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Fish, or cut bait

At what point on a problematic project must you decide whether to keep struggling to get it done, or to move on to something more productive?

I’ve talked a lot about my shop build and have occasionally noted how difficult it is to find things when you move some 200 boxes containing everything from woodworking tools to socks and underwear. Moves seem like they take forever, but I can confidently say ours is 95 percent complete with everything now in its proper place. But, oh, that remaining 5 percent!

There were still some unopened boxes in my shop, plus many more opened but yet to be emptied. As a result, I’m still bumping into tasks I can’t complete because I can’t find something. These are usually smaller things and, most notably, hand tools. Getting my table saw back in service, which I spoke of last time, was severely impacted by this.

Assembling a cabinet saw properly takes me the better part of a day if there are no complications. However, I hit one right from the start when I realized I didn’t have a 10-, 14- and 17mm wrench, all of which are required for assembly. Now, I know I own these. Two sets, in fact – a set of regular metric wrenches, plus a set of metric sockets. I just couldn’t find them.

Determined not to go out and buy replacements for something I know I already own, I opened those last remaining boxes and rummaged through all the other open boxes, without luck. Either they were hidden in among other stuff (they’re not bulky, after all), or I had already taken them out and put them somewhere “temporarily,” but can’t remember where.

On the down side I ended up wasting a couple hours in fruitless searching. But since I was determined to get this task done – I’d put it off long enough – I ended up having to go buy replacements anyway.

On the plus side, I did find my socks and underwear.

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