Welcome to our 2015 Woodworking Resolutions blogger series. Every year we invite our bloggers to share their resolutions specific to their woodworking goals for the new year. Click each link below to read our bloggers’ resolutions!
It’s that time of year again (already), and I thought I’d share my resolutions for 2015.
For those who don’t know (and anyone that read last year’s resolutions), I needed a second back surgery in April of 2014 (yep, almost all of the resolutions were a bust), which ended up being a game changer. This second back surgery resolved a number of issues that had persisted since my 2012 surgery, and thankfully most are a fading memory. I’m back (no pun intended) to getting around much more like I did before the back problem originally raised its head. I find it very interesting how quickly one can change their “norms” (e.g. Most people inherently know they can run if something requires it, like an emergency of some sort. This changed for me, when I knew I couldn’t run due to my calf muscles being non-responsive.) and how the body/mind will sort things into “I can do that” or “I can’t do that”. I’m now successfully working to shift as many of my “norms”, as possible, all back to “I can do that”. And for those who might ask, yes, I have actually “run” a bit. I’m sure anyone that might have seen me wondered why I moved so strange, and certainly nowhere near the sprinter speed of my teens and 20’s, but I was moving at a brisk pace compared to the last couple of years. No matter what it looked like, I was stoked to do something that had been completely out of reach. So, based on that long diatribe, my resolutions are as follows:
1. Stay healthy and work out regularly – This used to really be an automatic thought for me, as I loved to exercise and be active all of the time. It was so easy, before my initial back surgery. After the first surgery, it was amazing how hard it was to make myself go through the motions, as every little thing required crazy levels of effort. Now that the second surgery “reconnected” my calf muscles, I vow to keep applying healthy habits and work to regain/retain my strength to better enjoy a long retired life.
2. Upgrade my workbench – Still on the agenda from last year, but I purchased a BenchCrafted tail vise, so this will be part of my bench design. As I mentioned last year, my current workbench is fairly small, even though the base is sound and of decent size. I’ll update the top so it has more landscape to make working on larger projects much easier. Better work holding can directly relate to your safety and quality of work. Imagine what might happen when a workpiece dislodges during a powerful/critical operation.
3. Update my Moxon Vise – I made my current Moxon vise using some small press screws, but just received a birthday gift of the BenchCrafted Moxon Vise kit. The press screws have a fairly fine pitch, which require more time and effort to tighten, so the update will make it both quicker and easier to hold/release any workpiece.
4. Better storage for my hand tools – This is an issue I’ve had on my plate for quite a while, and was on last year’s resolutions list, but didn’t happen. This is totally doable this year!
5. Elevate my instrument building efficiency – My first guitar was the project of all projects, or at least it seemed to me at the time. About three years after the start, I finally completed a nice Les Paul guitar. Earlier this year I started building a Bass guitar of my own design, and I’m just finishing it. While this 4 – 5 month build time is significantly shorter than my first instrument build, I’m sure with focus, I can still improve my efficiency. This may transition into more than just building for my own use, so the efficiency is important.
6. I’ll continue to strive to make my writings (Blog articles, both for Highland and personal) easier to read, and still provide valuable information and entertainment to all.
I hope some or all of my intended resolutions might hit a chord with some of the readership, and we all make next year even better.
Lee Laird has enjoyed woodworking for over 20 years. He is retired from the U.S.P.S. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/is9582
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