When I work with hand tools, often in the evenings when everyone else has went to bed, I am working for the fun of it – for the journey. I am working for myself and myself alone. Many processes, I do just because I enjoy them, but I know could be done more efficiently (and sometimes better) by machine. But it’s fun, and I am practicing and learning along the way so it is absolutely worth it.
This past week, after coming home from the day job, twice I’ve gone into the shop at around 6 or 7 pm and worked until after 1 am in the shop building jigs. Do I have to be doing this? Absolutely not. Do I need these jigs? No. But their construction is rewarding and they are fun to use. I got to produce two high-quality, practical items in a few hours that provide an incredible amount of joy to use and show off. They are my design and I am proud of that.
The way I look at it, the alternative is to read, surf the internet and forums, or watch TV. Those alternatives are sometimes taken if I am not inspired to work in the shop. Otherwise…
Last summer, after not cleaning my shop for a long time, I opened the doors to the yard and threw everything outside. Then I brought back in and organized what I wanted to keep and the rest I got rid of. Since then, I’ve been much more diligent about sweeping up the floors and putting tools away when I’m not using them. I’m surprised, actually. Having convenient storage is key, as most tools belong only an arm’s length or two away. Before, it meant walking across the shop and moving other things to put something away. Take the time to set it up right. It is worth it.
One of my greatest luxuries is my own shop. Space… the final frontier.