Skip to main content


Having enough time to work is one thing, but having uninterrupted time is far more important.

Let’s say you have a lot on your woodworking plate, so you’ve planned out your day to maximize simply getting things done. You know which tasks take priority and which ones can wait, and after your morning coffee you’re ready to go. You’re barely into you work when:

• The phone rings and caller ID says it’s a business call you must take.

• Something breaks, or you realize that something requires adjustment, or a blade needs replaced, etc., and you have to stop and address it before you can continue.

• You run out of something, requiring either a supply run or total readjustment of your work plan.

• An outside interruption occurs – a client arrives unexpectedly, FedEx rings the doorbell with something you’ve been waiting for, the police knock on your shop door, or whatever, and you must stop to deal with it.

• The power goes off or, if you’re working online, your connection dies for a short time.

I don’t know about you, but I find it extremely difficult to get back up to speed after an interruption like any of the above or similar. Sometimes the length of time needed to overcome these “Now, where was I?” moments is greater than how long it took to get started in the first place. Sure, you can do what you can to avert the interruptions you can predict (I’m looking at you, Sally…), but for something you can’t predict you’re at the whims of chance.

Related Articles

Is bigger better?

I have more than three times the amount of room in my new shop as my old one. Generally, that’s wonderful, but not for everything.

One good turn (deserves another)

I’ve ruined many a project component by going one step too far – one more pass with a sander, one more coat of finish, once more through the planer, one more tweak on a dovetail, etc. Almost always, the one more thing was one too many.

Little project, big reward

I love big, involved projects, but the smaller ones around this time of year are often the most rewarding.

Comedy of errors

Most shop screw-ups are simple, one-error things. Some of mine have more components than a Shakespearean play.

Stealing ’em blind

I talked last year about how little attention the checkouts at Big Box stores pay to what they’re actually ringing up. In the earlier case, the guy paid no attention to the fact that I had two cabinets on a dolly, not one long one, and only charged me for one. I noted at the time that even though this was a small thing, it’s still indicative of issues affecting the economy. How can you possibly succeed when you’re letting free stuff go out the door?

Order of danger

What’s the most dangerous thing in the woodshop? The list is a long one.

AJBLOG-997 image

Always time for wood play

Working on two major projects simultaneously, I didn’t have time to play around. So, I made time.


Discipline in the woodshop is important, whether you have employees sharing that shop or not.

Waiting game

Few things are worse than really being on a roll in your woodshop, and having to come to a grinding halt to wait for something.