Goals for a New Year

Lookit here, third post in as many days. Christmas sugar rush still in effect. I have a few things I would like to get done and putting it out there in a post is one way of adding a nudge towards action. I am blessed with the required resources of time and money but struggle with inertia, motivation, getting started, whatever you want to call it. I am also still alive so there is still hope for improvement. 🙂

At the risk of upsetting anyone who has seen too many corporate management fads go by, I am defining goals that fit my version of SMART(specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time bound). The specific is the important one to me, improve shop organization is vague, create a set of drawers for the lathe stand is specific. Everything can be done with infinite time so some target deadline helps me but I am not going to be too stressed about it. I am going to aim to get it all done by the end of May.

Without further ado, here are the ones I want to start with:

  • Machining – Complete Beam Engine: already ongoing
  • Shop Organization – Lathe Tool Rack: started on some widgets, need the thing to hang them on.
  • Shop Organization- Organize Measuring Tool Drawer: Kaizen foam in hand, need to work out a layout
  • Modelling – complete On30 railbus kit: this one is a bit ambitious but I think the machine shop gives me a way to fix my blocking issue
  • Comstock Road – Traverser Automation – I have already applied the paddles to this long dormant project, still working on rebuilding my development environment. With this done, I can complete the backdrop and mock all the structures.
  • Comstock Road – Rough Scenery – foam is half done. I want to finish that and get everything covered in basic ground cover.
  • Blog Regularly – I will aim for once a week at minimum. It may be me talking about why I haven’t done anything since last week…

That is all I am going to put on the list but of course there are many other projects lying about. Hopefully, this

Tool Block

One of my organization objectives is to get tools out of containers so that they are visible and ready to hand. A tool block is, according to me anyway, just a block of material with a bunch of holes in it into which you stick tools. You can pack a good number of suitably shaped tools into a small area and still get at them. On the downside, you have to stick one end in a hole. Hobby knives and screwdrivers don’t work well since the former has the business end sticking up where I will eventually stab myself and the latter has the interesting bit in the hole so you can’t tell which is which. Files and paint brushes work well. I will experiment with others to see what I can make fit.

Here is the proper item I started today with the first two rows of holes drilled. I used an offcut from a butchers block counter top that has been hulking on the wood cart for some time. It certainly won’t be tipping over. Previous decade old “temporary” foam insulation predecessor included for comparison.toolblocks

Better Storage of Projects In Progress

The current big task under way is getting the shop de-cluttered and organized to the point where Comstock Road can be set up against one long wall. The woodworking bench is on the short end and the other long wall will host, in order, wood rack, cart-o-stuff, workbench and bookshelf. There my space effectively ends at the moment.

One of my recurring, er, challenges, has been properly keeping the materials involved in a project together. Random shoebox randomly stuffed wherever is a sub-optimal system. I actually lost track of a project in the course of the current shuffle. Even routine thrashing about looking for something can cost time and motivation.

The current organizational push moved me to splash out for proper shelving and clear plastic tote boxes(shoebox size, ha!) to get things regularized.shelf

I have been puttering away rediscovering things in boxes so the shelves are considerably fuller than this but from bottom to top, I am going for: projects in progress, projects not in progress aka unbuilt kits/activity kits such as scenicking and, models in boxes.

That unfinished ceiling is another motivator for making Comstock Road movable: I hope to get a low clearance drop ceiling installed at some future date.

Actual project in progress list:

  1. Previously mentioned shed.
  2. David Provan On30 SR&RL railbus kit.
  3. Bar Mills HO Waterfront Willy’s kit.
  4. Banta blacksmith annex kit my son was working on.
  5. Boulder Valley On30 critter kit