May 032017
 
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For me, my favorite non-woodworking tool in my workshop is my stereo. I’d be lost without the music, but, my television is hooked up to the stereo, so I can get caught up on the latest news, too, which is especially important when there is a late-breaking event.

This stereo setup is nothing to look at. A big, powerful amp in a box for AM/FM and video switching, connected to a 7.1 Surround Sound speaker system.

One night my wife came down while I was working and asked me to turn the music down some. The living level of our home is just above the garage and the stereo speakers are immediately below the living room. Too much garage volume makes watching TV upstairs, shall we say, “difficult.”

The 7.1 speakers make good sound, but, for some real volume, you need real speakers…

…and these babies move some air. And the floor of the living room above.

I said I would, and she smiled, turned, and went back upstairs. A little while later she came back, said I had looked like “a hurt puppy,” and it made her realize how important my music was to me, especially while I was working. She said I should turn it back up.

Which, I did.
Thank you, Baby.

As often as not, I listen to audio through headphones, especially when noisy equipment would drown out stereo speakers. Still, it isn’t the same. Sometimes, I’m just in the mood for those big speakers to rattle some sheet metal.

One day, when I was at Ole Miss, I was working on genetics homework and playing some Neil Young. The Harvest album. Later in the day I saw my across-the-street neighbor in his front yard. I went over to chat.

“I heard you had the Stray Gators (Neil Young’s band on the Harvest album) on earlier, Jim.”

“Genetics. It’s more than the brain can handle without some dilution.”
“You were studying?”
“Homework.”
“OH! I was hoping you weren’t inside the house. Are your ears bleeding?”
OK, so I like my music a little loud. It started with our generation, but it didn’t end with us. Electronics were/are so enabling. And, electronics are cleaner than ever, which means loud can sound better than ever.

What about you? What is your favorite or most important non-woodworking tool in your shop? If your answer is “Other,” leave us a comment with some details.

Return to the May 2017 issue of Wood News Online

  29 Responses to “POLL: What is your favorite or most important non-woodworking tool in your workshop?”

  1. I voted other – portable ac unit. I can deal with our mild winters in the shop. However, during the summer, even with all of the insulation in the walls and garage doors, it is hot in the shop and I don’t enjoy being there and don’t do as much. A portable AC unit has solved this.

  2. TV. I usually turn to something that doesn’t really require viewing, just listening (don’t want to be distracted while using power tools). I have a DVD player too and a stereo.
    I have a heat pump (heating and cooling), and when I found those don’t work too well when it’s 20 degrees outside, I added a gas heater as well.

  3. coffee maker

  4. My four-legged stool.

  5. peg board, yes its ugly but cheap and very functional. Keeps tools organized and easy to find

  6. Glasses.

  7. My shop vac. My shop is in my 🏠 and keeping dust down to a minimum is a must

  8. Scissor

  9. Refrigerator

  10. Wax paper. Resists glue, and is a great lubricant for saw tables, planes….

  11. My drawing board and t square. All my project s start there. When it’s drawn it’s built. All I have to do now is assembly. YES! I redraw a good meny time s.

  12. Ceiling mounted dust collector. Dust mask. Hearing protection with radio.

  13. iTunes: I use a laptop or my iPod to listen to a host of wonderful shows or music according to my mood. I have sermons, history courses, theology, politics, apologetics, and philosophy podcasts for when I’m doing mindless work. I do a lot of hand tool work so I am able to listen.

    -Wm. Francis Brown
    http://www.LineAndBerry.com
    Forest, VA

  14. TV (for sports & music) & Blu Ray speakers to play music thru my phone.

  15. My favourite non-woodworking tool in my shop is my library of books (most on woodworking, wood, and the like) residing on an old re-purposed library bookshelf discarded from my local university library’s reference section…built to last and double-sided to boot.

  16. My favourite non-woodworking tool in my shop is my library of books (most on woodworking, wood, and the like) residing on an old re-purposed library bookshelf discarded from my local university library’s reference section…built to last and double-sided to boot.

  17. My iPad-look up ideas, how-to videos, check out images, etc.

  18. Electric pencil sharpener.

  19. Money.
    I consider it a tool that is most useful in acquiring everything I need.

  20. Broom, no I don’t have a dust collector for my outdoor/ indoor shop.

  21. My stained glass equipment

  22. My window A/C unit. The shop is split into two places (garage for the big stuff and a smaller room on the patio). The back shop has the work bench, hand tools, and all the finishing stuff in one place.
    Living here in the desert southwest is wonderful in the fall/winter/spring but when the earth swings around and we’re 4 miles from the sun in the summer, it can be hell!

  23. My Costco credit card. Buy more shop goodies and get great card rewards.

  24. Broom

  25. Feet / inch phone app

  26. My pipe. Pausing for a a bowl full slows me down and allows me to reflect on my tasks and get back to work with with a more relaxed attitude. Whether I’m stuck on a problem or just in need of a break its a great way for me to step back for a moment to relax.

  27. dissecting microscope, Helps me understand better the wild world around me.

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