Cloudy With a Chance of Sawdust

Forecast

This weekend, Faith and I bundled up and went to the Woodworking Show at the Big-E Fairgrounds. We’ve been going to this show every January for a very long time. Little girl Faith started out being brought here with my wife and me. Then there was the dry spell, when Faith was in college, but the Mrs. filled in during those years, too. I don’t know if I’ve ever been to the show alone. I’m reasonably sure that’s by design and for financial reasons.

But honey, with this $2,000 tool, I can easily make that $400 table for only the cost of material and these two attachments.”

Even though, if things finally go according to plan this year, I will be working harder on the outside of my shop than on the inside, I am always thinking about working in the shop. The anticipation peaks in January when these vendors come to town. It’s like the way Mary, over at Maryjmelange anticipates riding her bike. Mary thinks about balance, we look at the wood, new tools, antique tools, craftsmen and artisans sharing ideas with each other, and we can’t help but imagine…

It’s January. It’s winter. It’s eight degrees* and we’re thinking about wearing shorts and sweating over a hand plane in a workshop with the windows open.


* 8°f (-13°c)

77 thoughts on “Cloudy With a Chance of Sawdust

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  1. I loved the title of this post, Dan. I just knew you were going to be in woodworking mode 🙂

    I rarely go to any of these kinds of show. It wouldn’t matter what the show was for, like you with the $2000 tool, I would be convinced I needed something on offer there (Gilles, we HAVE to get that boat!)

    … and that table with the turned bowls and vases? I’d be oooh’ing and ahhh’ing all over that stuff. To me, it’s like doing magic.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You DO need that boat, Joanne. It’s funny, I’ve never gone alone but sometimes, my wife and are worse together than either of us would be alone.

      Seeing all the demos just makes my mind start thinking of all the possibilities. I’m particularly happy to see Faith also enjoying this hobby. We have some projects underway and we have some that are planned. More to come,

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Wood and wooden things I love so much,probably I wouldn’t have missed this show too. We don’t have a show for only wooden things… I haven’t heard at least. Your little friend seems enjoyed to be there, :) Thank you, have a nice day and work, Love, nia

    Liked by 1 person

  3. My hubs would be right in there with you. While he is not the wood craftsman you are now, he once owned a furniture refinishing business long ago and he is the major fixit man around here. No project is beyond comprehension. I get it though. That’ how I am about jewelry making. Get me inside a Michael’s and I go nuts. And then the jewelry and bead shows! 😱🙊He even once bought me a tap set for making bead caps and whatever….Happy woodworking Dan.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love wood! I have a lot in my apartment. Many made for me, some my design: cabinets, book cases, side tables. I love the little stuff too: bowls, figures. I have been know to just have a piece of wood to stain.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do love wood, Pam, and it’s so much fun to work with. Pieces that you make or have made to your design are really special. To look at something and know that no one else has that piece is a nice feeling.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Judy. The way we’ve been playing, I doubt I would have won that bet. Still if it meant eating or drinking something special, it might not have mattered.

      I love the things we do to stir the anticipation. My wife is looking at seed catalogs and planning to place her orders for plants for her vegetable garden. I’m sure you have a ton of garden and sewing plans. This is the stuff that keeps us going.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. The passion for something that makes us want to put on shorts in January is worth every cent…except for the $2,000 tool that makes a $400 piece of furniture. Then again, they make bikes that cost $2,000 (and up), so what’s the harm in investing? Right? Riiiight???

    Thanks for showing my blog some love, Dan. Sorry about the Steelers, but I’m also bummed that the Vikings won. Tough day in football.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I felt so bad for the Saints. Then I thought: “oh no, Mary must be upset.”

      I had been thinking about this post, because we’ve had tickets to the show for weeks. When I saw your post, I thought, I know just how she feels.

      I am hoping to invest a little in making my bike easier to ride. I didn’t buy much yesterday, but I got a couple of things to make table saw operations easier and safer. Faith and the Editor approved both.

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      1. I watched a news piece this morning about a fat tire bike race over the weekend. If I had the funds to spare, I might be considering one of those bikes to stay active in the winter. As long as it’s not -10 outside.

        I don’t know how to feel about the Vikings’ win. I think my main goal is to root for any team that plays the Patriots.

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  6. Good thing hubby didn’t know about the show. Saved us $$$. Instead he watched the Steelers loose. Lee Valley is a fave. Do you know Lie-Nielsen tools? We took a day trip to Maine in the fall and accidentally drove by- much like finding the North Pole by accident.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. IT’s there every January, Jennie…maybe next year. Maybe next year on the Steelers too.

      I could bankrupt my retirement fund at Lie-Nielsen tools. I look at that catalog and I want one of everything/ Lee Valley is bad enough ;-)

      I would love to see the place though, I’d just have to hand my wallet to my wife before entering.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. My wife and daughter both like boxes. Faith has made several. I often make a simple box to learn how to use a new tool or tool-guide. They always find a home. I remember going to art shows with my wife and daughter, years ago and seeking out the woodworkers.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Great title! My husband would be green with envy, and at one time would’ve gladly maxed out the card! For years he made all kinds of wood crafts….until cardiologist told him to stay away from power tools. Bummer.

    Laughed out loud to see Maddie’s dwindling broccoli. Murphy got a new stuffed toy on Saturday. It’s all but destroyed already. Sigh…..

    If you turn the first snow pic upside down, you’d think it was heavy snow on the ground. Neat. —-Ginger—-

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha – I just looked at that picture again – you’re right!

      It’s good to know that Maddie isn’t the only destroyer of toys. I hope to be able to enjoy woodworking for many years, but it’s also comforting that our daughter enjoys it too. She has excellent design skills and a good eye for what works. Sorry about the power tool ban. I spend some money at this show, aiming to make some of the stuff I do a little safer.

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  8. Hmm, I don’t have this yet. I’ll get antsy about tulips later in the year and be ready to turn that soil, but not yet. Maybe if I went to some gardening exhibition I’d feel more of an urge. I can see why you’d be inspired and enthusiastic after your woodworking event.
    By the by, I’d love to spend two grand on tulips. I could be a tulip farmer, you don’t know. :)

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I love equipment. Equipment always makes me want to learn how to Do the Things. Then I remember how freakin’ LOUD wood stuff is. Woodworking equipment is so loud because trees are so quiet; it takes a lot of noise to make something quiet into something else. Knitting, now. Knitting is nice and quiet. Doesn’t hurt my earbones. I knit. A little. And, really, not very well. But quietly.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s why you wear hearing protectors, Marian. Besides, only power tools are loud. There is no sound as sweet as a hand plane running don the edge of a board, turning the sharp edge into a soft bevel.

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  10. What no carpeting in the booths!? My back gets sore just from looking at the pics of bare concrete floor, let alone standing in place on it for 7-8 hours straight.
    Looking at that Steelers logo coaster brings back flashbacks of the cringing I would do whenever one of our CNC guys would do a carved sports team logo at a public tradeshow. Sports teams are incredibly protective of their trademarked material… :-)
    And btw, sorry about your Steelers yesterday.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I didn’t think about the logo rights issue. That’s a good point, Norm. Yeah the standing on concrete 8-10 hours a day must have been tough. Plus, it was wicked cold and that building probably wasn’t all that warm. We had our coats on the whole time. Thanks for the thoughts on the Steelers. They had everything they needed to win, except for the coaching.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. My shop is also detached and unheated. I can get the room up to 55 in about an hour with a propane space heater, but the tools are still very cold. I don’t usually try working out there until it’s in the 30s. then I can get the shop to a little over 60 and the tools aren’t so cold that they hurt to touch. So, dreaming for now.

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    1. I’m with you. And, if my wife had gone with us, it might have been worse. She buys a lot (for me) from Lee Valley. They write very good descriptions and she knows enough that, if it’s a new tool, she might take a chance.

      Liked by 1 person

            1. We do have two WoodCraft stores withing easy driving distance and Coastal Tool, which is a large Internet distributor, is located about half and hour away. So, I have options to get up close and personal, but not with the selection that Lee Valley has.

              Liked by 1 person

  11. I understand the compulsion, Dan. My husband and I go to garden shows in February, driving through blizzards of ice-packed roads to get there. Once we arrive, it’s like a mental vacation as we plot and scheme grand things for our yard.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Must be the part of the world I have lived in, but I truly have never heard of or seen this type of show…woodworking…pretty cool and now I know why we were able to pay for our three girl’s college…I never went to one of these shows…:) Really cool wood Steelers emblem! Sorry about the game…not the result I expected. Couldn’t believe the last play in the Vikings – Saints game…unbelievable!! We have close family friends in Minneapolis…saw them in December and they were so excited hoping Vikings would make it to Super Bowl…would be historical…one of the teams playing Super Bowl in their home stadium. Great post, sir!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Kirt. At this point I’d like to see them make it. I was rooting for the Saints but that was a remarkable last play. My Steelers failed to deliver, again, but I’m still optimist that they can figure this mess out. Too much drama, not enough focus.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. My Dad and probably Randy are my “tool men” or handymen, Dan. My son has been helpful with challenges in battery changing when located behind the left tire on my last year with my Avenger.
    I am so glad you have Faith to keep you company and hopefully lend a reasonable mind when considering expensive equipment. 😉 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Love the title today! I thought we’d be in your workshop though.

    The think I could remotely relate to is the Steeler logo. It’s pretty neat. I’m thinking my crew would like those. :)
    They aren’t happy with the loss. Football is over at our house cause if the Steeler’s aren’t playing they aren’t watching. :)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I might revisit this subject on Saturday, if my bar buddy brings it up. Norm made a good point (above) about the logo disk. They would probably in all kinds of trouble with the NFL over that.

      Football is over for me until preseason. Well, except for the endless drama coming out of the front office in Pittsburgh. Leveon Bell runs well, but he runs his mouth way more than he runs on the field.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Those tools look so professional! I used to consider my dad is a craftsman, but now through your post, I see what a professional craftsmanship is! My dad’s projects usually don’t occupy any space, partially because we lack of space in China here…haha…in our case to say the least. Enjoy your work of sawdust, Dan! It sounds like a lot of fun, especially do it with beloved ones!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Your dad probably was a craftsman. A true craftsman can make almost anything without power tools. Power tools make it easier and faster, but there’s no substitute for knowing how to work by hand.

      Like

  16. Your comment about the $2,000 tool made this one feel a bit like a Wednesday one-liner post. I enjoyed the shots of the tools, Dan, but my favorite this time out is that cloudy sky. Pretty cool.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I love wood, Dan. I love the feel of it, the smell of it, the look of it. It draws me. If I didn’t have the photography bug, I’d probably have the woodworking bug. I agree … so many possibilities! I LOVE creating with my hands and truth be told have gotten away from a lot of what I used to do. Cat care came along … and so history was made. I also LOVE circles for some odd reason and right now I am crocheting a round baby blanket for a special baby in NICU at Children’s Hospital. It’s comforting to create something going in a circle. And for that broccoli … LOL. I have some stuffed toys around here that are in just as bad of shape. You should see the red rabbit Rocky had … the stuffings are coming out of it. Now that rabbit and his two other toys are safely put aside. Forgive the rambling … yikes! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hit send too soon. There’s a special feeling that goes with creating something. It’s hard to explain, but it’s unmistakable. You know it when you go it. Maddie loves to sit and pull the stuffing out. The toy will be an empty bag pretty soon.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. There’s always sawdust around wood workers:) But am glad he’s not interested in these kinds of shows, because just as I think he’ll buy something, he’ll walk away, saying he doesn’t need it. Now it is true that his Sprinter is already filled to the brim, but …. I always think he needs more:):)

    Liked by 1 person

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