Chilled out

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Not all essential shop accessories relate to woodworking. And some, no matter how much we like them, aren’t all that essential.

My shop, its layout and the equipment and tools therein have changed repeatedly and drastically over time. But one accessory has remained a constant for more than 30 years, and it never (almost never) had anything to do with woodworking. It is – or rather, was – a small “college dorm” type refrigerator. Although I’d occasionally use it to store something shop-related that needed to be kept cool, its primary purpose has been storing cold drinks, and it excelled at that for three decades.

In my basement shop in Connecticut it made more sense. We had a townhouse, and getting a cold soda while working involved climbing stairs and walking through most of the house to get to the kitchen. In my current garage shop, though, the kitchen is just a few steps inside the door.

But out of tradition or whatever I kept that little refrigerator as a permanent shop fixture. Well, it finally died. (After 30+ years, a testimony to how much better they made things “back then.”) I intended to get another, but haven’t yet had the chance. In the meantime, it turns out I haven’t missed it – again, the kitchen’s right there.

I’ve decided to do without one. It’s small, but the space it (and the short stand it’s on) occupies – which it wasn’t really suited for anyway – could certainly be put to better use. I’m thinking a new finishing cabinet.

Still, it’s been a presence for so long. The shop just won’t seem the same without it there.

A.J.

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