Woodworker’s lament

My wife and daughter: “We bought an entertainment center for the new house!” Me: “Aaargh! I could have made one!”

Of course, my response should have included one more word: “Eventually.” Because the truth is that although I could certainly have made one that would have been better built and with nicer materials, I just can’t make it now. Or in the foreseeable near future, for that matter.

We’re settling in after our interstate move from West Virginia to the great state of Pennsylvania, but I don’t have a shop yet because there’s simply too much other stuff to do. My table saw is in the middle of the basement, sans wings and rails, and not likely to be assembled for at least a couple weeks. My other machines – band saw, drill press, jointer and planer – are all on mobile bases and only need to be plugged in to be ready for action, but still not likely to see any for a while.

At the moment, you see, my basement has exactly three electrical outlets. And I don’t mean multiple outlets with two or four plugs each, I mean three total plugs. That’s it. Meanwhile, the lighting is a few bare bulbs scattered around (I get more light from the window and sliding doors than from those bulbs) so visibility is poor. My dust collector is there, but there’s no ducting yet. My hand tools, cordless tools and every fastener and piece of hardware I own (probably thousands) are all still distributed willy-nilly among 50 cardboard boxes marked, unhelpfully, “woodshop” and little more.

So, yeah, I could have built an entertainment center for the TV, but certainly not anytime soon.

But you know what? The one they bought really is kind of nice. Mass-produced and more expensive than it should be, but it’s the perfect size for where we want to use it and it’ll get the job done just fine.

And, it’s one less thing to worry about.



  • A.J., believe me, I know your frustration! Can’t tarry I have to move on to honey-do 231b.

  • Keith says:

    Been there, done that, eight months ago. Moved to a new shop and almost got it set up before the family orders came in. Three light bulbs, three 15A outlets about 30′ apart.

  • Lewis Kauffman says:

    Welcome to Pennsylvania! If you get over near Gettysburg, give ma a shout!

    • A.J. Hamler says:

      Lewis… I’m a Civil War reenactor, so as you might imagine Gettysburg has been a semi-regular destination for years. But now, I’m a LOT closer…


  • Bob Brennan says:

    Yeah, I guess we all say the same thing. My wife tells me that she needs it this year, that’s when I zip my lip. 😉

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