This is our fifth winter in West Virginia, and for the first time since we moved here weíre really experiencing winter. And for the first time, itís affecting my woodworking.

People assume, when they hear ďWest Virginia,Ē that I must live in the south. Not so. We live in Williamstown, right on the Ohio River, and weíre actually farther north than Cincinnati. However, the river valley has Ė until this year Ė had a moderating effect on winter. Columbus and Pittsburgh, which are not much farther north than us, and Charleston, W.Va., about 90 miles south of us, can get hammered when a storm system comes through here. But all the bad weather usually seems to go up and over our river valley, leaving us mostly snow- and ice-free.

Not this year. While the snowfall hasnít been oppressive, itís been frequent. The most recent snow was followed by an ice storm, followed by a bit more snow. The temperatures, which usually arenít hateful here, have been steadily in the low 20s for weeks. Local schools have been closed every day this week. My car doors are all frozen shut. Itís been almost three weeks since my lunatic neighbor has mowed her lawn. (Then again, maybe she has Ė thereís an odd, person-shaped mound of snow in her front yard with lawnmower tracks leading up to it.)

My shop is in our two-car garage, which shares two walls with the house. The other wall and the door are insulated, so the shop temperature in the winter rarely drops below, say, 48 degrees. Not lately. My shop is about 35 degrees right now (itís 25 outside), and my kerosene heater has a hard time keeping up. Just getting the shop up to a workable temperature takes an hour or more.

Iíve moved most of my glue and finishes inside this year, something Iíve never really had to do before, and Iíve finished a few projects in the house instead of the shop.

In short, Iím just not getting a lot done. Weather has always been a factor in my woodworking, and Iím used to warming up my finishes in the winter and dressing for heat in the summer, but the weather has never affected my woodworking like this.

I am not a happy guy.

Till next time,



  • Alan Young says:

    Whether the weather be fine
    Or whether the weather be not
    Whether the weather be cold
    Or whether the weather be hot
    We’ll weather the weather
    Whatever the weather
    Whether we like it or not

  • Lennis Green says:

    Move to Wisconsin………we’re having a record setting winter here. Nothing like a fresh snow at 1st light. The world darn near looks like it’s in black’n white. “Life is Good”

  • A.J. Hamler says:

    Brrrrr. Makes me cold whether I think about the weather, or whether I don’t.


  • Mark Barron says:

    Welcome to my world. Driving in this morning it was -11 degrees. By friday is suspose to be in the 30’s. So A. J. it’s all a matter of perspective my friend.

  • Paul Jensen says:

    And then there is the central coast of California where we have been having record high temps. In the seventies and eighties! It has been warmer than our summers usually are! Of course it has been getting down into the low 30s at night, brrrr!

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