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Good news; bad news

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Behind every gray cloud there’s a silver lining. Of course, that also means that for every silver lining there’s a big fat gray cloud sitting in front of it.

Unfortunately, good things don’t always cancel out bad things. However, as with the previous paragraph, that rule only proves that bad things don’t cancel out good ones either. At best, we can hope for a balance – good things to make us feel better about the trials we must endure, and not-so-good things to keep the good times from giving us a swelled head. To that end, here’s a brief list of plusses and minuses that I’ve experienced recently.

Good news – I’m working on a series of shop interviews and last Friday I drove to Pennsylvania to supervise a photo session at a shop. It was a lot of work (and, at about 400 miles round trip, a lot of gas), but the effort was worth it as the session went great and the photos are going to be fantastic. Bad news – Yesterday, though, I got back the contact sheets from a photo session at another shop. This one required no work or gas purchasing on my part, but the photos were quite disappointing.

Good – I finally found a local source of great lumber. I knew about this place but didn’t know till visiting them last week that they happily sell lumber in extremely small quantities to guys like me. I can get almost any species of hardwood I want in any quantity, and it’s far better stuff at lower prices than anything the big box stores carry. Bad – The wonky rear hatch on my car is broken again and permanently locked, meaning that I can’t open it to put lumber in.

Good – A couple blogs back I mentioned that I bought a new extension bed for my lathe. Bad – With a sudden surprise change in an assignment (good news, really), I won’t have time to play with my new higher-capacity lathe for at least a month.

Good – After my most recent whole-shop cleaning session, my shop is spotless; a real showplace. Bad – That means I ain’t working in it.

Till next time,


Don’t forget I’m looking for input from any of you who’ve been to IWF in Atlanta, for an upcoming article in Woodshop News. What’s your best suggestion for someone attending the show? What worked well for you, and helped you cover the most ground in the least time? What are your tips for making the show fun? What is the number one not-to-be-missed aspect of IWF? E-mail ideas and suggestions to me at, along with your name and shop location (city and state), and I’ll include the best ones in my article.

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