August 18. 2008 – Stop – Think & Analyze

Thinking a project through is a key to its success. I’m often asked if I’m gonna get off my b*** and do something. “I’m doing it now.” I respond as I’m staring into space. In reality, I’m building it in my mind. thinking of how each joint will be made, how it will be attached, how everything will relate to each other. Things like how will I access to install drawer runners, or how will I attach a back, or when the door closes, what will it use as a stop.

If I do this first, how will it relate to other operations, kind of like do I get the skillet hot before or after breaking the egg. Do I pick out my clothes before or after I take a shower.

The point is to think through your succession of operations, then proceed.

I will build the case first making provision for the doors/drawers. After it is done then I go to the base, crown, doors/drawers, organize your project into many parts and focus on it the same way. Breaking a project down into achievable goals and sections allows thought processes to flow and will make it much less overwhelming. Remember the “whole” is a sum of the parts, keep it simple, one step at a time.

Safety is the same – think it through and prepare. What may seem safe for me may not be safe for you. If you are going to perform an operation and it doesn’t feel safe, it isn’t – and that’s a fact.

Complacency is another issue, I have to constantly calm down and make myself “Stop and Think.” I have done this stuff so long that I get in a groove and just start rockin‘. I go to the table saw and start cutting, not stopping to thing that’s dangerous. Think of it this way, if you travel the same route every day to work, you become complacent and really don’t pay attention to the road, you think you do, but then consider when you are on a new route and how your “state of awareness” is different.

Woodworking is dangerous and an acute awareness and thought process is essential to your success and safety.

Oh yea, I saw a dog lift its leg and do its business on a fence post, what the dog didn’t know was it was an electric fence! Walked away with a limp after a very loud howl. Ever since, he really gives everything a good sniff. I didn’t know electricity had a scent, did you?

Catch ya Later!

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3 Responses to August 18. 2008 – Stop – Think & Analyze

  1. Ace HoleInOne says:

    Hey Charles:

    In the game of golf, I call it “the minds eye” you in vision your swing, the ball flight, slope of the green, wind, the green hard or soft, pick it or hit down on it, spin it, run it, all before the shot is hit.

    Gather information and commit “just do it.”


  2. Ace HoleInOne says:

    Oops, dang spell checker…”envision”

  3. Denis says:

    love the story about the dog! great blog. thinking through my projects has really helped me to get things done more efficiently. like knowing when to prefinish. when you can’t reach a spot you’re stuck and just thinking it through can save your from that. and as you know finding out that you can’t finishing a spot after the glues dry isn’t very fun!

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