The Ultimate Project

Like many woodworkers, I spend as much time working on my workshop and on my tools as I do working on actual projects. Actually, sometimes I think that my real project is building and refining the workshop.

As the workshop progresses it becomes like a single giant tool, enabling me to do progressively more complicated projects.  Knowing that my workshop is always available to me is a very empowering feeling…and adding a new capability to the shop feels like an investment in the future (no accountant would buy that!).  I imagine that as my woodshop becomes more complete the shop-time to project-time ratio will decline, but maybe it won’t.  I think I enjoy it too much.
Very few places are as personal as a woodworker’s shop.  After he has tuned every tool, built every jig, sharpened every blade, researched every purchase, and refined the layout (over and over) the woodshop becomes a customized tool configured to fit him better than it would fit anyone else.   Working in someone else’s shop would just not be the same.
Sometimes its hard to drag myself away from working on “shop” project to work on “real” projects!  I wonder if most hobby woodworkers feel this way, or if working on the “shop” is a hassle to them?

My shop is my “ultimate” project…the other projects will come and go as they are completed.  The workshop will be the common thread that helps to produce all the rest, and it will improve with each one.  It will never be totally completed.

I guess this is one more reason that this is a hobby for me and not a profession.   A professional would not have this luxury.

About mattsanf

Matt Sanfilippo is the Chief Partnership Officer (CPO) for the College of Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) and Co-Director of its Engineering Research Accelerator. In this role, Matt coordinates and enables strategic and sponsored research opportunities across the college, and stewards the development of proposals for major research opportunities along strategic themes. Additionally, he enables collaboration among the college's research institute/center executive directors, and industrial and government relations personnel in the pursuit of opportunities with industry, federal and state governments. Before becoming CPO for the College, Matt was the Senior Executive Director for Research Initiatives, the Executive Director of CMU's SII (Smart Infrastructure Institute) and ICES (Institute for Complex Engineered Systems), and Associate Director of PITA (Pennsylvania Infrastructure Technology Alliance) and RAMP (Research for Advanced Manufacturing in Pennsylvania). Before CMU, Matt was Managing Director of Applied Technology for Michael Baker Corporation, an engineering and energy services firm. Matt managed Baker's technology division including Geographic Information System (GIS), software and web development, multimedia, virtual reality, visualization, Global Positioning System (GPS), mapping and surveying services. Before joining Baker, Matt was an Innovation Director for Redleaf Group, a Venture Capital/Operating Company focused on information security, supply chain and mobility solutions. While at Redleaf, Matt managed technical due diligence for seed-stage investments and coordinated relationships between Redleaf and their partner companies. Prior to Redleaf, Matt was CIO of GZA GeoEnvironmental Technologies, an infrastructure engineering firm, and operations manager for their Internet start-up that focused on web-technologies for health and safety and manufacturing metrics. Matt is on the board of Larson Design Group (LDG), past Chairman of the Board for the Pittsburgh Botanic Garden, current board member of the Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation (PHLF), current Vice President of the Sewickley Heights Gun Club (SHGC) and former member of the Information Sciences and Technology Advisory Board for the Pennsylvania State University Beaver. Matt is also former Vice President of the Pittsburgh Chapter of the Association of Internet Professionals and former Vice President of the Board of Trustees for Baker Combined Charity of Pennsylvania.

Posted on April 21, 2005, in Woodworking. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on The Ultimate Project.

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