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Down on all fours

When’s the last time you crawled around on the shop floor? Never, you say?

I’m not typically down on the shop floor unless I’ve dropped something. But during my recent assembly table construction I spent a lot of time down there as I gave the legs several coats of polyurethane. On the downside, my rear end got both cold and sore on the hard concrete. On the plus side, I noticed a lot of things down there I wouldn’t have seen otherwise.

For one thing, at that low level I could see up and under the outfeed table on my saw. Only then did I realize that the reason I’d had such a hard time plugging it in was that the cord was snagged, so I crawled over and unsnagged it. Much better.

While down there, I also noticed that one of the bolts securing my router extension was loose. I probably wouldn’t have discovered that otherwise, until vibration worked it all the way out and it fell.

Back at my assembly table, as I leaned down nearly to the floor to get the bottom edges of one of the legs, I spotted a countersink bit that’s been at large under my rolling planer stand for several weeks.

I also noticed that one end of the toe-kick under my new cabinets was unsecured, that when painting baseboards I’d missed a short section at my dust-collector closet, and I found a quarter I remembered using to trace a corner radius on a board two months ago.

I won’t begin to talk about what my knees thought of the whole experience, but I was genuinely surprised by how much a different viewpoint showed things I’d never noticed before. It was an entirely different perspective on the working aspects of my shop. I recommend trying it sometime.

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