A sobering thought

Over the last few days I’ve been renovating my workbench. Basically cleaning it up and putting a new top on it. The original design was from Australian Woodsmith magazine and the bench was the first project I attempted when I decided to get into woodwork.
The original top was three layers of 16mm MDF. Nice and flat and stable (and heavy) but of course MDF doesn’t like moisture. So after 16 years it was pretty much fucked. I flattened it and put 12mm marine ply over the top.
It’s not as good as a hardwood top but it’ll do the job and is way cheaper :)

Anyway, while I was doing it I thought ‘it’ll be good for another 16 years now’. Then I thought, ‘shit in 16 years if I’m still around I’ll be 80!’

Not sure if i’ll still be using the tools then. We’ll see I guess.

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You can always think about using your tools, woodwork and otherwise.

Probly all I’ll be capablre of ;)

By then I’ll be 88…perhaps.

An 84 year old mate of mine got rid of all his tools four years ago.

Then built a boat and refitted a caravan before heading off round Aus.

That’ll do me.

So how did he build a boat and refit a caravan without tools ??

Went around to BM’s place & used his… shame he didn’t finish the dusty ducting while he was there. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

@craig said in A sobering thought:

So how did he build a boat and refit a caravan without tools ??

He did what we all did when we were young - pretty much did the whole thing with a penknife and a hammer, (and maybe a screwdriver and a saw and a handplane) and I have to say they were both beautiful jobs.

I was chatting with a Danish friend here (I’m in France) last night about progress on my shed - which isn’t finished but is quite nice, and he said something to the effect that he’d be bel to make all sorts of things if he had my machinery. It’s something I am constantly preaching to one of my son’s in law - All of the good stuff I’ve done - the boats, the boat fitouts and bits of furniture before I was about 50 were done using a Workmate, a panel saw a hand plane and a single chisel. I’ve renovated the boat here with a similar kit but no workmate (because I have an abundance of picnic tables available).The shed is just another hobby, but it does make fixing stuff easier if not more fun.

Back on topic though - I reckon the arthritis in my hands will put paid to my making days well before 80!

@cliff-rogers said in A sobering thought:

Went around to BM’s place & used his… shame he didn’t finish the dusty ducting while he was there. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Why are people so unkind? The ducting is done just needs connections at the ends now.!
:D :D

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last edited by bitingmidge

I wish my workshop was that clean (and that tidy).
I have run out of room and have multiple jobs on the go, so it’s an absolute mess.

@joker said in A sobering thought:

I wish my workshop was that clean (and that tidy).
I have run out of room and have multiple jobs on the go, so it’s an absolute mess

To be fair mine’s more of a “hobby room” and it’s actually part of the house, so there’s a bit of errr… pressure to keep it sans mess!

He built a boat with a penknife and a screwdriver? (ok maybe a saw and a handplane)
Pull the other one Midge, it’s got bells on :laughing:

@craig said in A sobering thought:

He built a boat with a penknife and a screwdriver? (ok maybe a saw and a handplane)
Pull the other one Midge, it’s got bells on :laughing:

Seriously, well maybe a little exaggerated! He’s an old-school carpenter joiner - made things like a simple dowelling jig (handsaw and drill used admittedly), the doors on the caravan were hollow core and curved, frame planed to size and steam bent using a kettle and a bit of ply for a box and skinned with 3mm ply. But the point is, he only had simple hand tools, and in the absence of a bench made a couple of saw stools with jaws that worked with lag bolts.

You could do that Craig!

@joker said in A sobering thought:

I wish my workshop was that clean (and that tidy).
I have run out of room and have multiple jobs on the go, so it’s an absolute mess.

A clean desk/workspace is a sign of a sick mind.

You could do that Craig!

Actually Peter, I couldn’t :)
I’m not an old school carpenter/joiner. I’m a retired desk jockey … lol

@bunyip said in A sobering thought:

A clean desk/workspace is a sign of a sick mind.

I wish :D

@joker said in A sobering thought:

@bunyip said in A sobering thought:

A clean desk/workspace is a sign of a sick mind.

I wish :D
Nah… it is! :D

@craig said in A sobering thought:

You could do that Craig!

Actually Peter, I couldn’t :)
I’m not an old school carpenter/joiner. I’m a retired desk jockey … lol

Yeah, you could! Increased degree of difficulty = increased degree of satisfaction and gives and excuse for a crap result! :D

Without wanting to sound like a Monty Python sketch, when I was young and stupid and didn’t know any better, I owned a hammer, hacksaw, a drill with a 4" saw attachment :open_mouth: , one of those screwdrivers that you pulled the shaft out of the handle and it was slotted one end and phillips at the other, and a little surform plane all of which were used to build a little camper fit out in the Bongo Van.

It all worked out OK, so being bullet proof, I refitted our kitchen (in 1974), but I was using the screwdriver as a chisel and shattered the handle. I lashed out and bought a screwdriver set and a 3/8" chisel. I often wonder how rough those jobs were - will never know as we sold both house and van in short order and made enough money to buy a few more basic tools and build a house.

I don’t think any of my tools were sharpened for ten years.

Living on the boat here, my woodworking tool kit isn’t much better - I do have a router and an angle grinder and one of those cheap orange hand-planes made from a bit of bent tin. It’s kind of fun making up new swear words when things don’t turn out! Here’s a pic of my workshop here and pretty much all my wood tools - missing is the duct tape and wd40.

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I like the dust extraction system… did you build that yourself?

You’ll note it’s not actually connected though.

Whats new?

Got one thickness of mdf 12mm thick on mine, it gets replaced every few years once all the drill holes, burn holes from welding, paint overspray, chisel gouges, saw cuts etc, get too much to dodge.

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