Too Hot for Woodworking


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Weather’s a funny thing, as is people’s adaptation to it.  Some years back, I was working on a job with a project manager from Wisconsin.  He worked with us for 14 months, commuting back home from Jackson, MS every weekend. This gave me ample opportunity to observe his reactions to heat and cold.

One of my most vivid memories of him occurred on a frigid winter day.  The morning temperature was about 20 degrees Farenheit, and I was bundled up in a parka and wool scarf and hat, trying to survive the trip from the car to the door.  Darrel, on the other hand, was casually striding across the parking lot in shirtsleeves, with his suit jacket slung over his shoulder.  When we questioned him about this, he promptly informed us that we had no idea what real winter cold was like.  I reluctantly had to agree, though it felt like winter to me.

The shoe was on the other foot when summer arrived.  While we would stroll in the door with a faint sheen on our faces, Darrel would arrive red-faced and pouring sweat.  He couldn’t understand how anyone could live in such a furnace-like climate.  We were baffled – after all, it was only 90 degrees.

Well, the pigeons have come home to roost this summer.  For the past two weeks, high temperatures and drought have plagued the state of Mississippi.  Since my shop has no air conditioning, I have become a slave to the climate.  On my days off, I have had to do whatever woodworking (and outdoor chores) in the morning while the temperature was still in the 80’s and 90’s.  After lunch, the temperature was invariably over 100 and that, as they say, was that.  On workdays, the shop wasn’t even an option.

Yes, I have been punished for my mockery of Darrel.  The temperature has finally reached the point that even this Ole Southern Boy has thrown in the towel and headed to the house.  You know it’s bad when even the shop kittens, who live at ground level, think it’s too hot to frolic.  I suppose I could get enough air moving to stand it, but this is supposed to be FUN.

Happily, however, the rains have returned, and with them cooler temperatures.  Today’s high was only 91, which feels like fall after the 102’s and 103’s of the past week.  Not only was I able to get back into my usual exercise routine, but I can finally finish assembling the second outdoor Morris chair, and move on to other projects on the agenda.  It’s woodworking time again.

Of course, the grass will soon need mowing, I’ve got limbs to move, and I need to box-blade the driveway to get rid of some potholes…

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2 responses to “Too Hot for Woodworking

  1. Dude, you are PREACHING to the choir! It’s crazy hot out there… I’ve found cutting my shop time down to one or two hour blocks and running every fan in the house in the garage is the only way to stand it.

    I remember the good old days when I used to take the summers off…

  2. Well speaking for Wisconsinites, where many of us wear shorts even if the temperatures are below freezing, It is waaaaaaay to freeking hot to be out in the shop, I work in a steel shed and being out there right now reminds me of a scene from “Cool Hand Luke”

    Hopefully, the weather will take a change soon and we can all get back to our sawdust.

    Derek

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