Long time, no see

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After a fantastic vacation in Connecticut visiting our daughter and grandson, it’s great to get home. But seeing my shop again gave me a fresh look at my working environment.

For one thing, I have a ton of clutter. You don’t notice when you see it everyday, but it stands out when you return from a trip. My storage shelves are overflowing – boxes, tool cases, jugs and bottles, old half-started projects, a ton of birdhouses, etc. Not only does it look like a pigsty, I don’t need half of that stuff eating up my limited storage space. Gotta do something about that.

When I switched on the lights I saw that four tubes are out, which I never noticed before. Another tube is flickering, while two more seem dim. Rather than buy a case of tubes, now might be a good time to switch out those ancient T-12 fixtures for new T-8s, which I’d been thinking about anyway.

Just looking at the shop before even walking in, it occurred to me that my planer is in the wrong place. As with the lights and clutter, I’d never noticed when working in there everyday, but seeing it with fresh eyes it was obvious I needed to swap the planer’s spot with another machine.

And, while it’s a minor thing as far as actual work goes, I’ve not repainted the shop walls in the 11 years I’ve been working in it. Some stains and splatters, lots of holes and marks where things were previously hung or mounted, dings and dents where I’ve bumped the walls with one thing or another… the list goes on. A fresh coat of paint would not only make the shop look a lot better, it would certainly brighten the space up, especially with new fluorescent fixtures.

The trick here is to do these fixes and improvements quickly, while it’s all still fresh in my mind. If I put this off, I’ll just settle in as before and everything will seem comfy and lived-in again.

A.J.

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