Because I live in a small town in the middle of nowhere, all my woodworking friends are located elsewhere. Getting to visit one of their shops, which I did this weekend, is always a treat.
My buddy Joe Cress falls into the friend category in two ways: Not only is he a fellow Civil War reenactor, but hes also a full-time furniture maker (www.logancreekdesigns.com). We correspond frequently, usually by e-mail, but in the 12 or so years that weve known each other weve only managed to get together three, maybe four times.
Joes shop in Abingdon, Va., is only a few minutes off the interstate, so when we visited Sallys mom this weekend in Bristol, Tenn., on our way back home yesterday we gave him a call from the car and headed over to his place for a short side trip. He had been planing down a load of walnut and cherry when Id called, so the shop was fragrant with wood aromas as welcoming and attracting as a fresh-backed pie cooling on a windowsill.
We couldnt stay long we had a six-hour drive ahead of us and he was in the middle of a work day but we caught up on things, got a quick tour of how hes updated his large shop (he recently began teaching woodworking classes and has partitioned an area as a classroom), and checked out some recent furniture projects Id previously only been able to see in photos.
What is it about visiting a friends shop that makes you want to get back out into your own? I have several non-shop items on my to-do list, and in fact wasnt planning on spending enough time out there this week to even bother turning on the heater. But after visiting with Joe yesterday I find myself mentally rearranging the weeks task load to work in some shop time later this week. And this will be the best kind of shop time nothing to do with any assignment or job I have to get done, but personal shop time where Ill work on something just for me. I dont know just what itll be yet, but Im sure that whatever I decide to do itll be pure enjoyment.
Till next time,