I have decided it is time to change carers. I have been a computer programmer for 15 years. Unfortunately I have had to be a jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none for the past 8. This caused me to try and keep up with advancements and changes in several aspects of programming.
I am sorry to announce that I am closing Kaytrim’s Kustoms for the time being. I am facing personal, family and other issues that need to take priority.
For those of you who regularly visit my blog you have noticed the lack of content. This has been because I have not had the time or desire to write. Four years ago I was diagnosed with depression. The time since has seen me make regular visits to a doctor and even more frequent visits with a therapist. This past winter I was also diagnosed with adult ADD. Medicine has been helping but is it not the entire solution.
My depression has affected my day job, my marriage, and my love for woodworking. It has gotten so bad that I am currently on medical leave from my day job. I am under doctor’s orders to take it easy, relax, think about and look for some different avenues for employment. So for the next two weeks or so I will be doing just that. I will still make joysticks but at my own pace. Instead of trying to deal with 3-5 orders at once it will be one at a time. I have more than enough current orders that have to be finished first. Then it is time to make some projects for myself and my family.
As I logged into my blog this morning I noticed that there is a draft of a post that I should have finished a long time ago. I will try and get it finished and posted soon. There will also be a few more added to this blog as projects progress and are finished. This should get me back to the original purpose of this blog. A way to record the progress and finished projects for my customers, friends, family and fans.
As always Life will go on.
For those of you who have been trying to get a hold of me for a custom order or wondering how your order is progressing, please bear with me. My Mother went into the hospital Friday night with severe pneumonia. She is doing better but still in danger. She is in the ICU and started responding to treatment yesterday afternoon. Further testing is scheduled for Monday so we will know more after those results come in.
So needless to say my weekend shop time has been severely limited. I still have a few hours in the evening but it is hard to concentrate on what is in front of me. I’ll post more here when I can.
October was not one of my better months. I lost a good two weeks of work at my day job and at home. First it was because of my accident with a chisel. Second it was getting caught with bronchitis. Also while I was sick my website was hacked several times in quick succession. This caused me to loose my host. The search for a new host and new site design took me away from the shop even more.
So to try and catch up I have been burning the candle at both ends and paying the price. Last night I tried to get busy on my lathe and had nothing but failure. Each piece I put on the spindle was off center, off balance and catching my tools at the wrong time. The catches were of course at the end just before I was to begin sanding. The resulting gouge was too deep to salvage. After the third failed attempt I called it quits and went to bed early. The night was a total strike out.
To my customers that have been waiting on me for orders I apologize. Feel at ease that you will be the last ones that I will do custom work for. I will be in touch with each of you individually over the next few days. From now on I will be producing cases on my time when I have time. Same with my wooden ball top sets. I have way to many irons in the fire and I have gotten burnt out.
This all started this summer when I ended up agreeing to more custom orders than I normally like to have at one time. I still have two or three from that time frame. More recently to try and catch up on a few bills I took on a few more smaller jobs. This was a mistake. It just added more fuel to the out of control fire that has been my life. Again to my customers I apologize.
I hope to have a more happy post to publish in the next few days. I am anxiously waiting a custom order that I finished to arrive at it’s destination. Once that happens there will be an article posted elsewhere and I will put up a post here at the same time to celebrate this particular accomplishment.
Until then, Game On!
For 21 years Master Craftsman Norm Abram has been showing woodworkers how to build all kinds of things on his show ‘The New Yankee Workshop“. According to a press release by PBS station WGBH Boston the currently airing 21st season will be the last for the series.
Norm was one of a few craftsman on TV that got many hobby woodworkers, home owners and even professionals into the craft including myself. In the 21 years that the show has been on the air Norm has taught us how to build furniture, both indoors and out, workshop aids and accessories, even a whole kitchen during one season. The plans for almost every project are available now and will continue to be available on the show’s website according to WGBH.
There was quite a stir when season 21 was announced to be just a ‘best of’ season. Norm recorded new intros to each of the episodes. Then the rest of the show was a replay of the original episode. Some people guessed that Norm was hanging up his toolbelt. Others guessed that he was just taking a break. Now we know the reason, the series has come to an end. Norm is not calling it quits altogether though. He will still be working on the series that gave him his start “This Old House” also on PBS.
While Norm may be scaling back his educational efforts there are others who are stepping in to try and fill his work boots. These new pioneers in the woodworking craft are practicing their craft in a new medium, the internet. These folks range from the funny yet informative Marc Spagnolo ‘The Wood Whisperer” and Matt Vanderlist of “Matt’s Basement Workshop“. Both of these gentlemen co-host Woodtalk Online. The other end of the spectrum is a beginning woodworker himself, Rick Waters of The Sawdust Chronicles and The Splintered Board. The list of people talking about woodworking in podcasts and blogs are too numerous to list here. But if you visit the sites I link to above you can find links to others.
This internet woodworking community is not just limited to podcasts and blogs. There are also community sites and forums all over the web. Sites like LumberJocks, Woodnet, Sawmill Creek and The Wood Whisperer where woodworkers of all areas and ages are posing and answering questions. These sites and others like them are growing at a tremendous rate. Some are geared to a single type of woodworking such as woodturning while others try to cover all types of woodworking with different forums or groups within their sites.
This new era of woodworking knowledge sharing is taking the start that Norm has given us and expanding on it in ways that he couldn’t. Is this the reason why The New Yankee Workshop is ending? I don’t think so. My guess is that what caught up with Norm is something that we all face, growing older. Age has it’s effects on all of us in one way or another. It is likely that Norm couldn’t deal with the schedule of two shows and appearances around the country anymore. This is understandable I see the same effects on my Dad who has been in construction for more than 40 years.
However I feel that even with the losses of Sam Maloof and James Krenov this year and the scaling back of Norm Abrams the woodworking craft is not dying but growing. The torch has been passed from one medium to another as it was passed from these great woodworkers to the new educators. The amount of information in this new age has grown as exponentially as the internet. It will continue to grow and evolve as more people join us, learn and experiment with ways of creating with wood.
Thanks go out to Rick Waters of The Splintered Board and The Sawdust Chronicles podcasts. I have a new host for both my site and my wife’s site. The transfer of the domains is in progress and I hope to be back up and running in a few days. I’ll be leaving my blog here for now and maybe for ever.