Half life- woodworking interrupted

28 Jun

I just realised HOW much I wish I could share details of my work life in aerospace on this blog. It is so interesting- so unique, and a huge part of my woodworking life right now. Alas I’m bound by a contract not to share information online or otherwise. A picture speaks a thousands words- and no pictures from work can grace these posts. How I wish it wasn’t so. One time  after a big presentation in a hangar next to one of our planes, I dared to take a photo of the plane and two people rushed up to me saying I couldn’t disseminate the photo- but I could keep it. I deleted the photo- which was blurry anyway. I feel like a spy or something, I have a secret woodworking life.

When I first started in aerospace I kind of realised that since the materials are SO different from normal woodworking that I was really developing a whole new skill set and perhaps not honing the woodworking skill set I was hoping to. That has proven to be true for the most part. But in recent  days I’ve noticed a change in my overall work practices. So some of the skills are transferable. I’m quicker, have a different concept of precision, I’m more focused than ever, and I’m much better at tackling things I’ve never done before- I can adapt easily. I did something just yesterday that I’m certain I would have struggled to do a year ago- I would have hemmed an hawed over how to clamp my work pieces as I worked on them, I would have spent a lot of time designing my jig and I would have probably scraped a piece somewhere along the way. But no- I owned that jig. It was done well from conception to completion. I felt like a fine tuned machine. I think that’s what I like best about woodworking is that feeling of everything just kind of clicking into place when it could so easily go wrong at every turn. We conquer the chaos of information and variables before us.

Are all woodworkers in some way or another anal? I wonder. I think we are brave- and I’m not even talking about scary machines here- we have to lunge ahead with each next step knowing that the previous step turned out well but now we risk messing it all up. If I’ve learned anything it’s that good woodworkers will generally only make minor mistakes, and will always be able to find a solution. I think it’s better to try and fix mistakes than to start all over again- taking a perfectionist’s route will get you good results but less experience in problem solving.

Anyway I’ve gotten a bit off topic, but I really do wish that I could share more details about where I work and what I do- it pains me. What I can share is that I got yet another lateral promotion. My boss said I earned the spot and commended my work. I can honestly say I’m the happiest I’ve been at my job since starting in aerospace- I’ve built good relationships with the people in my section and I have the job I wanted all along.

That said I haven’t had much time to visit my shop and work on my personal projects. I’ve been unhappy with that situation, and so I’ve kind of only felt half fulfilled. I’m hoping to improve on that during my vacation time, and I’ll be packing up house over the next three- six months and moving somewhere new- with the intent of getting my shop space MUCH closer than a 30 min. drive away. I can’t wait to just pop into the shop at a moment’s notice. What a dream that will be!


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