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Switching gears

Sometimes it takes a while to get into a different groove. You can shift gears in your car is less than a few seconds. It seems to take the brain a bit longer.

When I built houses, we built from the ground up. Foundation forming to roof covering. Plumbing and electrical were subbed out but just about everything else was done by our crew. That included building at least the entry doors, all of the cabinetry and the interior woodwork. We usually ended up with a complete woodworking shop that had to be moved out of the garage once the house was done.

The hardest part was making the shift from rough to finish work. Starting out rough, we used hammers that weighed a pound and a half and had deep waffle patterns in their faces. This was before nail guns became standard issue. But the point is the same. When we shifted over to finish work, it took days or even weeks to adjust.

The funny thing was that it took just as long to get back into the framing groove on the next one. You'd find yourself lightly tapping away at 16 penny sinkers and wondering why your wrist was hurting.


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