Work+Play=Fun in the shop

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Not everything made in the woodshop has to be related to work. In fact, sometimes the whole point of making something is to have fun.

We could certainly use a bit of lightening up in our lives right now. I know I do. So, having a bit of free time between Important Work Projects, I’ve been doing some things far less important. More importantly, I’ve having a blast. Literally.

I’m making blasters.

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What you see up there is an original Jawa Ion Blaster used by those diminutive, jabbering desert traders in “Star Wars.” Below that is the kid-friendly version I’m making for my grandson who has – of course, being my grandson – a Jawa costume. But when I posted in-progress images on a “Star Wars” forum I frequent, I quickly got a request from a friend to make one for his child as well. And then another. And another. So, for a brief time, it looks like I’m in the blaster business.

While the original movie props were based on genuine WWI-vintage British Lee-Enfield rifles, my reproduction features a wooden replica of the shortened Enfield stock made on my router table, with all metal parts fashioned from a variety of PVC plumbing parts to simulate the appearance. Once I stain the stock, add some fittings and paint everything up, it’ll look almost like the real thing and be perfect for an eight-year-old.

I always enjoy working in the shop, just as you do, even when what I’m doing falls into the “work” category. And all too soon I’ll need to get back to concentrating on the “work” part of woodworking. But for now, when projects fall squarely into the “fun” part, woodworking is far more enjoyable.

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