View Full Version : take it easy guys

Alistair Hosie
05-30-2007, 12:20 PM
how do you who are hobbiests do you work on one thing at a time or many things at a time .The older I get I find it very difficult to concentrate (keeping within the element of enjoyment) and do two projects side by side I much prefer to wait til I finish what I am doing then start on the new project.When I retired from Dentistry I was so busy organizing 12 things at a time I could not slow down and enjoy my hobby but now it is better.Alistair

05-30-2007, 01:03 PM
I generally focus on one hobby project at a time. Interruptions for home repairs and honey-dos are inevitable and generally must be dealt with as they arise but concentrating on one project allows me to focus all my conscious thought on solving the fabrication issues. Moreover, the unconscious, background-processing part of my mind can work on the problems. It's not unusual for a solution to some knotty setup to pop fully formed into my mind while taking a shower or pruning the roses.

(As an aside, I've never known anyone who had three or more hobby projects going at the same time who ever finished one of them. I'm sure there are exceptions but I've never encountered one.)

As I work, ideas for jigs, fixtures and tooling to make the job easier will occur to me and I note them on a sheet of paper stuck to the tool box. Most of my projects are small scale models so, when one is done I'm a bit tired of working with minuscule parts. I grab the list from the toolbox and work through it one by one. Thus, my mind and hands get a break from the minutiae and, by the time the next hobby project is started, the new tooling is ready and waiting to make things easier.

I also try to lay out my hobby projects in sequences of three so that I know, at least nominally, what my next two projects will probably be. That allows me to order materials and tools ahead of time so that, once a project is started, I won't be waiting around for some indispensable element. Admittedly, this system encounters many detours as attractive projects are discovered.

05-30-2007, 01:03 PM
Between home maintenance, multiple hobbies, etc. I'm always working on many things.
That's why I haven't completed anything since 1987. :)

...ah! I see I just confirmed Marv's theory.

A.K. Boomer
05-30-2007, 01:17 PM
That's why I haven't completed anything since 1987. :)


LMAO! aint it the truth.

05-30-2007, 01:36 PM
That's why I haven't completed anything since 1987. :)


I'm with you Lynnl........except I don't remember "completing 1987".........LOL


John R
05-30-2007, 05:00 PM
One at a time. Before retireing it was 100 things at once. Now for the good life.
John R

05-30-2007, 05:06 PM
1987, didn't discovery blow up in '87?

05-30-2007, 05:09 PM
I'm about 20 years away from retirement.
Working the average 50hr week of a machinist's dream life and running a
small engine repair shop out of the garage to bring in the cash to support
my model building and antique engine collection, doesn't leave a lot of time.
Sometimes I just MAKE TIME. I'll take 2 days off and hide out in the
basement shop, bleeding and swearing. How can life get better than that? LOL


05-30-2007, 05:26 PM
1987, didn't discovery blow up in '87?

I had nothing to do with that!!

Actually I think it was '86. At any rate I was out there at Offutt AFB at the time, and I've got witnesses too.

Tin Falcon
05-30-2007, 07:53 PM
I guess I must be the exception to Marv's Law. I know I jump around too much on projects. When I first started in the Model Engineering Hobby I started with a PM reasearch casting kit. I worked on it some while on Active Duty with the Air National guard after 911, working night shift in the fab shop. I broke a tap and the engine sat for a good year. Meanwhile started a little bar stock engine then let that sit. Then actualy started and finished a couple of engines in a weeks time. Then started a couple more that sat . Then started and finished another then went back and completed a couple. I like it much better when the projects flow. But I have 4 running engines that I started and did not finish until much later. I also have probably 6 engines in the works.
You can see my engines here http://www.floridaame.org/ look in the galley collection of engines page and click on the engine with the Green base.

05-30-2007, 07:56 PM
I would love to only do one thing at a time but I have this fatal flaw, if I hit a problem then on the back burner goes the project until I can solve the problem to my own satisfaction. Over the years this has got me into much hot water with SWHMBO who still insists that I never finish anything, but to me its the journey of learning I enjoy not the arriving!!

05-30-2007, 08:03 PM
I don't have alot of materials, tooling or money compared to some, (I'm not complaining, just explaining) so i have alot of projects going on at once. If i don't have the part i need, i move on to a different project until i find the part i want. Rarely do i buy things, some are obvious neccessities, but parts for projects (like steel tubing, hardware, switches, springs, bearings whatever) usually don't get bought. Thus, i have many nearly complete projects waiting for that perfect discombobulator. I always keep my eyes peeled on trash night ;)

05-30-2007, 08:25 PM
I typically have several projects going at once and complete those I have close to finished when the chance arises.

However I have both short term and long term projects.Things like a new piece of tooling I might start and finish in a couple hours,or rebuilding a new auction find might be done over a couple weekends.Something like rebuilding an old hit'n'miss engine might take years especially if I am waiting to find an original part I need.

The trouble I have is work and having to work 50-60 hours each week to pay the bills,if it wern't for having to eat and needing things like electricity I would be set:D

05-30-2007, 10:11 PM
I work as a tool maker to make a living. At work I may have to get off a job to do a Hot job are fix something for the CNC dept. and I hate that . With me one thing at a time. At home My shop projects are one thing and nothing else untill finished. Then I will do something else . I will Not start any thing I cant finish untill I know i have every thing to finish a project.When a project is finish I take a brake and do the little small things that crop up are the things you thank of when working on the main project. Such as machine mantance and shop improvements. When all caught up then another project. If you dont finish something befour start something else you will never finish any thing. First things first last things last. That`s Me.

Lew Hartswick
05-30-2007, 10:21 PM
I preferr to do one proj at a time but occasionally something comes
up to prevent completion, like the radius turner I'm working on at
school and what happens, school is over. So I have to do a wood
work proj for the wife. (two or three end/corner tables) The metal
work will have to be sandwiched in as the teacher does some work
at school so I can get in there.
Not only do I have, basically, a one track mind, I also have only a
half duplex conversation ability. :-)

05-31-2007, 02:56 AM
I find it virtually impossible to do one at a time. Like Peter said, it's the journey, not the arrival, that is the fun part. I don't mind not completing a project if it's not a mandatory thing- to me it's done when I've gotten all the interest out of it that it offers me. Things of interest seem to pop into my head more often than a sine wave changes polarity. Of course other projects are intended to be finished and used, and for that kind of thing I will often work long hours and skip the usual domestic stuff in order to see the project progressing and becoming finished. That's when it's one project at a time- unless I need a special tool or jig to aid in that project- then I'm on that like Kraft dinner on a paper plate so I can get back to the real project before it cools off. All the while I have to resist the urge to sidetrack onto myriad other 'light bulbs going off'.

Preparing my shop for the potential flood- every task I chose to work on at any particular time seemed to require that another be done first, but another had to be done before that one, etc. I couldn't do it unless I went about five steps ahead and worked back. If it was a single task, like 'pick this bench and put everything away'- I was stalled.


05-31-2007, 03:22 AM
It's not unusual for a solution to some knotty setup to pop fully formed into my mind while taking a shower or pruning the roses.

Same here. I especially find solutions as I am drifiting off to sleep, but then my sleep isn't the same as most.

(As an aside, I've never known anyone who had three or more hobby projects going at the same time who ever finished one of them. I'm sure there are exceptions but I've never encountered one.)

That used to be true for me but I now finish nearly everything I start. Particularly lately I have been multitasking a great deal and working on several projects at the same time, finishing all of them.

And no, I'm not sending you any of my pills. :D

Your Old Dog
05-31-2007, 05:53 AM
This has been a therapeutic thread for me. Took me awhile to get through it as I jumped around to a couple other threads before I got through it all !

I just can't seem to work any project straight through. Always have to stop the project to do additional tooling or something else in the way of the original project. It drives me nuts.

Alistair Hosie
05-31-2007, 11:08 AM
I don't know what happened to me! I could't settle down ,and stop rushing all the time when working. In my previous life I was always doing quite a number of things at a time when I eventually retired I couldn't adjust to slowing down. Then suddenly it all worked out and I am fine may be medication ,old age:D, or just running on low steam whatever I am better for slowing down nowadays I don't have more than one job in each shop( woodworking and machine shops I mean)

05-31-2007, 11:29 AM
I had nothing to do with that!!

Actually I think it was '86. At any rate I was out there at Offutt AFB at the time, and I've got witnesses too.

Funny we were 20 miles away from each other, or less.

05-31-2007, 11:49 AM
I lived in Papillon (or Papillion... forgotten how it's spelled now).
After I retired from AF, I worked over in Coon Rapids, IA for a couple of years, commuting home on weekends. So drove thru C.B. regularly.

05-31-2007, 03:21 PM
At that time I was living in Pacific Junction,By Glenwood Ia.

06-01-2007, 12:33 PM
Somebody better tell NASA, I think they have Discovery scheduled to go back up again.

Alistair Hosie
06-01-2007, 07:53 PM
I went to the NASA space centre in Florida totally free great day out even the food was very reasonably priced.It was a wonderful adventure when the kids were young regardsAlistair