord only knows why I worked on the first one), but I would like to
>find myself in the shop again. Finding the motivation to go to the
>shop, build a warm fire, and begin slinging sawdust and shavings
>everywhere has been hard to find.

>For instance, this morning I have spent the past 3 hours looking at
>various things here on the web. That is 3 hours I could have been
>creating, inventing, and learning in the shop. At least I would have
>had something to show for my time, instead of sore knuckles and
>blurring eyesight from staring at this blasted screen.

>The wife is at work, the kids are behaving themselves, the university
>is closed for Thanksgiving Break (so I have no obligations), and yet I
>can't find any reason to head into the shop. I suppose I'm looking to
>borrow someone else's motivation. As a curiosity, I'll ask the
>following question: What motivation do you use to go out into the
>frigid temps to build a fire and work in the shop (Mac, you can
>substitute hot for frigid if you prefer)?

>Regards, safe turning, and happy Thanksgiving to all,

>JD (Kentucky)

mac

Please remove splinters before emailing

 
 
 

Finding a new excuse to go to the shop

Post by John Grossbohli » Fri, 28 Nov 2008 01:09:39



Quote:
> Hey all, been a while since I checked in on you. I've not been able to
> get into the shop lately because I FINALLY finished my Ph. D. and that
> required a lot of my time.

> Since completing my degree, I have found I'm not as motivated to go to
> the shop as I was before. I'm a bit disturbed by this, because I
> really do like making piles and piles of sawdust. However, now I'm
> wandering if my bowl turning was enjoyable only because I was avoiding
> working on my dissertation.

Sounds like a familiar situation amongst high achievers... ;~)

I suggest setting lofty turning goals and then strive to achieve them as a
way of self motivation. By this I mean look at the most intricate and
difficult work of others and emulate it and then look for ways to move
beyond it... perhaps working on the art instead of the mechanical aspects.
Then move into teaching what you've learned as a way of better understanding
what you are doing. Reinvent yourself...

Technically, I'm a flat boarder but I count amongst my associates some very
fine turners (Giles Gilson, Keith Tompkins, John Franklin, Steve Sherman,
Matt Clarke, Carl Ford) and have attended programs sponsored by my club
where other well known turners presented (Stuart Mortimer, Beth Ireland,
etc.). The common theme with all of them is that they keep pushing the
envelope, learning and trying new things, feeding off and inspiring each
other, and they are willing to humbly share with the masses.

A few places to look:

http://keithptompkins.com/
http://www.gilesgilson.com/index.html
http://stuartmortimer.s411.sureserver.com/

John
Mid-Hudson Woodworkers, Treasurer
Northeastern Woodworkers Association

 
 
 

Finding a new excuse to go to the shop

Post by Gerald Ros » Fri, 28 Nov 2008 02:18:47


Quote:
>>Hey all, been a while since I checked in on you. I've not been able to
>>get into the shop lately because I FINALLY finished my Ph. D. and that
>>required a lot of my time.

>>Since completing my degree, I have found I'm not as motivated to go to
>>the shop as I was before. I'm a bit disturbed by this, because I
>>really do like making piles and piles of sawdust. However, now I'm
>>wandering if my bowl turning was enjoyable only because I was avoiding
>>working on my dissertation.

>>I'm not planning on ever working on another dissertation (the Good
>>Lord only knows why I worked on the first one), but I would like to
>>find myself in the shop again. Finding the motivation to go to the
>>shop, build a warm fire, and begin slinging sawdust and shavings
>>everywhere has been hard to find.

>>For instance, this morning I have spent the past 3 hours looking at
>>various things here on the web. That is 3 hours I could have been
>>creating, inventing, and learning in the shop. At least I would have
>>had something to show for my time, instead of sore knuckles and
>>blurring eyesight from staring at this blasted screen.

>>The wife is at work, the kids are behaving themselves, the university
>>is closed for Thanksgiving Break (so I have no obligations), and yet I
>>can't find any reason to head into the shop. I suppose I'm looking to
>>borrow someone else's motivation. As a curiosity, I'll ask the
>>following question: What motivation do you use to go out into the
>>frigid temps to build a fire and work in the shop (Mac, you can
>>substitute hot for frigid if you prefer)?

>>Regards, safe turning, and happy Thanksgiving to all,

>>JD (Kentucky)

Unlike you, I only started after "retiring". Do something simple and
of no use--like taking a block of wood and turning it into a sphere.

BTW what is your PhD in, if I may ask?

--
Gerald Ross
Cochran, GA

A man is not complete until he is
married, and then he's finished.

 
 
 

Finding a new excuse to go to the shop

Post by TWW » Fri, 28 Nov 2008 08:09:47


JD:

Try morning pages. See link below if you have never heard of the
technique.

link: http://www.theartistsway.com/pdfs/basictools.pdf

If you do morning pages for a while and save the paper you can use it
to wrap small wet bowls to keep them from drying out too soon:)

 
 
 

Finding a new excuse to go to the shop

Post by Michael Fauro » Fri, 28 Nov 2008 14:26:52


Quote:

> What motivation do you use to go out into the frigid temps to build a
> fire and work in the shop (Mac, you can substitute hot for frigid if
> you prefer)?

The first thing that popped into my head was what George Leigh Mallory
said when asked why he wanted to climb mount Everest: 'Because it's
there'.  I know that's a bit glib and maybe even a bit zen--but that's
why I go out to the shop.  Just being there and full of possibilities
seems to be all the motivation I need.
 
 
 

Finding a new excuse to go to the shop

Post by Arc » Sat, 29 Nov 2008 00:58:17


Good Thanksgiving Morn. Doctor Smith,

Congratulations on your doctorate, but unless your thesis was on "assume
the mantle if you have it not", it won't count for much on this ng.  

I think enthusiasm for turning wood and most other highly intellectual
pursuits :) usually waxes and wanes over the years from smouldering
***ion to the ashes of burnout.  I heard it's in the genes.  

Welcome back, stay warm, don't eat too much turkey, give your lathe a
temporary pardon and it will quietly wait for your return.  :)

Turn to Safety,  Arch                        
                                                  Fortiter

http://www.FoundCollection.com/

 
 
 

Finding a new excuse to go to the shop

Post by cm » Sun, 30 Nov 2008 00:59:33


I'll second the morning pages. They are good for any of life's ruts you may
get stuck in.

cm


Quote:
> JD:

> Try morning pages. See link below if you have never heard of the
> technique.

> link: http://www.theartistsway.com/pdfs/basictools.pdf

> If you do morning pages for a while and save the paper you can use it
> to wrap small wet bowls to keep them from drying out too soon:)

 
 
 

Finding a new excuse to go to the shop

Post by Old Gu » Sun, 30 Nov 2008 12:16:38


Hi JD!

Congratulations on the Ph.D.  Never got one, not willing to work that
hard or organized enuf to get it done.

But you have driven yourself and made the goal!  Hats off.

I'll bet you shop if full of stuff that you set aside to get the work
done, half done stuff that says "finish me."  And being goal directed,
you listen.

Ok, here's my take.  Go to the shop, put on your ear protectors and
IGNORE all the stuff that says HAVE TO!  Just go on out there, and
PUTTER.  Sweep the floor,  reorganize the clutter drawer.  Wash the
windows.  Put tools away, or clean them, or whatever.  Whatever little
thing you WANT to  do.  Having some music there would help.  When you
are done for the day look around, and see how much better the place
looks for your efforts.

Repeat as necessary, until you discover you are going out to the shop
not because you SHOULD, but because you WANNA.

After that, sort all those HAVE TO's into a box.  Set them aside.
Then when you feel an urge to start something else, do it.  Or maybe
you look at one of those old projects and get a mental picture of what
it will look like finished, and get eager to see it done.

YOU'RE CURED.

This works for me every time.

 Have happy holidays in your shop.

Old Guy


Quote:
> Hey all, been a while since I checked in on you. I've not been able to
> get into the shop lately because I FINALLY finished my Ph. D. and that
> required a lot of my time.

> Since completing my degree, I have found I'm not as motivated to go to
> the shop as I was before. I'm a bit disturbed by this, because I
> really do like making piles and piles of sawdust. However, now I'm
> wandering if my bowl turning was enjoyable only because I was avoiding
> working on my dissertation.

> I'm not planning on ever working on another dissertation (the Good
> Lord only knows why I worked on the first one), but I would like to
> find myself in the shop again. Finding the motivation to go to the
> shop, build a warm fire, and begin slinging sawdust and shavings
> everywhere has been hard to find.

> For instance, this morning I have spent the past 3 hours looking at
> various things here on the web. That is 3 hours I could have been
> creating, inventing, and learning in the shop. At least I would have
> had something to show for my time, instead of sore knuckles and
> blurring eyesight from staring at this blasted screen.

> The wife is at work, the kids are behaving themselves, the university
> is closed for Thanksgiving Break (so I have no obligations), and yet I
> can't find any reason to head into the shop. I suppose I'm looking to
> borrow someone else's motivation. As a curiosity, I'll ask the
> following question: What motivation do you use to go out into the
> frigid temps to build a fire and work in the shop (Mac, you can
> substitute hot for frigid if you prefer)?

> Regards, safe turning, and happy Thanksgiving to all,

> JD (Kentucky)

 
 
 

Finding a new excuse to go to the shop

Post by charlie » Thu, 04 Dec 2008 02:59:20


Not sure you turn just for the fun of it or with a specific goal in
mind.
If the former, pick a tool and then try and make it do something
that's not what you think is its primary purpose, preferably between
centers - on something relaitvely small - and at lower rpms.  Try
doing some beads - with a 3/4" roughing gouge - or curves - coves
or even an ogee with a skew.

Don't know how old your kid(s) are - but they can be a great inspiration
for a piece - and the motivation to figure out how it can be turned.  
If it's interesting it'll get you out to the shop to try and test your
theory.

If he/she/them are old enough and likes "doin' things with dad" - and
your
shop isn't a death trap - take him/her/them with you to the shop and
have them participate - selecting wood, looking at tools.  If you've got
a dust collector, or even a shop vac - and ear protection let them
sweep shaving up - and into a hose that makes them disapper.   Kids love
that.  Make sure they understand that the vacumm hose should
NEVER get near their face and ears - or the face and ears of siblings.
Have them stand - with a face shield on (kids love wearing "grown up
stuff" - where you can turn curlies at them (wet wood works best).

Tape a long piece of wide construction paper to a wall, have a kid
stand against the wall in profile and trace their outline onto the
paper.
Make two copies.  Let the kid fill in the outline with crayons, finger
paint
or whatever.  On the other copy, sketch in a vertical "centerline" and
start looking for line and curves that' when spun would produce and
interesting shape to turn.  Don't try this with a cat.

Play doodles with a small kid.  "Put this pencil in the middle of this
sheet of paper, close your eyes and when I say GO, just start making
squiggles 'til I say STOP!"  Then do something like "Ready?  Set.
STOP!"
Get another sheet of paper.  When the kids ready, eyes closed say
"OK. Start on THREE.  Don't start 'till I say THREE.  Read?  One . . .
Two . . . FOUR!"  Get another sheet of paper.  Explain the "rules"
again looking very "serious" as in so serious it's funny - and obviously
intended to make them smile - or laugh.

When you've got your first squiggle - the two of you should look for
something - a face, an animal outline, a cartoon character.  When
one is found - emphasize its lines to bring it out of the background
of lines.  When the kid gets the idea have them do it and you do it
(on separate pieces of paper of course).  While he/she/they are
looking for things in their squiggle you do the same in yours - looking
for a profile that may be interesting to turn.

If you're good at visualizing things, take a rectangular cross section
piece of wood - say 6" long and put three or four dots on each end.
Number them all - 1 through "n".  Pick one from each end and try
and visualize them spinning around the resulting axis.  Now "see"
where the "in focus" vs the "blurred outline" area will be. Imagine
turning a bead in that area.  Now imagine what the piece would look
like when it stops turning.

Consider doing something simple - but elegant - for the wife - a little
turned box or even a simple ring holder.  Doing something for others
while doing something for yourself can be a Double Word Score.

Get out all your edged tools and sharpen the ones that need it.  Maybe
even tweek a grind - perhaps put a slight curve on a skew and see
what happens when you use it.

If you've got some snow on the ground, bundle up a kid or two
and go make a Snow Vase (think weed pot) and stick some small
branches in the top.

The key - at least for me - is to do something interesting - and fun.
Life's full of Got To.  Leave time for I DON'T GOT TO - BUT I WANT
TO - preferable the WANT TO is fun.

 
 
 

Finding a new excuse to go to the shop

Post by JD » Wed, 10 Dec 2008 06:23:18


Quote:
> Unlike you, I only started after "retiring". Do something simple and
> of no use--like taking a block of wood and turning it into a sphere.

> BTW what is your PhD in, if I may ask?

> --
> Gerald Ross
> Cochran, GA

> A man is not complete until he is
> married, and then he's finished.

Sorry didn't reply sooner, finals week here at WKU and trying to wrap
the semester up on a good note. Ph.D. is in education from the
University of Louisville.

JD

 
 
 

Finding a new excuse to go to the shop

Post by JD » Wed, 10 Dec 2008 06:32:56


Thanks all. After reading one comment, I realize the main reason I
don't want to go to the shop is because of the filth I'll recognize
when I walk in. Been putting off cleaning that place up for some time
now (almost a year I think). The boat has been parked in the shop
since the barn blew down this past fall, the lawn mower is parked in
there with a flat tire, the table saw has been pushed into a corner,
the wife has stacked flower pots all over my work bench, and I seem to
recall telling her to put her banana trees in there as well so they
wouldn't freeze over winter. OH MAN do I dread going out there.

Guess there is nothing to do but roll the ol sleeves up and start
cleaning. What with finals week ending this week and no classes to
teach until late January, I suppose I won't have any excuse to not
clean the place up. Perhaps once it is clean (cleaner), I'll decided
to start making it dirty again.

JD (Kentucky)

 
 
 

Finding a new excuse to go to the shop

Post by Old Gu » Wed, 10 Dec 2008 11:42:53


FWIW,

I waste a LOT of time procrastinating on *** jobs.  Usually, once I
FINALLY start, the actual work seems a lot easier than the
anticipation of same.

Hope it works that way for you.

Keep thinking about how GOOD it will be when you are able to do what
you want to in your own shop!

Good Luck

Old Guy


Quote:
> Thanks all. After reading one comment, I realize the main reason I
> don't want to go to the shop is because of the filth I'll recognize
> when I walk in. Been putting off cleaning that place up for some time
> now (almost a year I think). The boat has been parked in the shop
> since the barn blew down this past fall, the lawn mower is parked in
> there with a flat tire, the table saw has been pushed into a corner,
> the wife has stacked flower pots all over my work bench, and I seem to
> recall telling her to put her banana trees in there as well so they
> wouldn't freeze over winter. OH MAN do I dread going out there.

> Guess there is nothing to do but roll the ol sleeves up and start
> cleaning. What with finals week ending this week and no classes to
> teach until late January, I suppose I won't have any excuse to not
> clean the place up. Perhaps once it is clean (cleaner), I'll decided
> to start making it dirty again.

> JD (Kentucky)

 
 
 

Finding a new excuse to go to the shop

Post by tom koehle » Thu, 11 Dec 2008 01:35:36


On Mon, 8 Dec 2008 15:32:56 -0600, JD wrote
(in message

Quote:
> Thanks all. After reading one comment, I realize the main reason I
> don't want to go to the shop is because of the filth I'll recognize
> when I walk in. Been putting off cleaning that place up for some time
> now (almost a year I think). The boat has been parked in the shop
> since the barn blew down this past fall, the lawn mower is parked in
> there with a flat tire, the table saw has been pushed into a corner,
> the wife has stacked flower pots all over my work bench, and I seem to
> recall telling her to put her banana trees in there as well so they
> wouldn't freeze over winter. OH MAN do I dread going out there.

> Guess there is nothing to do but roll the ol sleeves up and start
> cleaning. What with finals week ending this week and no classes to
> teach until late January, I suppose I won't have any excuse to not
> clean the place up. Perhaps once it is clean (cleaner), I'll decided
> to start making it dirty again.

> JD (Kentucky)

Periods of motivational funk like this seem to follow a cyclic pattern for
me, though I am not quite organized enough to try to plot just what the
pattern is. Nothing seems to go quite smoothly and it is best for me to just
back off and pursue something away from the shop. Then, a few days or weeks
later, things just seem to "click" perfectly, and all my workshop pursuits
flow smoothly. Some inner motivational gyro seems to direct me to the shop
when it is "time" for me to resume my tinkering, and it works for me.

IMO, don't force yourself back into the shop, but try to monitor that muse or
whatever it might be called, and when the time is right to go into your shop,
the clutter will almost sort itself as you apprehend each item.

The discipline you have had to have while pursuing your education has cut a
new channel along the bank in your stream of consciousness. It will take
awhile to get back into your regular flow of things. (been there myself)

Now, after this little metaphorical meander, you may return to your regularly
scheduled programming. Thank you for your indulgence.

tom koehler

--
I will find a way or make one.