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BEN The Build-It Blog

Marching On


Marching On 6Marching On 7Marching On 8Marching On 9Marching On 10
This is not a spill your guts blog... unless you're tree, but lately the sky looks awfully grey. I've been spending most of my energy fending off doom, and because of this I haven't managed to finish nearly as many projects as I've started, and I haven't started as many as I hoped I would.

But, as Metallica points out, Time Marches On. So what have I been doing?

I moved out of my bedroom workshop into a nice new cave/spray-foam-boho-palace/basement. The space has been used as artist studios for several years, and has collected several little extras including nautical themed bathroom candles, vertebrae, and ancient Mexican beverage vessels. I've got more space than before and more importantly I can mortise till 3am without guilt. My original plan was to move in one weekend, wire in some lights the next, and be building a real bench by the end of the month. That was three months ago.

What actually happened was that I moved the first weekend. I put up lights a month later, and set up the Lucky Bench three weeks ago so I could begin slogging through the parquetry for the humidor.

Moving is a time to search ones soul/belongings and decide what needs tending, what needs junking, and what needs archiving. I found a lamp I never posted about (and never finished) along with a bunch of wood and tools that I had forgotten about. The lamp will have to wait until a later entry because for now I'm still neck deep in arranging my new work space.

Wiring is above my pay grade. So I bribed Joe with some beer to help me install a mix of fluorescent and incandescent lights. Because I don't have any windows I wanted to add more rather than less lighting. The fluorescent tubes give a nice flood of light, and I've got clamp lights and some halogen lamps for directional and bench lighting. Everything went smoothly, until I plugged in a wire that Joe was working on. Sorry Joe, my bad.

My Lucky Bench is set up along the only wall in the room not made of ancient Brooklyn stone. The bench isn't as sturdy as it used to be because the legs are no longer screwed into the floor, but so far it has withstood quite a bit of sawing, planing, veneer taping and beer drinking.

It's strange to be in a new space, and I can't say that I've managed to use it to its potential. Still I have been managing to sneak out of work before 6 o'clock a few days a week, pick up some chinese/mexican/beer/chex mix along the way, and get to work on the veneer for the my humidor.

As much as I wish my studio could represent a clean and fresh start the reality is obviously more complicated. Still I'm hopeful for the future because when the world leaves you at loose ends, it's a good opportunity to open up Army Field Manual 5-125 and learn some new knots.
Join the conversation
12/02/2011 stefan
hey dont sweat it so much -
the shop is the 2nd best tool you can have and it takes
years to learn how to get it just right. things are gonna move around so much once you begin to get it set up. -this works better over here and that sucked over there. water leaks in here and i take less steps if the bench is there- and im just gonna get a kapex already, where does that go... just let it evolve. im over 3 years in mine and the only real difference i see between our spaces is that i painted all the spray foam white. chin up.
12/09/2011 Mom
Learn to tie a bowline and you'll always be able to moor your own boat.
12/26/2011 Lloyd Parker
Ben, where did you put the sewing machine in your new shop and what is the best lighting for sewing? While you are at it, is there a recommended sewing beer?

Congratulations on your new shop!

Schuper-schweet schudio upgrade!

I've been scheming to schlap together an apartment handy-workspace in boston in order to regale my downstairs neighbor with my late night morticing (and nailing) schkillz.

Lloyd- Bud Light Lime
02/15/2012 Josh
Ben - love the blog. Many of the photos seem to bleed over and cover parts of the text. Is that an issue for anyone else?
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The opinions expressed in this blog are those of the blog's author and guests and in no way reflect the views of Tools for Working Wood.