3 Girls & A Woodworker #13: Larger Projects vs. Smaller Projects

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Blog entry by John_G posted 06-04-2013 05:51 PM 1754 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 12: Garage Sale Wood Gloat Part 13 of 3 Girls & A Woodworker series Part 14: Picnic Table Dilemma »

So as the years have gone by and i’ve done more and more projects in the shop, honing my skills, and slowly getting better i decided to try a double endtable project. Well as it’s turning out it’s become time not so much skill that i lack. I feel like i can go down into the shop, and on a small project get a lot done in an hour or so. However on this larger project it’s really come to a screeching hault as i feel unless i have in excess of a few hours it’s really not worth getting into working on. I feel like i possibly bit off mroe than i can chew. With work, family, kids and such my time is so limited, and when i do get in the shop i like to see progress, which is really hard to see on something large. I don’t know if i should try to just buckle down and finish them, or set it aside for when my schedule has longer bouts of time allowed in the shop. really such difficult decisions…. :)

-- John Gray

3 comments so far

View camps764's profile


867 posts in 2902 days

#1 posted 06-05-2013 01:03 AM

That’s definitely tough. I usually find 2 hours each evening after the kid goes to sleep to get in the shop. I try to plan out manageable chunks that I can tackle.

One night I might spend the evening doing all of my layout and marking as much as I can. Another I might rough cut everything to size and sort. Another cutting all of the mortises/tenons/grooves for panels.

I find that if I can block out pieces I can see more progress than if I try to just get as much as possible done in one sitting. In my head I know I am making the same progress, but for some reason I feel like I can see appreciable progress.

I also try to find ways to bring my project upstairs. So I might do layout at the dining room table, or sketching, planning my cut lists and then I can do double duty and spend time with the fam as well.

Just my .02

-- Steve

View Robb's profile


660 posts in 4476 days

#2 posted 06-05-2013 10:47 AM

I’m with Steve. Your post caught my eye, because I have 3 boys, 7, 2 and 6 mos. When I read what you said about feeling overwhelmed, and therefore not wanting to work on the project, it sounded very familiar. My approach has been the same as what Steve said, though, in trying to break the projects I’m working on into small steps, so as I get each step done, I get a sense of accomplishment.

-- Robb

View jacob34's profile


465 posts in 2807 days

#3 posted 06-07-2013 04:37 PM

I also am a father of multiple children (5) and have many things pulling on my time. I am also after several small projects ready to start doing larger ones. I find that the best for me is to (with approval from the boss) find a day I can spend a few hours in the shop, as I also like to see progress during shop time. Another thing I do is make a plan or to do list breaking the steps down so each time I am in the shop I can see something checked off the list even if I can’t see it on the project.

-- so a bear and a rabbit are sitting on a log

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