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Work shopping

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We spend a huge amount of our workday, not surprisingly, in the workshop. But when you do this stuff for a living you also spend a lot of time shopping for work.

I need cherry. With the exception to a few pieces in my no-such-thing-as-scrap barrel I have none. A big project earlier this year ate up numerous board feet of the stuff, as did projects for the book I’m wrapping up. My lumber rack has plenty of poplar, oak, walnut and various SPF species – even a decent amount of figured maple – but not a stick of cherry.

Likewise, my three cans of wiping varnish contain dregs. Ditto for no fewer than five bottles of glue but not enough to combine into half a bottle. I’m short one piece of Western red cedar to complete another project, and have to get four sets of hinges for another. I’ve been meaning to get some fresh epoxy for a month now. Oh, and I need a couple feet of 3/4" oak dowel.

Living in Middleofnowhere, W.Va., I can’t easily find supplies like woodworkers in larger cities. So there’s no one-stop shopping for me, meaning that when I need stuff it’s sometimes an all-day effort.

The cherry will come from a local millwork shop over in Ohio that does lumber sales on the side. They don’t have cedar, though, so I’ll get that from a yard on this side of the river but on the opposite side of town. (Assuming they’ve restocked – I cleaned them out of cedar for a major project a few months ago.) I can get the glue, varnish and dowels from whichever Big Box store I happen to pass along the way, but I’ll have to send away for those hinges from a particular vendor. The epoxy I like is also an online shopping item, but from a different source.

So part of my day will involve sitting at the computer ordering stuff, and the next part driving all over the Mid-Ohio Valley area, loading up, and carting things home. The rest of the day will be organizing and getting wood into my lumber rack. All of this will take up pretty much my entire workday, meaning that I won’t get any actual work done.

Does this seem right to you?



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