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Window on the world

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About once a year I like to do a major shop improvement. Well, it’s about that time again and I’ve got the itch.

I’ve converted my two-car garage to a full-time woodshop. (I treat the garage door as a fourth wall and almost never open it.) Short of designing and building a freestanding shop from the ground up, I couldn’t be happier. Well, yeah, I could be. I want a window.

I want some natural light in there. I want a way to bring in a nice breeze on mild spring and fall days, and a place to perhaps mount an air conditioner in the heat of the summer. And most of all, for lack of a better way to put it I want a way to remain in touch with the outside world on those days when I’m spending 10 hours in there. I went in there on a sunny morning the other day and had no idea that rain had moved in two hours later – meaning I never knew it’d be a good idea to go back into the house and close all the windows until way too late.

The installation itself isn’t the issue. I’ve installed windows and doors before, but those were all in new, open-stud walls. That’s easy, since everything’s exposed and you know exactly what you’re dealing with, and nothing else is inside the wall to get in your way. But I have no idea what’s inside the wall I’d be using (I have just one outside wall), but since my house’s main breaker box is in a corner of that wall, I’m going to guess there’s tons of wiring in there.

That’s not insurmountable. My dad’s an electrician, and between the two of us I’m sure we can work that part out. But the other factor is that the subcontractors who built my house did a lot of, uh, “creative” things in places where they thought no one would ever see them. No telling what surprises might be waiting behind that drywall.

So for now, the project seems a bit daunting. And, at the moment, frustrating. It’s one of those situations where you have the knowledge of what to do and how to do it, but there’s a big unknown in the middle of those two things. Makes me nervous.

And if there’s anything I don’t like being when I’m in the shop, it’s nervous.

Till next time,


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