Summer Days Flying Along
Summer in Alaska is a short intense season. The flurry of constant activity and events is enough to make someone hibernate through that other season (we are careful about mentioning certain things here). One of the primary focuses revolves around construction projects and it doesn’t matter if they are commercial or personal; everyone swings a hammer in the interior of Alaska. For us woodworkers, any pain of not being in the shop is pleasantly offset by the satisfying work of building in general.
For the last couple of weeks, I spent a lot of time preparing for a couple building projects, including one that involves the shop. Before that other season sets in, we are going to expand the shop another 672 sq ft (24′ x 28′). The driving reason behind this hinges around the need for a proper spray room as well as additional storage space. I plan to blog about the entire build so check back regularly. At the same time, in order to avoid going into any debt over this, we sold a bit of land. Along with taking advantage of very low interest rates to streamline refinance our mortgage, things worked out financially above our expectations. My friend Andrew and I took on a light construction job also, which will pay well. Thankfully, things fell in place nicely to accomplish all goals which is an important part of reducing the anxiety of running a small business.
Still, things need to get done in the shop. I fulfilled part of an order for additional Alaska plaques. For some reason, another deck post cap (from previous post) was required. I managed to finally get a chance to make one of Marc’s Greene & Greene frames. I took time for more recreational woodworking and made another cabinet for tools I use most often. After reading the shop air filter comparison article in the current issue of Fine Woodworking, I went and got the winner and installed it.
Finally, I began another commission for a lady who wants a Kitchen Island Butcher Block for her cabin. It’s an interesting project utilizing common wire shelving which I’ll post more details about later.
What’s more interesting though, as I began that project, I received a call from a prominent woodworking magazine online editor about contributing to their upcoming new site. I look forward to this development and hope to have more to share soon. As a trial run, I developed a blog entry for them using part of the current commission. I am not sure of all the details and requirements concerning the separation of content on my personal/business blog vs. their blog so I must refrain from saying too much for now. More to follow in the future.
Regardless of the turmoil, whether in the shop or not, progress is still progress. Significant goals are being met and the important tasks are getting checked off the list. I am learning that an individually run, full time pro shop requires a whole variety of support, inside and out, administratively and operationally. When it gets intense and stressful, I often think “just keep swimming, just keep swimming” and I can’t help but smile and drive on.
Thanks for reading,
Your Arctic Woodworking Friend,