"One Perfect Part at a Time"

Keeping It Enjoyable

runningmanI am catching up on my Kozo Hiraoka Pennsy A3 Switcher project reading. When a project has been on the shelf for a while, I find it good to revisit everything I have done in the past and refresh what lies ahead in the project. It’s all good.

Building a project like this is very detailed. Each step is not all that bad and Kozo has a very good process of explaining the how-to. My enthusiasm is increasing as I can clearly see that nothing (yet) seems to be beyond my current shop tools and my abilities. It’s all now just having the materials and doing.

A project like this is not inexpensive. But since I am doing my best to make it enjoyable and not a construction race to finish, I can spread material cost over any time span with which I am comfortable.

I am still doing my silver work which has now become self-supporting and in fact providing some cash flow. I should probably be building the A3 with sheets of Sterling silver. Uh… No, maybe not.

OK, it’s all about the parts. Making all the bits and pieces. I just love how all the parts fit together and that I have total control of turning raw materials into something totally relevant to the project.

There is a certain aura of enjoying the process of using the tools, a gut feeling, something visceral. It’s like driving a sports car. There is a feeling of knowing what your car can do and being able to use that multiplied ability that such a machine provides. Same as using a screwdriver or a vertical milling machine. It’s that ability and control of power to use tools to make things, that is so much of being human.

Whoa! Spinning off into a machine tool fantasy or something. Ha! It’s OK to laugh at oneself. Anyone reading this already knows what I am feeling, maybe not expressing it quite this way. A simpler explanation may be that it is just fun to do.

That’s the key, enjoyable. I am working to keep my retirement as much fun as I can. If I want to work for profit, I can do that too but I don’t want to make the workshop a place I don’t like or want to spend time making things.

This activity is a part of who I am. It interests me. It didn’t just happen. I have worked for this place and time in my life. My sharing is just that, sharing my hobby. I am showing what can be done and encourage others to explore and develop their skills, serving as an example.

The only competition is with myself to improve my skills and abilities. It’s like distance running. A few may want to set a new world record, but for the vast majority of hobby runners it is all about making the effort at your own speed and perhaps a personal best.

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