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View Full Version : How much time do you guys actually spend in your Home Shops?



Wayne02
05-20-2006, 04:24 PM
I sometimes wonder why I even bother having a shop and furnishing it with equipment. It seems like with all life's other issues - wife, kids, family, work, endless fix-ups around the house, stupid weed-eaters that never work right, vehicle maintenance that's over-due, other hobbies, etc. It seems time to actually work in the shop and make things is very sparse.

Don't get me wrong, I'm appreciative for having a nice shop and all, but it sure seems that it really doesn't get much use. I keep thinking life will slow down some day and I can actually do some projects... but I'm beginning to think "some day" will never come.

Yeah, I know, I need to quit my whinning... thanks for listening.

and no, you can't have my shop. :)

Wayne

BadDog
05-20-2006, 04:26 PM
It varies like the tide, though not as regular. I've had so much crap going on up till recently that my Rock Buggy sat for over a year before I got it fixed up and on the trail again. For the year previous to that, I spent lots of hours out there. Maybe more this week, less next, and out of town the next. As I said, it varies for me, with periodic LONG dry spells...

C - ROSS
05-20-2006, 04:48 PM
and no, you can't have my shop. :)
Wayne

Darn I thought we might get to scrounge for things that we NEED.

Just wait until you retire, it gets better, SWMBO thinks that your time is hers (ha). I retired 7 years ago and haven't had a decient day off since, threatening to get a job just to have a day off.

We now take extended trips and then after we are back home there is all kinds of catch up to do. Then it is time for the next trip. Kinda wish that I knew someone that I would dare rent the shop to while I'm gone. Just don't know anyone that I would trust that much.

When I didn't have any money for a shop budget, I had a lot of time, now I have a shop budget and no time.

Ross

Sandy H
05-20-2006, 05:23 PM
Right now, for me, practically none. I started my home shop with a Grizzley mill/drill for my senior project with Engineering about 7 years ago. I found an opportunity to buy a BP, SB Heavy 10 and KO Lee toolroom grinder from a widow and did so (don't worry, SHE didn't get cheated. . . ).

Since then, (3 or so years) if I get 100 hours out there doing machine shop stuff a year, I'd be surprized. However, I spend time out there. Doing woodwork for the house, general maintanence etc that none of my machines are needed for.

If I had it to do all over again, I'd still have the mill/drill (gave it to a friend) and maybe a heavy 10. But I wouldn't have the BP or the grinder.

The only good side to the shop right now is that at some point, somebody is going to get a good deal on equpment that has been well maintained and kept lubed under covers in a somewhat climate controlled environment. For me, right now, it was a very bad investment.

Sandy.

Frank Ford
05-20-2006, 05:47 PM
Last month I did about 80 hours in my home shop, but that's about twice my average, I think. I put up some of those recent projects on my machining page:

http://www.frets.com/FRETSPages/Machining/index.html

I guess I have it easy these days. My spouse is a potter and she works most every day, often past dinnertime at her studio three miles away. So I can usually come home from work and jump onto a project out in the shop.

Being a potter, she gets even messier than I do, so I never hear a word about "cleaning up." When I get a new tool, she asks "What is that for?" Unlike my first mistake (er, "wife") she doesn't have anything behind that question other than simple curiosity.

Now, it's a fifty-fifty deal, so she never hears me complain about how she spends money. And, anytime she wants me to do a little metalworking or other project for her, it gets first priority - I just drop what I'm doing for a while.

Her ex was one of those who went "out" a lot, so when I'm in my shop, she never feels neglected or anxious.

We have no kids, we drive crummy cars (total about 7,000 miles a year) don't take vacations, and don't buy new furniture or clothes. We're the only ones on our block who don't pay housecleaners or gardeners, so we can live pretty well in this high rent area without making a lot of $$. . .

Al Messer
05-20-2006, 06:44 PM
How old are you, Wayne? I am 68 and I have waited for "someday" for years, and I STILL do not have time to work in the Shop all I'd like to do!! LOL!

IOWOLF
05-20-2006, 06:54 PM
"I sometimes wonder why I even bother having a shop and furnishing it with equipment. It seems like with all life's other issues - wife, kids, family, work, endless fix-ups around the house, stupid weed-eaters that never work right, vehicle maintenance that's over-due, other hobbies, etc. It seems time to actually work in the shop and make things is very sparse."

You just got to have your priorities,Get busy in the shop, if the wife or kids want you , they know where you are.If it isn't important to you ,It can wait. :mad:

nheng
05-20-2006, 07:29 PM
IOWOLF has it right. You just have to go work in the shop. When someone needs you, make them feel like they are first priority ;) My family likes to sleep in on Saturday and Sunday mornings. That's when I hit the shop for hours at a time ... and have private chats with the dog.

charlie coghill
05-20-2006, 07:33 PM
Other than days I need to go to town or I am helping some one or involved with Lions.
I spend close to 6 hours a day in the shop. I guess I would average close to 30/36 hours a week in the shop or working on some project outside where I am in and out of the shop.

I retired 8 years ago and have not regretted it one minute.:D
The kids are growen and out of the house and any trips are usually short ones.:D:D:D

This past week I spent one day pressure washing the out side of the shop taking about 8 hours and Monday and Tuesday helping a friend paint the shop. He was the shooter and I was the go-fer.

gizmo2
05-20-2006, 07:43 PM
I think our hobbies are there when we need them to be. I'll play guitar for awhile, then let it sit in its case for years. Same thing with shooting, the machine shop, or the motorcycle I'm restoring. Just so long as they are there when I get the hankerin' to decompress, I'm happier for it. Yes, the crap sandwich generator seems to be in high gear these days. If you want a good way to restart your relationship with your shop, go out and clean a little. It'll reset your priority list, I bet. Don't sell it off until you're sure!

topct
05-20-2006, 08:32 PM
"I think our hobbies are there when we need them to be. I'll play guitar for awhile, then let it sit in its case for years. Same thing with shooting, the machine shop, or the motorcycle I'm restoring. Just so long as they are there when I get the hankerin' to decompress, I'm happier for it. Yes, the crap sandwich generator seems to be in high gear these days. If you want a good way to restart your relationship with your shop, go out and clean a little. It'll reset your priority list, I bet. Don't sell it off until you're sure!"

What in the hell is a sandwhich generator?

I'm with you on the rest of it. :D

joeby
05-20-2006, 09:15 PM
Gene,
Never heard life is like a crap sandwich?
The more bread you get, the less crap you gotta eat!

Kevin

PHiers
05-20-2006, 09:25 PM
Too many hobbies, too little time! I still work full time Jan though April and then two days a week after that. No time for the hobby shop until after April. But then I also like to golf, take pictures, go on trips and well as making model engines. My best "guesstimate" is 1000 hours a year in my shop. I am not sure I would want more, it might start to seem like a job. :D

Scishopguy
05-20-2006, 09:26 PM
Wayne,

You have got to make sure that your "honey do's" have a cure related to the machine or wood shop. The more you integrate your shop into the home repair process, the more it will be appreciated and valued. As for retirement, when I was working I had the money to buy stuff for the shop but not the time to use them. Now, I have the time and no money to buy anything I don't absolutely need. Fortunately, I got a lot of the stuff I needed while working and just stashed it away for now. I am in the "setting up phase" of my operation and there are a long list of projects I need to do just for the shop. I love machine shop work, it keeps me alive mentally and keeps me away from the evil TV.

Jim (KB4IVH)

Tim Clarke
05-20-2006, 09:30 PM
I spend quite a bit of time in the shop, but not as much as I'd like on the projects I want to work on. Currently, I'm overhauling my boat trailer, it, along with the boat, is up for sale next weekend. But, it beats working at work. I still need to get the powerfeed going on the Bridgeport, and grind some endmills, and etc, etc. Summer projects seem to pile up, and before I know it, it'll be fall, and time for fishing and Pheasant hunting. But, time goes by, and I'm never bored, and can't find time to watch TV. That's a good thing.

TC

HWooldridge
05-20-2006, 10:30 PM
These past three weeks, I've been out there every night until 10p and both days on the weekends but it was to get out a couple of big jobs. Today was my first day to laze around and do nothing but I still wound up mowing grass for a few hours. However, there are periods when I can't make it out to the shop for what seems like months. Those are the times I go into withdrawal...:-)

BillH
05-20-2006, 10:38 PM
lately, none. In storage not set up and wont be for quite some time.
Im selling stuff on ebay to buy a sea kayak for exercise. Every day this summer will be on the lake paddling for a few hours for exercise accompanied by a few mile walk then I'll be whisked away to Miami for more schooling. After I get my job I will finally have time for a shop or so I think by which time I may just buy new tools. Geez, how depressing.

Mark Hockett
05-20-2006, 11:00 PM
I usually start working in my shop around 7:00am to 7:30am and quit around 7:00pm 6 days a week. Unfortunately I am working on stuff for other people. I get about 1 day a week to work on my stuff. I work long hours but I enjoy what I do and don't want to punch a time clock at a job ever again. I get to work on some really cool projects for companies all over the U.S.A. and Puerto Rico.

Yesterday I was making parts that required 4 axis CNC machining for the aerospace industry, the day before I made over 100 wrist pin bushings for a company that puts modern cam ground pistons in Ford Model "A" engines and last week I made refrigeration parts for a company in Alaska that supplies the fishing boat industry. It can range from high tech to low tech and every thing in between but I always have fun.

Mark Hockett
Island Tech Enterprises
Clinton, WA
360-914-6026

lane
05-20-2006, 11:18 PM
Well you just have to make time . I usually spend allday Sat.an Sun. in the shop Some times a few Hours inthe evenings In spring ann Summer. Depends on the project. The wife keeps house an takes care of the yard I weedeat an trim hedge some times. Nothing else to do but go to work an sleep ,an play in shop.

TECHSHOP
05-20-2006, 11:38 PM
Welcome to my world...one with only rare visits to the shop, usually to retrieve something I have hidden from the SWMBO and the kids...welcome to parenthood! It's amazing how quickly a whole day can just zip right past you.

As well, I am accumulating stuff now in prep for early retirement, while I can afford to do so. I've been looking in my shop recently and wondered "where did all these tools come from?" For me anyway it seems that most of the tools I just "had to have", I do not have time to know how they work. I like having great tools that will last a lifetime, and do not feel much remorse about not having enough time to use them. Machining and woodworking are my hobbies, and the tools are a big part of it. Dropping money on a machine, for example, may not be so easy to do when I am not working (like the last 6-7 months since the plant closed). I probably should not complain as I had a very productive period reorganizing the shop and repairing the machines. My yard's probably going to look only good enough this year to keep the neighbors from talking. I am dead-set focused on my finishing my shop, "only" have three things outside under tarps, the electric upgrade is on hold.

So, for getting started in my "new" shop, it feels a little overwhelming.I think what it comes down to is just kicking myself in the a$$ and build something, anything to get the wheels in motion. Oh yeah, and then I started posting here and that cuts into the shop/family time as well.

torker
05-21-2006, 12:50 AM
Sometimes I get so busy I can't get in the shop also.
I get up very early on Sat and Sun and force myself into the shop.
As was mentioned...sometimes to just clean up a bit or get a start on a project...even if it's simple like cutting stock to length or rough turning parts to size.
I have a lot of money tied up in this shop(like all of us) and it is going to get used come hell or high water.
I find it helps to build something quick and simple....something I've needed for awhile. Sort of instant gratification. Make you feel good when you walk by and see the shiny new thing resting on the bench.
It works for me!
Russ

J Tiers
05-21-2006, 01:54 AM
Sheesh.... of course, not enough.

I counted, and I have at least 8 or 9 hobbies, which get attention or neglected as the mood takes me. The shop is pretty constant, with excursions into the electronics lab. Then there is the gardening, which seems more like a second job around now, or music, or sketching/painting, or working on the old engine collection (that was SUPPOSED to happen today, but instead I was weeding all afternoon), etc, etc.

I try to get in a hour or so every day.

The last couple days I actually have gotten in about 5 hours, since I took apart the Logan crosslide and compound for a scraping-in session. That actually is moving ahead. typically it would get partly done, and then probably sit for a while, but I have to finish to use the lathe for anything, so........

Nick Carter
05-21-2006, 02:01 AM
You have got to make sure that your "honey do's" have a cure related to the machine or wood shop. The more you integrate your shop into the home repair process, the more it will be appreciated and valued. Jim (KB4IVH)

I agree! While I have the luxury of being in the "Home Shop" business, most of the projects I do that aren't related to selling small machines (testing, examples for potential customers, article related stuff, etc that I get to do for the website) are home repair type jobs.

Here's one that paid off in spades and added years to my marriage:
http://mechanicalphilosopher.blogspot.com/2006/04/dishwasher-fun.html

As for kids eating up shop time, I've learned to zip in for 10-20 minutes at a time to chip away at a project. If you keep the shop relatively organized, and remember to keep notes on project ideas (like when you finally figure out some useful way of fixturing a part in the middle of the night as you're falling asleep...) you will always be able to make headway.

Evan
05-21-2006, 02:21 AM
Winter is shop season around here. When it's -30 outside and dark for 18 hours a day there aren't a lot of chores to do except bring in some wood, plowing the driveway from time to time and helping with the housework. I get plenty of shop time from October thru March. But now it is outside time with numerous projects that can only happen in the good weather. I haven't been in the shop in three days but am rebuilding part of the back deck, mowing lawns and fixing this and that.

Been having a war with the wildlife lately. The deer have been trying to eat everything in the flower garden, the wasps are trying to carry away my hedge plants and the wood peckers have done about $1000 damage to the back wall of the house. I set a rat trap in the garden for the neighbours dog who has dug it up twice. Janet is busy exterminating squirrels as she is by far the better shot with a pistol and I am keeping an eye on the rabbit that lives in the front gulley. Got a bunch of dead trees to clean up as the pine bark beetles have killed every single pine tree in existence around central BC. Climate change is going to deforest this area over the next 100 years or so. Have a Raven nest ing the back and I have been trying to learn how to talk to him. They are really smart birds.

I might get a little shop time this long weekend (holiday here) but I am not counting on it. I hope I calculated the wood buy correctly so I have enough 2x6's left to build a solid bench for the garage. A local plywood supplier has 5/8" 4x8' white melamine sided sheets on sale for $19.95 a piece so I am going to pick up a bunch next week for bench tops and similar uses.

I did a complete shop cleanout last weekend so didn't get much done then but I did find a lot of floor that I had misplaced. I can now walk around in the shop without having to plan the next foot placement.

Next month we have a grand tour to visit the kids and grandkids but I am going to do some shopping in Calgary at Busy Bee Tools and Assorted Metals. Going to be a lot of driving, about 3000 cliks in about 5 days.

I have been spending a fair amount of time programming lately also and built myself a super quiet computer to put beside my chair in the livingroom so I can work on that when I have to take a break from physical jobs.

Got more deck to do tommorow so probably not much shop time this weekend.

BillH
05-21-2006, 07:08 AM
Evan, your bear dog isn't taking care of the wild life problem?

retep
05-21-2006, 07:56 AM
My case is probably a little unusual.. I'm 21, and in my second year of arts school. I've got a studio in my bosses basement office where I've got my little sherline setup and my electronics equipment. School's done for the summer, so I've been spending about 14+ hours a day, 7 days a week, in my studio working on stuff for my job, clients, or my art. For me the line between stuff I'm doing for fun and for my career is pretty small, I mean, for one thing, is stuff I'm doing for my career for fun? :) Also when I'm not working and just fooling around with on the computer I'll be at my studio still, my apartment doesn't have internet access...

I've got a pretty good agreement with my boss right now... He's agreed to give me enough work this summer to pay my rent, and a lot of the work is stuff I can do at any time, like transfering old tapes to the computer. My timesheet has 10pm to 6am listed today... So I get to spend the summer getting my CNC setup working well and really learning the ins and outs of efficient fixtures. Next semester at school I want to do some work with electro-mechanical mechanisms, like the sort used in old mechanical telephone switching gear. Learning to use CAD/CAM efficiently will be key I think, lots of multiple parts will be invovled for sure.

Heck I just might have you guys all "beat"! Of course I'm young with no family and if I have a girlfriend, they tend to be fellow workaholic art students!

Evan
05-21-2006, 09:45 AM
Evan, your bear dog isn't taking care of the wild life problem?

She would be ever so happy to oblige. She is always on some sort of restraint when outside, usually a long running line. If left loose she will immediately go find something to kill. She isn't picky either. As long as it isn't a human it is better off dead in her eyes. Unfortunately that also includes the neighbour's dogs, chickens, cats, pigeons etc. Contrary to popular belief, Canadians haven't been disarmed. I don't want a dead beardog.

Dick Plasencia
05-21-2006, 01:07 PM
I never intended to have a home shop when I retired but I was literally forced into it. I couldn't get the hardware for my other hobby, astronomy, either not available or priced out of sight. So originally I only spent enough time to make what I needed. Then others came for help for the same reasons. All of a sudden I had a virtual full time job. I put in an average of 20 hours a week and take frequent "vacations". I definitely try hard not to make it another job. I can control the time in my shop and I make it so that when my wife is off to a "girl's thing" or TV sucks that's when I play machinist. So I spend the equivalent of two full work days a week spread out over the seven days of a week. Definitely not a taxing schedule. Anyway the reward is seeing if this old fart is still up to the challenge. Besides a little "mad money" never hurts.

PTSideshow
05-21-2006, 02:12 PM
have had a number of side vocation over the years, so a shop or shops section devoted to one vocation. Add in the hobbies that didn't end up being a side line.
Spent a lot of time in the shop. good for me and good for the wifey different tastes in tv, music books ect. Since I retired last Sept. it was going to be finish the shop building inside, do some home repairs and start having fun.
Second day of retirement wife came home from work after a stop at the Doctors. She is on disability for 3 months, disks problems complete bed rest. So I become a nurse, cook, ect. So its honey do's all the time while she is home. Put in a door wall in kitchen,and deck outside in front of the rock garden from last year. Finishing up on the drywall mudding, never have been able to get that inside corner trowrel to work.
But shop time includes time on honey do's, projects from jewerly classes. Having older parents make for two home work projects for upkeep.
After removing the aluminum siding, replacing the old windows a couple at a time and residing in vinyl. There is the sewer line in the dirt floor part of the front of the house that I have to replace when the water table goes down a couple of feet. So I haven't got to my time yet since I retired. :D

So I say anytime on anything in the shop is good time,even if its honey do's wire frame plant trellisses. Besides it gets me out of the kitchen. LOL :D

SGW
05-21-2006, 02:38 PM
With my commute eating up 3+ hours a day, and a family to spend time with, shop time is pretty scarce. In some respects that's okay -- the family part, anyway. My son's off to college in another year, and I want to be able to say "I'm glad I had time to spend with him" rather than "I wish I'd spent time with him."

But the commute I could do without. If "The Plan" works out, maybe I can give that up in about 3 1/2 years. Then I reallly will have time. Of course, then I won't have any money! :D

Randy
05-21-2006, 04:06 PM
When I was bicycle mechanic I spent a lot of time in the shop. Partly because I needed to make extra money. (Bike mechanics aren't paid very much.) Now that I work as a machinist, I don't spend very much time in the home shop. Sad, really, I have a lot of cool projects yet to do. Plus I spend way too much time sitting here at the computer, and watching the big screen TV. (I send Comcast a lot of money every month for broadband, HDTV and DVR, and dammit, I'm trying to get my money's worth!)

sasquatch
05-21-2006, 07:19 PM
I actually spend a great deal of time in my little home shop, as my shop area is right in my house. Workbench is actually 3ft away from my kitchen table,, lathe 8ft away. So i can drink coffee and study my next little project or figure out a problem while eating my lunch. Not the best setup if need to do some grinding or? but living here by myself i can get away with this, as my old dog could care less. Best move i ever did, especially in the dead of winter, when it,s 30 or 40 below,plenty cosy, coffee pot is right at hand,phone ,radio, etc, and i don,t have to heat two buildings, which makes things much easier for me
being a senior.
Ray in N. Ont.

Mad Scientist
05-21-2006, 08:03 PM
As long as I can remember I have always enjoyed making things much rather be working in the shop (basement) then watching TV or puttering around in a garden. I pretty much spend all my time here, and unless a paying customer rudely interrupts me, I will be working on my own projects or cleaning the place up.
Friend wife does not complain too much because she at least knows where I am at.
Hear are a two pic’s of the shop.

http://i68.photobucket.com/albums/i17/mscientist/SHOP.jpg

http://i68.photobucket.com/albums/i17/mscientist/SHOP2.jpg

Of course it helps if I occasionally take a couple weeks now and then to make little something for her.

http://i68.photobucket.com/albums/i17/mscientist/cabnet.jpg

sasquatch
05-21-2006, 08:19 PM
Thanks for posting pics of your shop, and projects. Your neighbours must be green with envy!

ASparky
05-21-2006, 08:48 PM
Mostly sat and sun though shopping and chores take a bite outa that. Ocasionally I get an hour or so of a weekday evening. I also tell myself I goota cut down on the TV. But after a day at work often the oomph has gone and the TV works its evil.

Goes in cycles too, from no time and some money to lots of time and no money. Never seems to be both at once.

PTSideshow
05-21-2006, 09:03 PM
Mad S How much torch work cutting or burning do you do in your basement. And how do you control the sparks. Nice set ups and nice work on the little something for the wife.

Mad Scientist
05-21-2006, 11:11 PM
Regarding the torch work, VERY little and VERY carefully. But last winter had a small frame that I needed to weld together and it to cold to work outside.

And yes many of the neighbors either want something made or fixed, but thats is ok I don’t mind doing that.

Wayne02
05-22-2006, 11:44 AM
Been having a war with the wildlife lately.
We have "wildlife" issues here as well. Of course our wildlife is not near as "wild" as what you have out there.

We have a bunch of woodpeckers around here and one particular psycho pecker is bent on harassing me. While I'm in the den he will sit on the widow ledge and continuously peck holes in the vinyl widow frame. Every once in awhile he will poke his head up and look in at me as if to say, "can you hear me now?!?"

When I'm in the back yard he will sit on the gutters of the house and peck dents into the aluminum gutters... ping, ping, ping, ping... When I'm in the shop he will sit on the side of the shop and peck at the metal siding... bang, bang, bang, bang, bang... annoying as all get out. I keep hoping he will fly into the shop when I have the roll-up door open. When he does I'll close the door and it will be just him and me...

Almost as bad is the crow population around here. The crows like to haul big pieces of stale bread over to the gutters on my shop. The gutters retain a bit of water and the crows dip the bread in the water to soften it up for eating. Of course they only eat a bit of the bread and leave the rest in the gutter to clog it up further. A bunch of the "hobby" type farms around here have chickens, and I suspect the crows are getting the bread from the chicken yards. All our vehicles are covered with crow crap.

These crows are sharp cookies, and for the life of me I cannot get a good shot at them. I suspect a good head-shot would do the trick from my pellet rifle if I could get the shot. I heard if you can kill one of them and then display the carcass in the area, it sometimes drives the others away. They usually perch on the front gutters of the shop, and I try to sneak up on them around the corner, but as soon as they see the gun barrel they are gone. I'm thinking about putting some face paint on and sitting in the trees waiting for one of them to land... :) Or put some sort of electrical wire on the gutter, or maybe poison in the water in the gutter?

Finally, we have been invaded by ants for some reason this year. Never had an ant problem in the 20 years we've been in this house until now. I built a new deck on the back of the house last year and these ants showed up a few weeks ago, apparently living under the deck. The are most prevalent at the juncture between the deck and the side of the house. At times during the day the deck is crawling with these things, and now they are starting to make their way into the house. I have no idea what kind of ants these are. They just look like a normal black ant to me. I've been told to mix equal parts boric acid, equal, and honey in water bottle caps and place all around the area. However, we have a dog and a cat that can't be isolated from the ant area, and I don't suspect boric acid would be too good for pets.

Wayne

PTSideshow
05-22-2006, 01:13 PM
Wayne your right about the boric acid with honey it will kill anything pets or child. Use diatomceous earth the white pool filter earth it will do a number on ants if you can use a squeeze bulb filled with the powder a squirt it into any crack the ants are using. they will track thru it and it will punch holes froom its points in their bodies and will dry them out. it will last foverever so shoot it in good. It is the same stuff they sell as roach proof for big bugs get a 5 pound bag at pool supply store.

Cecil Walker
05-22-2006, 03:01 PM
Well i knew that someday someone would ask this question and i would have to confess: Normally about 24-30 hrs per week in the shop, then 58 hrs per week on my real job during planting and harvesting, 40 hrs during the off seasons. My wife tells everyone that "he's always in the shop or at work", guess she is correct.

Your Old Dog
05-22-2006, 07:39 PM
This thread was a good read for me. Been feeling guilty on having such a nice shop and getting so little done in it. Retirements about 2 years away if all goes okay and then I hope to make up for lost time. For now, I'm still in the tool collection and stock pileing mode!!

Evan
05-22-2006, 08:03 PM
These crows are sharp cookies, and for the life of me I cannot get a good shot at them. I suspect a good head-shot would do the trick from my pellet rifle if I could get the shot. I heard if you can kill one of them and then display the carcass in the area, it sometimes drives the others away.

Sometimes, sometimes not. One morning back in the early 70's I was leaving for work and a crow was sitting on the powerline right in front of the house. I grabbed the pellet gun from beside the front door and plugged him. I must have hit him through the eye or in the neck because he was dead instantly. His toes curled around the line and he swung upside down on the line like a pendulum. He never made a sound and just hung there. Somebody must have noticed.

Because, a very strange thing happened. Crows began flocking in from all directions. They began circling about 100 feet above the house and the dead crow, raising a racket that would wake the dead, which must have been the plan. It was like a scene from Alfred Hitchcock's movie "The Birds". It was very spooky and there were hundreds of crows that circled for a long time, tens of minutes before they gradually moved away. I was a little worried about what they would do if they saw me with the pellet rifle.