At my expense

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There are lots of expenses in woodworking (or any other business), but the most onerous are those that accomplish only to get you back where you already were.

Adding a new tool or upgrading an old one can increase efficiency, production and, ultimately, profits. Spending money isn’t always pleasant, but at least you can enjoy the benefits I just noted. However, when spending covers an unexpected but essential repair – or lateral replacement – of a necessary tool, it’s just painful. This week I was in pain twice.

I told you last week about my broken camera, which is an essential tool in my shop. Turned out that potential repair was expensive enough that it just made more sense to replace it. So, I bit the bullet and did just that. Several hundred dollars later, and I’m right back where I was before the old camera died.

Also, this week I needed to buy a new resaw blade for my band saw. I’d been nursing the old one, a high-end blade that wasn’t inexpensive, for some time. But after struggling to resaw some oak it was clear I had to replace it. So, again, I bit the bullet.

With both the camera and blade it’s frustrating to have spent all that money just to restore the status quo. On the other hand, both new items are improved over their predecessors – especially the camera, as technology advances quickly – so I’m working faster and with better results. I hated to spend the money, but my work is better off for it.

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