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Good old woodworking, literally

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They say memory is the second thing to go when you get older. Can’t recall what the first thing was, which is good, since I obviously don’t miss it.

Those of us riding the aging demographic hump known as the baby boomers are beginning to feel the effects. When you stop to realize that something as trivial as James Bond movies are now half a century old, you know that a lot of the more important things are starting to show a bit of wear and tear.

When it comes to the shop, the two greatest effects of aging for me are that my eyes aren’t as good as they used to be, and I just can’t be on my feet for hour after hour without paying for it later. I’ve taken measures to combat both of these things, however.

Regular eye exams are mandatory for me (as they should be for everyone), and I dutifully update my eyeglass prescriptions. Last fall I was eligible for new frames with my vision insurance, and even though I rarely get new frames “just because I can,” I took advantage of it to have an extra pair of reading glasses just for shop use. My bifocals are fine for most shop work, but if I’m examining a finish, doing fine detail work, or drafting plans and drawings, those dedicated reading glasses really do the trick.

As to being on my feet, I’ve purchased a few of those cushioned floor mats that I’ve put in places where I stand the most for long periods, such as in front of the lathe and assembly bench. Combined with always wearing my most comfortable sneakers (the ones that are so worn that a homeless person would refuse them as a handout), those floor mats help tremendously.

So, I’m curious. I know that a lot of you are also boomers, so what effects of aging are impacting your shop work the most, and how are you dealing with them?



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