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What’s more important?

Those who run small woodworking shops (or any small business for that matter) have to wear many hats. My rack has hats that say foreman, designer, planner, computer programmer and tech support.

Another says maintenance and repair.

Maintenance and repair are both on the same hat for a reason. Repairs are often necessary, especially with the typically low quality of most of the equipment available today. Repairing everything is time consuming. It's often easier and faster to do this work our self than to try to get an outside person to do it.

But much of what we think of as repair is actually maintenance. It's much better to keep things in good working order than it is to have to fix them when they break down because we neglected to maintain them in the first place.

The intent here is not to preach because I am as guilty as anyone when it comes to putting off maintenance procedures in favor of "more important" tasks like attending to sales or keeping an eye on production times or materials tracking. There's always something "more important" until something breaks down (usually at the most inconvenient time) and we have to drop everything until the problem is solved.

One way or the other, the universe is going to demand the time so we might as well take the time to keep everything working in the first place. In a bigger shop, that might be a full-time job in itself.


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