The Funks?!?!?!?

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Forum topic by Maveric777 posted 10-21-2010 02:26 PM 1751 views 0 times favorited 25 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Maveric777's profile


2694 posts in 3589 days

10-21-2010 02:26 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

Ok, I admit it. I am in such a funk in the shop here lately. Seems I will have some cool ideas at work, dropping the kidos off to school, sitting in line at the grocery store, but as soon as I step into the shop…. It’s nothing but “Funky Town”..... I draw a blank and not sure what direction to go in nor really have the desire to anything.

I have had a bunch of crazy things happen in my life in the last month or so that I suppose has me a tad stressed and stretched. I know this is what it is… I just cant seem to shake it. Whats sad is it is coming up Christmas time, and I have countless projects I really need to be doing. Right about now all I need is the worlds smallest violin playing “My Heart Bleeds For You” and I will have the whole pity party complete.

I did go out in the shop last Saturday with an fire in my step (which was a breath of fresh air) with plans on making a pistol box. I wasn’t out there 10 minutes when I got the call letting me know I lost “Another” good friend in a bike wreck just that morning. Seems here lately it never ends…

Well, long story short. I am not getting much done, my wife is worried sick about me (due to I am not wanting to be in the shop so much), and it has even started effecting my paying job. I really need to shake this and not sure how to do it. My happy place is in my shop…. I got to figure out how to get that back.

So the reason I posted this post is … Well, I know I am not the only one whom ever to got the bad case of the funks. I know many folks here on LJ looks at their work and shop the way I do…. So I was just looking for advice on how to breath life back in the shop. I know in my heart woodwork is my therapy. I just need to put a fire under it.

How do yall shake the shop funks?

-- Dan ~ Texarkana, Tx.

25 replies so far

View chrisstef's profile


17960 posts in 3519 days

#1 posted 10-21-2010 02:37 PM

Very sorry to hear about your troubling times….

Sometimes when i take a trip to “funky town” i find that a non woodworking projects gets me back ino the flow. Im currently stepping out of the shop for about a week to do some painting around the house. It still lets me work with my hands but doesn’t require any type of creative thinking or mechanical thinking. It simply gives me a mundane task to keep my hands busy, focus on the task at hand, and keep the ole brain clear.

Once i get done painting i can’t wait to get back into the swing of woodworking.

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

11854 posts in 3941 days

#2 posted 10-21-2010 02:38 PM

I have the ability to compartmentalize. But, sometimes that ain’t enough.
Find the part of the process that is most complicated or engrossing (for me it’s designing) and force yourself to work at it till it’s ready for the shop. By then the mind is programmed in the shop mode.
Also, I’m not a neatnik so cleaning and organizing for a few hours seems to focus my mind on shop work.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View canadianchips's profile


2627 posts in 3509 days

#3 posted 10-21-2010 02:40 PM

Hey Maveric777, you are not alone. 2 months ago I got a call that my wife and ALL the grandkids were in bad car accident. I WAS A WRECK driving out to the scene, wondering just what I am going to see..THANKFULLY VW builds a remarkable little bettle. EVERYONE was safe. Stiff and sore and a few bruises. They were fine , I walked around for weeks with the “WHAT IF’s” I would go out to my shop (My Happy place) and just keep plugging away slowly getting RID of my WHY BOTHER’s.Today I am building primitive furniture from reclaimed materials. It IS coming back, and I hardly have the WHAT IFS and WHY bothers.
JUST KEEP plugging away, don’t give up !

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

View patron's profile (online now)


13654 posts in 3853 days

#4 posted 10-21-2010 02:52 PM

i always start cleaning the shop
when things are in a funk
by the time the last dustpan is dumped

the door opens
and the road is clear again

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View CharlieM1958's profile


16284 posts in 4731 days

#5 posted 10-21-2010 02:54 PM

Dan, it sounds more to me like you have a non-shop funk that is affecting your enjoyment of the shop.

Here is a sure cure for getting off the pity pot:

Get a pencil and paper, find a quiet spot, and make a list of the twenty things in your life for which you are most grateful. (It might be things like your good health, your wife, the fact that you have a paying job in these tough times, the fact that you were raised in a loving family,.... etc…etc…) Really think about it. If you do, you’ll have a hard time stopping at twenty.

As soon as you make the list you’ll feel better. Now put it away somewhere safe, and the next time the funk hits pull it out and read over it. Think about all the people who would love to have all the things you’ve got going for yourself.

Then, as far as the shop goes, pick a project and get started. Even if you don’t feel totally into it right away, just do it. Soon enough, your brain willl follow your body, and you will become focused on the woodworking.

I’ve learned that positive and negative thoughts are like animals. The ones I feed will grow, and the ones I refuse to feed will go away. Feed your positive thoughts by savoring them. Starve the negative by taking actions that will reconnect you with the positive.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Cozmo35's profile


2200 posts in 3548 days

#6 posted 10-21-2010 03:34 PM

Dan, I can relate to your situation. I know what you have on your plate and it is a big helping to swallow! I was in “a Funk” a few months back. What kicked it for me was cleaning up my shop. I organized EVERYTHING down to the smallest piece. I threw away a BUNCH of shtuff. I even put up a few shelfs and labeled things. In doing this, It gave me time to go through in my mind what options were available and come up with new ideas in using what I materials I had. I put a notebook on my table saw and jotted down ideas while I worked. All that and a ”few” beers and I kicked the Funk I was in. I know from your PM’s what you’re going through. It is not an easy situation, but nothing that you can’t get through. Keep you chin up! I heard someone once say “No matter how bad it is, ain’t that bad”. You’ll do okay. In time, you’ll be cranking out more of your boxes and cool jigs as well as other projects. You can do it buddy!
Each year I go to the Deer Camp for just that purpose. I HAVE ONY 6 DAYS LEFT BEFOR I CAN GO!
“Even a man on the right track will get run over if he just sits there.”....Will Rogers

-- If you don't work, you don't eat!.....Garland, TX

View Gregn's profile


1642 posts in 3496 days

#7 posted 10-21-2010 03:57 PM

I find when I get like that, its time to clean and straighten up the shop. Generally about half way through I get inspired to do woodworking instead of cleaning.
Sorry to hear the loss of a good friend.

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

View lew's profile


12863 posts in 4268 days

#8 posted 10-21-2010 04:13 PM

When I taught school (high school aged kids), my kids would have times like these. I used to take them to where the disabled kids would be working. The lessons they learned from watching others less fortunate- both physically and mentally- usually helped them realize that their own misfortunes/funks were not really that bad after all. Soon they were back to their usual mischievous selves.

The loss of a friend is so very difficult. Use his passing as a way to strengthen your own resolve to use your life to the fullest. NEVER pass up the opportunity to smile, love and cherish everything and everyone around you. As you realize how fleeting life can be, don’t waste a minute of it on could of, should of, would of.

As Charlie said, dwell on the positives and soon the negatives will be put into perspective.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View John Ormsby's profile

John Ormsby

1288 posts in 4249 days

#9 posted 10-21-2010 04:34 PM

Maybe making a pen or box as a remembrance? A tribute to a friend can be very rewarding.

Above all else, make sure you think safety first. Keep it simple.

-- Oldworld, Fair Oaks, Ca

View Maveric777's profile


2694 posts in 3589 days

#10 posted 10-21-2010 06:51 PM

Thanks everyone for all the great ideas. I keep my shop pretty straight, but it wouldn’t hurt to do some spring… er… fall cleaning. I can see that helping out… If not I will have one super clean shop to sit in…lol. I also couldn’t help but laugh out loud on the “Take the bride shopping” ... Knucklenut I think you may seriously be on to something there….lol

I decided to just avoid the shop all together for a few days. I do have a young co worker coming over Sunday and I am going to show him how to build a box for his Mom. I am actually looking forward to that one. Maybe that will be just what the doctor ordered to get the fire going again.

Thanks again for all the words of advice. I feel stupid for even posting this up, but glad to see I am not the only one that runs into “The Funks”....

-- Dan ~ Texarkana, Tx.

View tdv's profile


1202 posts in 3582 days

#11 posted 10-21-2010 09:25 PM

It sounds like you are starting to feel better already Dr Lumberjock has a vast field of knowledge I get that problem too but it manifests itself in a way that I start a project ,get sidetracked onto another project then another & before I know where I am my life feels like a lot of loose ends & i don’t know which to deal with first. The “Tidy the shop” gang have a good point & focus on one thing to the exclusion of all else when you finish that one it’s a conquest & a whole job that you can tick off your list, so I think you may well be onto something in helping your co-worker…...His need will be your discipline.
Good luck Bro

-- God created wood that we may create. Trevor East Yorkshire UK

View Hrolfr's profile


174 posts in 4178 days

#12 posted 10-21-2010 09:37 PM

Hopefully the teaching will help… if not….. go fishing, get some good friends together and go fishing it works for me.

-- Hrolfr

View mafe's profile


12110 posts in 3601 days

#13 posted 10-21-2010 10:23 PM

Dan, life take so many roads.
When I feel emty, I go for a long walk in the forest, or by the sea, this is usually enough to get some energy back, for me the most important are to go out of the shop, and then get the inspiration from the out side.
But at the end the most important are youi stop to see it as a problem, as soon as you allow your self the funk, you will be back in buisness.
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View Maveric777's profile


2694 posts in 3589 days

#14 posted 10-22-2010 03:14 PM

I agree about the helping/teaching someone else (especially someone young and showing interest) being a good kick in the pants. I sat back last night thinking about it and couldn’t help but get a little excited about it. I know all last week that is all he talked about. I think it will be pretty cool.

-- Dan ~ Texarkana, Tx.

View Triumph1's profile


930 posts in 3592 days

#15 posted 10-27-2010 07:47 PM

A…the funks…definitely have been there. I see you found one way around them…your journal. Going through it time to time to check out your designs is a good way. I do the shop clean up like many of the others who responded. Going to the local lumberyard also puts a smile on my face…sometimes you just have to see that perfect piece of wood to get you back in the shop. Other than that looking at other pieces of art helps. The 400 wooden boxes book you have is awesome inspiration. I recently just picked up 500 tables and 500 chairs…just amazing stuff that makes me want to smell the sawdust again.

-- Jeff , Wisconsin Please...can I stay in the basement a little longer, please!

showing 1 through 15 of 25 replies

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