It's been exactly 3 months since my last blog post, which might be the longest I've ever gone without writing something on this site. It's also probably the longest that I've gone without running any tools in the shop.
During that time, I (for the most part) stayed off of Instagram. I stayed off of Facebook. I eventually shut down all my stuff on Etsy. I shut down this site. I haven't even thought about posting anything to YouTube.
I actually started getting texts and phone calls from people seriously wondering if I was OK, or alive, or what was wrong.
Truth is, 2 things happened, and the combination led to my reclusiveness.
1, I was burnt out. No gas - literally zero, nothing, zilch - in the tank.
Etsy. Facebook. YouTube. Instagram. Texts. Emails. Phone calls. This website. Designs. Invoices. Pinterest. Picking up material. Cleaning the shop. Delivering products. Shipping products. Quotes. PayPal. Repairing tools. Haggling over prices. Picking up material. Ordering material. Site visits. Selling material. Dragging tools out of the shop for site builds.
24/7. Every day. Every week. Every month. For years. And I didn't even mention doing the actual building of everything.
No vacations. I think in 4 years' time I left the state (not counting a couple quick trips to IL for lumber or to watch horses run) once, a weekend trip to Chicago. Outside of that, the farthest I'd been from home was trips to Wentzville, and St. Paul, and Columbia...all work-related outings that involved the dragging around of tools and/or material.
I'll never try to convince anybody that my 24/7 approach to all of it was healthy or smart or crazy profitable, but it's - working hard when there's work to be done - just how I'm wired. It has its pluses and, obviously, minuses.
2, an opportunity to get involved with a couple multimillion dollar rehab projects presented itself.
So, 1 + 2 = I got involved with a couple multimillion dollar rehab projects. In hindsight, it wasn't the wrong decision, although it sure as sh*t wasn't exactly the right one either (the worst part is I realized it - 100% - on day #2). It's not worth getting into at this point, but maybe someday down the road I will.
Regardless, the rehab projects have been completed and it's time to get the shop up and running again. It's been kind of slow going so far - there are exactly zero projects on the books, and I'm currently having the builder's equivalent of writer's block - but hopefully that'll change before too long.
Until it does, I'll stay busy growing the beard and hanging out with Roscoe.
Banged out a couple reclaimed wood stools for a client in California last weekend. These things are easily my most popular item, which is good for me; it's just enough welding and woodwork to be pretty fun, but not so much of either one to get monotonous.
...my new job allows me to see a lot of pretty rad examples of it on a daily basis. Some of the buildings have seen better days, but as long as they're still standing, there's always a chance somebody will come along and breathe new life into them.
I've done one of these before, so I ought to know what I'm getting into. I think 80% of the build will take 20% of the time, and 20% of the build - the stairs, with storage underneath - will take 80% of the time. Should be another fun one.
It's done. All 5 chunks of custom milled arched window trim have been installed, and while there's still a little work left to do by other trades, I think I was able to successfully contribute to the effort to make the new portion of the clients' house really start to blend in with the original part of the house. The painters are currently on site doing their thing and when they get to them, they'll get the sills I installed earlier this summer painted as well as the arched window trim I just finished installing. The clients are also going to add shutters, just like the shutters on the original house, to the 4 windows I've been dealing with.
This isn't the **entire** installation process, just the part from today where I had to carry relatively heavy chunks of lumber up a relatively old ladder and cross my fingers throughout the whole ordeal that I didn't drop anything.
...it helps to have other little projects to knock out. Like laminating shapes of states and countries with reclaimed barn wood or Douglas Fir door scraps.
It's been a while since I wrote anything here. Some of that is related to being crazy busy with work, and some of that is related to being crazy busy with life events. The life events, without a doubt, took precedence over any kind of work and for the past couple weeks it's been a total scramble to try and get caught up on the work stuff.
Anyhow...where was I with the last post, the arched window trim? So far, 3 of the 5 are installed. The installation is pretty straightforward; trace the outline of the window trim on the wall, cut away all the siding inside the traced line, lay down some construction adhesive, put the trim in place, drive some 4" screws through the main block of the trim into the studs in the wall, beat some wood plugs into the holes where the screws are, and caulk any gaps.
The only real challenge is in lugging the trim up the ladder and holding it in place while the screws are driven, because the big chunk of trim, it's not real light or easy to maneuver with one hand. Otherwise, it's pretty simple.
This is the trim on the original house, and the things I needed to replicate. Mine look a little different in that the client opted to forego the casing, but outside of that, I think the ones I built are pretty dang close.
This is a before and after shot of the installation. I still need to go back and clean up the wood plugs - pare them flush with the wood surrounding them, spackle any little tear out spots - and add the little side trim pieces, but for all the worrying I did about how well these things would hug the windows...as it turns out, I was all worked up (and I really was sort of nervous) over nothin'.
I'll get the last 2 installed tomorrow, wrap this job up and move on to the next project...a lofted bed build. I'm pretty excited to not have to bend any more wood for a while. :)