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Woodworking Fun

A Real Woodworker Is When ...

.... The wood will cost you more than you can buy it for already made, but you still want to try and make it cheaper, if you can.

.... You go for a cup of coffee at 10 a.m. and notice you have saw and/or sanding dust all over your dress pants because you had to take one last look at your project that morning.

.... You talk more about the waxing on bar stool's legs than the waxing on the bar maid's legs.

.... You don't work from plans, just the idea in your head.

.... You think news:rec.woodworking has the answers to make you a master woodworker in the shop.

.... You walk through a used furniture store and realize you'd rather look at the back of the piano than the front.

.... You use up your scrap wood pile on Christmas projects each year.

.... You walk into a used furniture store with a pencil, paper and measuring tape in your pocket.

.... You tell your neighbor that you just spent the afternoon waxing your table saw... and he's not surprised.

.... Your spouse's car suffers the outdoor winters, like yours does.

.... You collect more saw dust on your cloths than your Dust Collector does.

.... You're criticized for the way you set up your tools, even though your system works.

.... You can't explain how something works or what you are doing, but know if you had a picture, it would.

.... You spot a piece of furniture in a store and say to yourself, "I could have made that better 'and' cheaper".

.... You're stroking a piece of furniture in a store with a glazed look on your face.

.... You save all the scrap pieces in fear you will need them some day.

.... You have your wood and supplies delivered instead of picking them up at the BORG.

.... You are more interested in how your tools run, than how your car runs.

.... You know you can make it at half the price, even though you know the lumber will cost you twice as much. If you had the plans.....

.... You purchase new equipment and take the pallet and eight to ten more as well.

.... You start dragging home pallets from dumpsters everywhere.

.... Your shop is rapidly getting smaller because you are filling it up with woodworking tools.

.... Your fantasy life includes dreams of the 14" Band Saw at Home Depot.

.... You have more pieces of scrap wood in your scrap bin, than she does for her quilting blocks.

.... She thinks that your woodworking hobby is like her quilting hobby.

.... You thought you bought your tools for home improvement only.

.... You make more money on your woodworking hobby than you do at your day job.

.... Someone tells you that you don't know a thing about woodworking and you think they are talking about themselves.

.... You take a 6 pack and sack lunch with you when you go to your shop.

.... You think it's a great idea to drive half-way across the country just to get a load of wood twice a year... once in a snow storm... and the SWMBO wants to go with you.

.... You find yourself dodging traffic on the freeway to save that 6'x6" post from becoming road kill.

.... You meet someone and you both instinctively check each other's left forearm to see if they shave it with chisels and plane irons like you do.

.... You spend over two hundred dollars on clamps and you're still at least 7 to 8 months away from moving in to your new shop....meanwhile the rest of your tools are in storage.

.... You work all day in your shop and it seems like you never get anything done.

.... You can look at any stand of trees and accurately estimate the board feet of wood that could be sitting in your lumber rack.

.... You know the wood will cost more than the piece at the store, but you build it anyway. And then you realize that it wasn't so simple to build in the first place! But in the end you built it better.

.... Every time you burn a piece of hardwood for firewood, you tell yourself: What a shame, I could have cut that into pieces for a project.

.... You have nightmares about all that beautiful Ash, Hickory, Beechnut, & Red Oak you helped fall, cut up, and fed to the furnace on the dairy farm as a kid.

.... You're going out of town on a business trip and you find yourself doing a web search for tool outlets, lumber yards and tool shows rather than lodging accommodations and restaurants.

.... You shave with your planes.

.... You've got your friends trained to save the really interesting pieces from their wood piles for you.

.... You've blown a hole in the door of your garage, uhm, workshop with a piece of oak when it gets trapped between the saw blade spinning at 1725 rpm and fence and then you repair the hole so well no one notices.

.... Your saw blade cost as much or more than your table saw.

.... The only thing original about your table saw is the motor and the on-off switch.

.... You'd rather take SWMBO to a jewelry store than go to the woodworking store because the only router bits you don't own cost more than any piece of jewelry she might desire.

.... You have storage problems because you cannot bear to part with that "gorgeous grained" 2" wide piece of cherry off-cut.

.... You own more than one router, and realize that you probably "need" more still.

.... You ask SWMBO if it would be alright to install an air compressor system in the master bedroom above the garage, uhm, workshop and then you are deeply hurt with her emphatic "No chance in Hell," response.

.... You're a white-collar professional who owns a big, bad truck and insists you bought it for "practical" reasons.

.... You dropped your subscriptions to Sports Illustrated and Playboy to leave more time to read through the new Woodworking Magazines and Tool Catalogs, which appear in your mailbox every two or three days.

.... You spend more time building fixtures, jigs, tooling, and storage than you do actually building final projects.

.... Your own list of household "Things To Do" is much longer than the one SWMBO has for you.

.... You go to a trendy party or business function and spend half the evening admiring the finish on the oak bar.

.... You're more interested in the ornamental work around the bar than the stunning 23 year old blonde bartender.

.... You have memorized the features, prices, virtues, and vices of every Delta, DeWalt, Jet and Grizzly power tool you still want.

.... You've saved up for all the tools you want, but still can't afford them.

.... You cannot buy those tools you want because there isn't a free square inch of space in your garage, uhm, workshop.

.... You seriously think you have a shot at petitioning the Homeowner's Association for your townhouse to allow you to erect a 50' x 50' barn in the common parking space.

.... You start designing your Dream House which turns out to be an efficiency apartment over a 35,000 sq. ft. shop.

.... You wonder why the SWMBO firmly believes that living quarters should include a kitchen and bathroom.

.... You consider your investment in Law School/Engineering/Medicine/Business a "complete waste" and ponder the $6/hr apprenticeship being offered at the local cabinet-maker's shop as a real career opportunity.

.... You have to tell your neighbor "no" when he wants to use your CMS because it is wired for 220.

.... You explain to SWMBO that you're going to visit a good old acquainted when you stop in at The BORG to "visit" the wood.

.... Your pile of scrap pieces you're saving for that one project is larger than your stack of new wood.

.... Your breaker panel is over wired and your shop is under wired.

.... You go to Model Home Shows just to check out the size of the basement to see if would be adequate for a shop. At the same time getting annoyed that they finished the basement without leaving enough space for a shop.

.... You look at every commercial building for its suitability as a woodshop.

.... You new saw falls on your toe while assembling it, breaking a bone, but you know they can't do anything at the hospital, so you painfully wax the table top.

.... You have to build a storage shed to store the "gonna use" scrap wood pieces you are saving.

.... Your pile of "gonna-use" scrap wood pieces is larger than your stack of new wood.

.... You don't have any time for the spouse and kids because you are in your shop.

.... SWMBO tells you that if you spend that much time in the shop, that all you'll be getting is a "lick and a promise."

.... SWMBO fills that "promise" on your newly built workbench.

.... You can't remember the projects you wanted to build since the SWMBO initiated the new workbench.

,,,, You find yourself fulfilling un-kept promises with your SWMBO and then you realize there is only one way to lick this problem and get back to the shop.

.... You wake up earlier so you can spend more time in the shop, you think.

.... Your shop is so cluttered and messy that you wouldn't want your friends to see it.

.... You think you know all the answers to woodworking problems because you have a library of books, yet you still ask questions on the web.

.... You have more than one tool that is a Dust Collector.

.... You never can finish those simple projects as fast as Norm can.

.... Your daughter has quit getting mad at you because you stop at the Hardware store before you go to see her.

.... You wire everything for 220 in the shop just so you can say 'no' when the neighbor asks to borrow one of your tools.

.... You find out that 5 o'clock comes twice a day, and not just in the evening.

.... You wonder why your pile of scrap wood is getting bigger than your stock wood when you haven't bought any stock wood in over a year.

.... You go directly to the tool department to see all the tools on display, even though you know there's nothing new.

.... You drool over tools that you wished you could buy, knowing that you'd probably never use them.

.... SWMBO's relatives are asking you to make things you don't have the tools for.

.... You tell your SWMBO that you need to buy a $300 tool to build that bookcase she wants, knowing you'll only use it for 15 minutes and you secretly know you don't need to buy it.

.... Your shop leaks wood.

.... You've got the best shop setup, because the other woodworkers on the wreck gave you their advice.

.... Your mother thinks you are a genius because you know how to work with wood.

.... You now understand what the instructor was trying to teach in those classes you took in woodshop when you were in high school.

.... You think you've made all the mistakes there is to be a woodworker and you're careful not to make any more, and you still make another one.

.... The shop project you're working on looks better after the second beer.

.... The plans you drew up last night on the computer can no way be worked into the project you want to build.

.... You use your hand saw to cut the tree down and your Table Saw to cut it up while your Chain Saw doesn't get used because you need gas for it.

.... The SWMBO or kids brings home useless scrap wood because they think it might be worth something.

.... Somebody else always figures out a better way to do the project you just finished than you did.

.... You don't mind if a little saw dust is on you lunch sandwiches.

.... Your shop isn't as big as you'd like it to be, but you know it's bigger than Norm's.

Murphy's Woodworking Laws

1. If you miss removing some dried glue from a joint, it will appear in the most visible spot on your project

2. One piece in a thousand will snap in the middle, popping a huge unsightly, triple-pronged, un-glueable splinter when you try to install it.

3. The router bit you need to use will stay hidden in the shop until you buy a replacement.

4. The store you buy router bits from will have every bit in stock except the one you need.

5. The greater the number of any one router bit you have on hand, the harder it will be to find it.

6. Dovetails on scrap wood as tests, will be perfect.

7. The router and dovetail jig will need adjustment on the actual project after all tests prove perfect.

8. When one more test setting is needed, you'll not have the scrap wood to do the test with. You'll move to the actual wood and the settings will be off.

9. Every dovetail joint in a project will have a fault except the last one.

10. Once you find the tool you are looking for, something else will disappear.

11. Interchangeable parts will not.

12. Once a project is fouled up, anything you do to it will only make it worse.

13. The woodworker with the least expertise has the most opinions.

14. A $300 tool will protect a 10 cent fuse by burning out first.

15. The amount of planning you put into a Saturday afternoon project will be directly proportional to the thoughts SWMBO has of taking you shopping for clothes at the same time.

16. In any project assembly, if there is a 50% chance of putting it together wrong, there will be a 95% chance you will put it together wrong the first time.

17. You will always have enough epoxy resin left for that last joint, but you'll be out of hardener.

18. The workpiece on the lathe will always catch and explode when you make that last, light finishing cut.

19. No matter how many pencils you buy, there is never enough.

20. No matter how many pencils you sharpen, you will never find one.

21. When you finally find a pencil in the shop, you will have forgotten your measurement.

22. When you finally cut those perfectly book-matched boards you've been saving for doors on a special cabinet, you will have discovered you have two left ones.

23. The tool you can not find will be in the last place you look.

24. On any project, you will find at least one board that no matter how many times you cut it, it will still be too short.

25. No matter how well you plan a project, you will never be able to finish it in 30 minutes, like Norm Abram.

26. Half-way through a well-planned project, you will need a tool you don't have.

27. When SWMBO requires you to do a project that requires a new tool, she won't let you buy it.

28. Drying time on glue is inversely proportional to the amount of time the lid has been left off of the bottle.

29. Mistakes only happen on the most visible piece.

30. No matter how large or powerful a tool you buy, it will be inadequate for the next project you want to use it for.

31. No matter how many screws, nuts, bolts or fasteners you have, you will never have the right one at the right time.

32. No matter where you lay down a tool, you will be on the other side of the shop when you need it again.

33. No matter where you make a place to keep a tool, it won't be in it when you need it.

34. Every one hour project will take 6-1/2 hours in your shop.

35. All the free plans available always seem boring.

36. Any project done for a relative or friend will have them over every night until it is finished to their satisfaction.

37. No matter how much blood, sweat and tears you put into a project, no one will appreciate it or like it as much as you do.

38. Plans always have a step, joint, or technique you hate, think is stupid, never heard of or don't have the tools for.

39. You can never afford the wood for the really cool projects.

40. The exciting project you don't have time for on Tuesday night, is the one that is too boring to do on Saturday morning.

41. You never remember "shop tips" while working in the shop.

42. You can never remember all the things you need at Home Depot when you have to go there.

43. You never remember the wood you needed until you unload the truck with the wood you thought you needed.

44. Every project will take six hours of cleaning the shop, rearranging the tools and building a one time jig before you can start.

45. Building a jig always takes more time than building the project you have to use it with.

46. You would rather spend your money on good tools than waste it on expensive hardwoods.

47. You can always purchase an item cheaper than it is to make.

48. If you measure a dimension twice and get the same measurement both times, your measuring tape is inaccurate.

49. If you measure something three times, one will not agree with the other two.

50. If your measurements are exact, you will invariably cut on the wrong side of the mark at least once.

51. If you drop a tool on the floor, it will invariably roll under your bench where you can't reach it.

52. The quality, low-priced lumber is never near where you live.

53. Any project you have to do will require another project to be done before it.

54. A clean shop is the sign of someone that just says he is a woodworker.

55. The worst fitting joint will always be the most visible, and likewise, the best fitting joint is always hidden from view.

56. All finished blemishes will be right where people will want to touch and admire it.

57. The hand fastener you have at hand, is always too long or too short and you must go find the right size.

58. Always cut the long piece first. This way when you cut it too short, you can use it for the shorter pieces.

59. Short pieces needing to be cut, will never have long enough stock to cut them out of.

60. When clamping work together, you will always need one more hand than is available to hold the piece together (even using a nail gun).

61. Don't put fleshy parts of your body behind anything you are drilling or you might find it with the drill bit.

62. All lost tools are found after finding a way to get around not using them. They get jealous if not enough attention is paid to them. Much like a dog will come back if you stop running after him.

63. Never say, "Oh ya, I can do that in an hour" when you need to be somewhere else in four hours.

64. Never commit to anything you don't want to be nagged about later.

65. You never have enough time to do a project the first time, but always enough time to do it over.

66. A freshly sharpened chisel will always fall sharpened side down.

67. Old Bailey planes will fall in such a way to snap off a cheek or to break at the mouth.

68. Tools & wood will expand to consume all available shop space.

69. When digging for something in the tool box, you'll find the sharp end first.

70. Some lights and tools have a dependency sensor. Like a breaker, if it senses too much dependency, it ceases operation. Sometimes spectacularly.

71. All of the Phillips screwdrivers of a useful size are in SWMBO's kitchen utility drawer.

72. If you spill glue on your forearm, it should be cleaned up right away. If you delay, you'll get an appreciation for what women go through when they wax their legs.

73. If you run out of stain in the middle of a project, the next can, even though it is the same brand and kind, will be different.

74. Clamps are used to hold boards in place. Without them, the boards are found all over the shop.

75. When you know you have a particular tool, and can't find it, you'll buy another one. When you know you have several tools of the same kind, you'll keep looking for one of them.

76. When you set up your shop, the tools will have enough breakers so you can turn all of them on at once, then you run them one at a time.

77. Those special boards you have been saving can be found in the son's woodworking project he did at school.

78. There is a direct correlation between the price of the wood and the mis-cuts.

79. Measuring twice and cutting once, will only result in two different measurements.

80. A surefire way to guarantee screwing up your project is to say, "Just this last cut and then I'm done."

81. The amount of time spent on finishing a project is directly proportional to the ear ache received about it not "ready yet", but is inversely proportional to the quality of the finish.

82. Spill-proof paint cans, aren't.

83. Paint / Varnish / Glue can be removed easier and faster from your project than the patch of floor you dripped it on.

84. A three-year-old can imitate your painting with better results.

85. A tool you have been wanting to use for a long time will not be able to be found, and you'll wind up buying another one.

86. Small particles of dust float in the air all of the time. If you buy a Dust Collector, you become more aware of them and think your Dust Collector isn't doing the job.

87. All projects come with mistakes. You should make those first before working on the project.

88. Starting a project is easier to do than finishing one.

89. The plans for a project and the finished project itself, never seem to be the same.

90. A skilled woodworker will always have difficulty doing something.

91. An air cleaner has no way of knowing how often it cleans the same air over and over and over....

92. The SWMBO usually has better plans.

93. Someone else will find your mistakes quicker and easier than you can.

94. Once you have saved enough money to buy that special tool you've been wanting, it will either be out-of-stock or discontinued.

95. If you have enough money to buy all the tools you want, there will still be something you need the next time you use them.

96. If you are limited in the amount of money you can spend on your tools, something is going to suffer. Usually it will be the car.

97. All power tools are built with smoke sealed in them. If you let the smoke out, the tool will no longer function.

98. Everything in the shop is considered to be a Dust Collector until you buy one.

99. Making saw dust is one thing. Making saw dust perfect requires skill.

100. The best way to protect your lungs from getting saw dust in them is to use a respirator as a filter over your nose.

101. The floor is never the right color or clean enough to find the dropped screws, bolts, nuts or nails you need to finish your project with.

102. Small fasteners and hardware when dropped, proves time travels. The distance between where and when it dropped today and the time and place it was finally found (three months from now) is an example of how this item traveled through time before it hit the floor and landed where you found it.

103. Never make a list of items to get at the store. You won't remember it until you get there and park your truck. (Or remember where you left it.)

104. If there is only one drop of glue that squeezes out of a joint when gluing up a project, it will most likely be under a clamp where it can't be seen to be cleaned.

105. When working on any project, there will always be a tool that you don't have that will either make it easier or allow you to do the job in less time.

106. There will always be someone who will tell you that you did it wrong.

107. The customer will always tell you there is something wrong with the project you made him and then offer to take it off of your hands at a lower price than he agreed to pay.

108. Nothing will ever turn out right on Mondays.

109. Being overstocked with wood can be just as bad as being under-stocked.

110. Everyone makes mistakes. Most people laugh at mine.

111. When a rapidly spinning power tool comes into contact with a stationary tool, it will be the more expensive of the two which suffers the worst damage.

112. You'll always need one more clamp no matter how many you buy.

113. You buy a tool from a mail order catalogue. They say it will take 2 days to arrive....it takes 7.

114. When you glue something up, glue gets all over everywhere. All over the workshop. All over your clamps. All over your tools. All over you.

115. You never have enough wood to REALLY build that project you've been planning.

116. You always need one more tool to finish that job you've been planning for months.

117. You're never satisfied with what tools you've got and want to buy more, regardless if you already have one.

118. Sanding and finishing are boring, tedious jobs and you pay the kids to do them.

119. Cleaning up the shop can always wait until tomorrow.

120. Finding the right lumber for the job can take all day. Especially when you have to look at all the new tools at the store as well.


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