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Fiery Pits of Hell

A few things are straight from Hell. They include both migraines and 40 year old table saws with missing blade guards. I had both, now I am left with only one…and it’s for sale on Craigslist. If I were you, I’d pay 100 bucks just to steer clear of this thing, it’s maniacle.

First, let’s set things straight, things have been getting quite busy here and I have been writing less. Second – about 6 years ago my migraines started, and only about 6 weeks ago did I finally decide to do something about it. No more meds. Just a cowboy in yoga poses, getting pricked with acupuncture needles, and quitting the only real vice he had left…his morning cowboy coffee. It’s all working and I have been on the path to recovery for the last three weeks. So now it’s time to take care of that beast that lives in the garage, destined to return to the fiery pits of hell, along with migraines.

But before we get there…let me explain the underlying reason why it all started in the first place. When things tend to get busy in the workshop (especially this last month) – my mind likes to wander. Sometimes it gets a bit difficult to create the same things day in and day out. Certain items I sell are super popular and I get to make them a lot. Don’t get me wrong – I love making these things, I wouldn’t if I didn’t, but my creative mind loves to dream up new projects. New things to make, new challenges, and new things to learn. I had found that in the last several months the only new ideas I was thinking of creating would survive if I thought they would sell well in the shop. This is not the right way to think. Let me repeat that…ahem, you get the point.  Take away that commercial part of thinking if you really want to feel that creative pulse. By only making things to sell and designing them to be affordable, I have been depriving myself of a lot of greater challenges.  I am not sure what exactly brings across these epiphanies, it may be getting away for a weekend, or just stopping to actually think through problems for a second in my busy day (queue meditation, and Japanese gong).

Either way – it was a landmark epiphany that has come at the perfect time. I have decided to hunker down and start teaching myself the finer points of woodworking on larger projects. I aim to build a few pieces of furniture, something a bit more complex than my workshop table. The plan is to learn more traditional joinery techniques, a better understanding of power tools and their use on larger projects, and how I can incorporate my own design into common furniture pieces. I am looking forward to the challenge, for those that want to follow along and pick up some of the same tips that I will be getting – you might consider signing up for an account at FineWoodworking.com (definitely no – I am not at all affiliated) – it will give you access to their library of videos about woodworking tips, tricks and techniques. It seems like one of the best ones out there, though there are a few others that I might consider as well.

Step one: Find and purchase a decent table-saw. The one I have been using in the shop is not exactly the safest in the world. In fact – writing about this right now reminds me to take some pics to post here…and on craigslist. It has no blade guard, no riving knife (used to keep the cut wood from slipping back onto the saw …thus kicking back onto your face), the fence used to align the wood doesn’t lock down tightly, which is a big concern actually. And it honestly scares the crap out of me every time I have had to use it. Especially when I was cutting a huge plywood sheet for the workshop table. That thing felt like it was aiming at me from all directions. Not fun. Time to chuck it. Now I have my eye on this beauty here, and you wont believe what it does when you see it, but…just check it out:

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