Happy New Year!

Watching 2010 draw to a close has been more rewarding than many end-of-years: I can’t say I’m sorry to see the end of it.

Not making any new year’s resolutions either – no point making any that I am unlikely to keep, and what what can be done, will be done without some (personally) false logic that I will be able to achieve it better by vowing to do so on the eve of the old year.  However, I’m sure many out there will have set some goals for 2011, and all power to you – hope you achieve your intentions!

Feel free to post them here, if nothing else but to have it ‘on record’ so to speak: woodworking related or otherwise.

I do have some goals I have set for myself (not New Year’s resolutions mind!) –  the most significant being to make 2011 a lot more enjoyable, a lot less stressful, and a lot more balanced than 2010 ever was!

Oh, and one final thing, I am refusing to have some of last year’s crap (2010) that is carrying across impact on the start of 2011. I don’t need another year like that one!

The Living Shed

For a long time, years in fact, I have intended to take some photos of the shed neat, finished (or at least as far as whatever development I had been working on was concerned), but it never happens.  It has taken as long to come to the realisation that it never will.  It isn’t that my shed isn’t functional, but it cannot be in a perfect state, because it is in a living state instead.

The shed (at least mine) is constantly evolving, changing, being improved upon, cleaned, organised.  But because it is a functional shed, it only ever gets modified/cleaned/organised just far enough for it to facilitate the next project.

Perhaps the only time a living shed is in a perfect state is about 5 seconds after it is finished being built.  But I doubt even then.  If it is anything like mine, it is already being put to use before it has had all the walls/roof/door(s) added!

Looking through a bunch of photos, there are not many of the shed as a whole, because I have always been waiting to take those when the shed was ‘ready’.  Instead, it is better just to take the photos anyway – a living shed is expected to be messy, and now with years of experience, I now know it is never ever really going to be fully organised/completed.  The shed is a tool to be used, not a location to be showcased.

The other part of that is, even though it is used for a lot of filming for this website, it is not a film studio.  It is not laid out for filming, fake, artificial.  It is a real location, used for real tasks (including serving in its primary role as a shed, which often means nothing more than a place to go and potter around doing things without any serious direction!) If I did have the shed set up as a film studio (as awesome as that would be), not only could I not fit in 1/2 of what I have, but I fear it would be a sterile location, and that would come across as well.

So to the living shed – a salute.  For what it is worth, I’ve dug up some photos of it evolution to date.

Circa 2001

The ‘shed’ started off as a 3mx3m that was on the property when we bought it.  In there I first had the starting lathe, then the bench I made for it, and the growing Triton collection – both tablesaw and router table.  It got cramped quick!

Circa 2003

By the time the next shed was added, huge changes were afoot, both on the property and those surrounding it.

Circa late 2010

Boy have things changed since then!

Circa 2003

Circa 2003

Thought the shed was messy at this point – how wrong was I!  Positively swimming in room, and dust.

Circa 2005

Signs of improved dust collection, organisation attempts on the wall (someone had a go about these containers on SawMill Creek’s bulletin board for some reason (holier than thou mentality I guess)).

Circa 2008

The shed got advanced in 2008 – the detritus took over for a while there and there was no other option.  Even so, the shed is still trying to recover – there are still many things out of place even 2 1/2 years later.

Circa 2008

Circa 2008

Not sure how the shed seemed so empty at this point – think a lot of stuff hadn’t been moved in.  Positioning the large machines being the first concern.

Circa early 2009

Circa late 2009

Circa early 2010

Circa late 2010

Circa late 2010

Circa late 2010

Once again, as 2010 draws to a close, the shed is struggling to cope with the contents.  That isn’t a bad thing – you have to have contents to be struggling with storing them!

More Tetris magic required!

Beyond Parity

The Australian dollar is holding above the US, which makes it an excellent time for buying imported products (including buying directly over the internet).

Oh the temptation!

It may seem strange being excited that the Australian dollar is a whole 1c above the US dollar, but when you consider it can be (and has) as low as 65c for each $A1, that effectively means there is currently as much as a 36% discount on the entire country, and especially their supply of woodworking tools 🙂

So if you bought a KerfMaster in February 2009, it would have cost you $A111 (plus postage).  Today it will cost $A71.

Stu’s Darkroom (the delay)

10 months ago, I took what was meant to be a small break from the Stu’s Darkroom site as I headed over to Denver, Colorado

Sadly, what was intended to be a week delay turned into something else – 2010 has been insane.  Time to get this thing jump started again and get some old, and new (photographic) content out there again.

The trip to Denver was an eye opener, although that had already well and truly started anyway before I left.  The end result occurred very shortly after returning, I left an unsatisfactory job situation, and moved to something altogether different.  Perhaps more in keeping with my primary skills, or at least some of them, and work again where I could again experience some respect, and was valued for what I bought to the job.

2010 has not necessarily been a bad year, but it sure has been hard work in all respects.  So looking forward to hopefully a more normal 2011.  And a reinvigorated Stu’s Darkroom (and Stu’s Shed).


Dremel Flex Drive

During a bit of an end-of-year shed cleanup, I noticed the Dremel hanging on the mounting hook ready for the flex drive to be connected to it, and to the Beall Pen Wizard. I needed to shorten the Foredom holder so the Dremel Flex Drive head could extend far enough through to be usable.

It wasn’t hard.  I ended up using the bandsaw, then a quick sand to square it up on the disk sander.  The extra holes I had already tapped for the bolts to properly support the Flex head.

Mounting Flex Drive

So another job ticked off.  Will be interesting to see if this makes any real impact on using the Pen Wizard – taking the top-heavy weight of the Dremel off the Wizard.

So back to cleaning the shed.  The main problem is that never-ending adversary – a lack of space.  So many things don’t have a proper home, they get left in inconvenient locations, such as the middle of the floor, or the middle of the workbench because there is nowhere better for them to reside.  Time for another cleanout I think!

Christmas Tool Additions

Merry Christmas from Stu’s Shed.

My wife and daughter worked out the perfect gift for me/ Stu’s Shed when they don’t really know what I have out there:

Chocolate Tools!

Hope everyone got something interesting under the tree.

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