Don’t Blink

Growing up, my parents didn’t miss my sports, they didn’t miss a summer without camping, and they made sure we knew we were their priority.  My In-laws did the same for my wife in a big way.  From Baseball games to Lacrosse matches, both pairs of parents made it a priority.  With that in mind, my summer goals were simple, make memories with my family on the field and in our home.

Mid-way through the summer, I am proud to say we have crushed a lot of house projects, watched the kids play baseball, softball, soccer and the oldest start his first real job.  Many times work, builds, and bills can be on our mind.  I am the first to admit these things far too often burden my plate.   As I draw up some new plans for the second half of the summer, they will continue to be kid centered and family approved.

Don’t blink, don’t sleep on the memories to be made.  Be in the moment, watch your kids sports, clear your mind.  Go for ice cream, plan a camping trip, un-plug.  Next month, we head off to our annual family camping trip and I can’t wait.  5 days, limited cell service, and lots of dirt!

As for projects, the first half of the summer saw my kids get some sweet trampoline stairs, our Kayaks get a new home, a landing spot for our shoes, and our cooler get some wheels.  The next half of the summer looks like some new back yard games, maybe some bedroom furniture, and who knows.  One thing I do know, is my kids and wife will be driving the ideas.

 

Stay Safe as always, and build from the heart.

Cooler Cart and Icing Life’s Rough Spots

About a month ago I received a package from Icon Coolers with a 50 gallon cooler and some sweet swag!  What I knew was that this was going to be the center piece of many parties, camping trips and outdoor adventures.  What I didn’t know was that I would dream up a plan for a mobile party cart that would take back yard parties to the next level.  As a maker, I’m pretty sure most things I see these days I want to build or build something to make it nicer.

The other thing I didn’t know is that after 2 months of testing, my mom would be told there was a 95% chance she had stage 3 lung cancer, and would need prompt surgery to remove it.  The night I got that call, I had just bought the lumber for this cooler cart.  Life can often toss sour grapes at us at any time, and having positive and productive outlets for stress is imperative to your own well being.   For me, my faith, family, woodworking and softball with my friends keeps me grounded.

That night, I did what many of us do, I got my kids in bed and jumped into the shop for some creative stress relief.  I had already spent some time sketching out (terribly at best) a design with function and style in mind.  So I went to work building a custom cooler cart, and maintaining my sanity after the recent developments.  That night I spent about 4 hours in the shop, working past midnight, sweating in the 80 degree heat, accomplishing these goals.

At the end of the night, the frame of the cooler cart was complete and I had spent some time taking a break from reality.  When I woke up the next morning, hoping yesterdays news was just a bad dream, realizing it wasn’t I had something in the shop to remind me that things would get better.  I knew it could be a long road for my mom, my dad, and my entire family, but we all needed to stay positive.

A couple weeks have passed, the cooler cart is already a hit at my house. Its function bringing joy, knowing its full of possibilities and leading to many a memory.  More importantly, on Friday, despite a 95% chance she was facing stage 3 lung cancer, the surgeon removed what was a terribly calcified infection.  As I watched my dad inform my mom post-op that she didn’t have cancer, a moment I will never forget, I was reminded that life is short.  Fill your coolers with drinks, your hearts with joy, and celebrate each other.

 

Here are some links to the pictures of my cooler cart.

Process pics

Magnetic Bottle Opener Catch

Finished Shots

 

 

 

 

 

Atlas46 Gear

Raise your hand if you have used a tool belt and spent the rest of the night wondering why your hips and back are killing you in spots you didn’t know existed.   How about spending countless hours looking for your tools that you “just had in your hand” and now they have mysteriously disappeared into that same world your socks must go to the second they enter the laundry bin.    Between sore hips and missing tools I had enough!

The first thing I needed to do was check out the Atlas 46 feed and decide which gear would suit my style and my projects.  I quickly fell in love with the Aims Saratoga NSN Kit.   This kit came with all the basics to get started, the drill holster, a magnetic patch, a fastener pouch, and a multi-purpose pouch.   I added an Atlas 46 flag patch because I liked the look, a pencil pouch, and the magnetic drill bit patch.

Upon getting my Saratoga Vest It took me a few days of working in the shop to get my AIMS attachments in places that seemed functional to me and didn’t leave me stabbed by a pencil when I leaned over.  I was able to quickly adjust the side straps so the vest fit nicely over a sweatshirt or a t-shirt.  I recommend wearing a Sweatshirt when adjusting the straps to give yourself a little room.  Side note, once your wearing a t-shirt and have just had a decent sized lunch, your vest will still fit nicely.

Whether I am working in the shop or out of the shop, having all of my essential tools on my person has been a real time saver.  I’ve lost less tape measures, pencils and drill bits.   My overall work flow is substantially better, not having to spend time searching for lost tools or heading back to the shop for more tools as I can fill my vest at the start of the project with whatever I need.

One night a couple weeks back I decided to do a little experiment and not wear my vest.  I simply left it hanging 10 feet away.  After about 30 minutes of wasting time walking back and forth to my vest for everything from my pencil to my Kershaw Knife I keep on there I had to put my vest on or risk going crazy.

Atlas 46 has been one of my favorite brands to partner with since day one for many reasons, but the real hook that sunk its teeth into my heart strings was when my Saratoga Tool Roll showed up in the Declaration of Independence box that Atlas uses.   In my shop, I try to make an effort to support as many small businesses, American Made and community minded companies as I can.

Here are a few links to my Affiliate page and my Instagram Account to check out my gear…. As always have a wonderful week!

Atlas 46 gear Affiliate Account

Action Shot of Saratoga Vest

Building a Table Top

Trampoline Assembly with Saratoga Tool Roll

Ginger Challenge 2018 Project Video

 

 

 

Little Shop, Big Dreams.

When I was a kid, my dad had a great big shop in the basement of our huge old house on the East Side of Buffalo, NY. So big I could ride my big wheel around that shop when saws weren’t buzzing. In his shop, he had a large cast iron table saw, a full size band saw, a drill press, and many more large pieces of equipment. When my dad got to working, not one of those monsters had to be moved to make a cut or drill a hole.

 

Fast forward to 2016 and enter the Ginger work shop. I have enough space to properly drill some pocket holes and lose a tape measure. That said, it doesn’t bother me one bit. What my dad taught me back in the day was to keep your shop organized and clean, and it won’t matter the size; great things can happen. Last year, as my kids got older and building things became possible, my wife so kindly gave up most of the garage in our home to this hobby. Soon, as she and her friend found pallets, and I cleaned up some boxes of old toys stored on the shelves, I had a bit more space. I quickly found new ways to store our kayaks upright and hand just about every tool that was less then 50lbs off the pallet shelves I made from their efforts.

 

In 2017, after a winter of building with the garage door closed (meaning even less space), I continued to find new ways to improve the mobility of the shop. I added a pair of Tough tBuilt sawhorses from Home Depot that can quickly be put up and taken down. I complimented that with a 48 inch by 48 inch #Gingerworkstation to place on top of those sawhorses. This coupled with the addition of a retractable extension cord for sanding and using all my mobile power tools with a cord.

 

Recently, I added the latest mobile station with lights that was written about previously and will be the new home of my Planer. As a Christian, I believe that God gives us everything that we need. I have been blessed with my space, and therefore I will be creative and use it to the best of my ability. Many folks message me and ask advice on their space. I believe the best answer is to consider a positive solution for every last inch of what you’re blessed with and then keep trying to improve it, little by little.

 

Keep an eye out this week for some new posts on the Centipede Tool I have coming in the mail.  For now, check them out here and be as amazed as I am at what it is going to do for my shop mobility!

 

#GingerJar

Everything that happens inside the Ginger Work Shop, on the pages of this blog, or on my Social Media sites is about using what has been given to me to be the best influencer I can be.   That said, let’s talk about the Ginger Jar.  For a while now, I have been sure that my table saw, a blessing in itself was overdue to be upgraded.  As projects grow, opportunities arise to try new things and with that the need for better tools becomes inevitable.   As a father and husband, I couldn’t just swing for the fences and drop $500 on the saw I have landed on, the Ridgid JobSite table saw.   So, with being an influencer in the back of my mind, I decided it was time to influence my kids by letting them see me save up to get that saw.  I wanted a real tangible chance to show my kids how to earn what is important to them.  As a parent in 2017, you don’t always get real life chances to teach your kids skills that school wont.  Skills that they will need today, tomorrow and forever.  I plopped a picture of the saw on the front of a Mason Jar and put that jar in my shop.  My kids asked what it was and I told them.  Now, with every passing day they ask me how much is in there, when will you get that saw dad.  I am pretty sure they don’t care one bit about that saw, but they see how I am getting it done.  So far, in this past week there have been a number of blessings that headed my way, and into that jar.  I have a list, ill be sure to tell you all the full story of how that jar got filled.  But, for now be an influencer, don’t let the chances you have go unused.  Below is the link to the saw that I am saving for, maybe you too want to start your jar!