Thursday, October 9, 2014

Root Canal Workshop Organization

The legs of my bench are crap. Poor craftsmanship and eaten by bugs. I am building new legs for it and I'm using it as excuse to clean the top and sort my stuff.

In the meantime, these last weeks I've been undergoing root canal treatment and I'm amazed at, a) the pain and b) the finesse of my dentist. She's an old woman and has 2 chairs, and goes from one to the other extremely fast. Looks at the x-ray, at the teeth, and says something in german I don't get. And starts to work. FAST. I, in the meantime, look at her glasses that have two magnifying glasses in the middle and think that they would be awesome for saw filing, and pay attention to the way she works. Everything she needs is at hand, and if not, it will be at hand when she needs it. If the assistant is too slow she get's really pissed off because the workflow is interrupted. Then she goes into the teeth, fast, hard, one, two, three, check, soft, soft soft, check, fill, done. Her hands have such a precision... and I think they look similar to mine when I am paring. I wish I would be half assertive as she is.

Anyway, looking at my naked bench... I like it. It's hygienic. In a mental way at least. But think of it. When you work, you have several different tasks. You are not carving while truing and finishing with shellac the same piece. I hope so. And each task needs different tools. (Think of Tanaka and his videos for example.) Some tools you need always. A plane, a saw, a square and a hammer. A knife. Honing stone. Brush. And that's it, just like the dentist: bring things to the workspace only when (and while) you are using them. Then they go back wherever they live.

As you can see, I cut the front vice of my bench (otherwise we could not comfortably go into the toilet) so I work mostly on the right side with the tail vice. The saws are in front, the hammer in the side (data not shown) and the chisel I most use (double scoop 30mm from Gary) is between the hammers and the saws. The marking knife, those two planes, and the honing stone stay on the bench.

Now, I just need to make boxes and organise their contents by task. E.g. carving box with gouges, joinery box with chisels and gauges, filing box with files, and so forth and so weider.

So, you come to the bench. Observe what you need to do. You make a plan of the things you need. Bring your tools. Work. Clean. Put everything back.


Next patient.

If everything is always in the same place, eventually, you learn it by heart. Like the chords of a guitar. You start looking at the frets, thinking where to put your fingers, then you practice and practice and eventually you are playing music.

Woodplaying... I like  the way it sounds.

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