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Comments 25

It’s Been A Blast

Something happened in October that I haven’t mentioned. My blog turned 10 years old, which is quite an accomplishment. Especially since there are so few active woodworking blogs these days. Around 2009 and for several years later, it seemed that if you were a woodworker, then you had to have a blog. Now most of the woodworking action is on YouTube and Instagram.

My first blog post was dated October 9, 2009. I was working on our coffee table (seen in the image at the top of this post). It was an exercise in how to make an attractive table with nothing but straight lines. There isn’t a curve on it anywhere. And it was an early example of mixing two species of wood, in this case tiger maple and red oak. I never liked that I used oak plywood for the shelf. I created a free woodworking plan for it (here) which has an altered shelf very similar to the design of the top. This table still sits in our family room (and we have upgraded to a much nicer wool rug).

So, it is ironic that I am writing today to say I have come to the decision to end this blog. When I do something, I’m the kind of person who is going to do it the right way as best as I can. Which means I have put a ton of effort towards making this a good blog. The content has become 100% project related. This is not a blog where I write posts dedicated to the philosophical aspects of woodworking. To add content to my blog, I need to be building something. And as my day job has spilled more into what would normally be private time at home (in my workshop), projects are taking longer, there are longer gaps in my posting schedule and I really need to spend time doing other things around my house. There are certain repair jobs which are not getting done because of my perceived need to always build towards the next blog post. I have come to view this as being out of sync with the reality of things.

As I began to finalize this decision, my weekends already feel more relaxed. It’s now OK to do just a little woodworking on a Saturday or Sunday (or dare I say, none at all).

Writing here has been a lot of fun. I don’t consider myself a writer, but I do like to tell the story of woodworking. And I have accomplished a few things through blogging. Examples: I got a mention by Chris Schwarz at the Lost Art Press website (here). My blog lead to a post at SketchUp’s website (here). I have been mentioned in email newsletters by SketchUp (several times), Kreg Tools and Hock Tools. And links to my woodworking plans and blog posts appear at a number of websites here in the USA and at sites in other parts of the world.

Concerning my woodworking plans, over the years I have received a number of emails from people who have built projects based on them (a post about my favorite email is here). I long ago stopped tracking statistics concerning the number of plans downloaded so I don’t have reliable data on their usefulness, but the emails I get tell me people do build projects from them. Making high quality plans has always been a goal and a reason I had to get proficient with SketchUp and begin to understand Photoshop. I have had a lot of fun with woodworking plans and I’ve received a lot of satisfaction from them.

Once there was this guy who was blogging about a table he was making. It was a really good design and I liked seeing the updates. But right in the middle of the project, the blog went silent and eventually was shut down. I remember feeling a little let down by not being able to see the finished project. This is basically what I am now doing. If you are interested in seeing future updates on the Montreat Side Table, I’ll be posting updates at my Instagram account (@jeffobranch). I will move my woodworking plans to my Etsy shop, and I’ll keep this blog live until my current subscription at WordPress ends. When that happens, this blog will be no more. It is kind of sad to write this.

For those of you who visit my blog, I want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart. Thank you for spending time here reading what I write and looking at my photos and my finished projects. I truly appreciate and value your support.

This entry was posted in: Blog

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During the week, I sell flooring products for The Dixie Group. Weekends, you'll find me in my basement workshop making furniture.

25 Comments

  1. Chuck Decker says

    Jeff,

    This is indeed sad news, but not unexpected. I have always admired people like yourself. You have a job, family and all the other demands of life, and yet spend so much time producing a blog! I just figure that you, and others like you, are some kind of “special” (in a good way). I am retired and still do not have the to time it must take to document and then publish a blog. My neck hurts from just going through my email.

    Personally, it is my hope that you will use some of this time to build a closer relationship with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. That is what I did after taking disability and then retirement. I had already accepted Christ as my Savior at the age of 15, but I neglected reading and studying the Bible. What a BIG difference it has made in my life! Using “The Bible” app from “YouVersion” (https://www.youversion.com/the-bible-app/), I have now read both Old and New Testaments in 4 different translations and also followed many study plans. I read every verse slowly and follow the footnotes to understand the full context of the message, and how the Old and New Testaments are linked. Before that, I had only fed my soul from sermons and church attendance. I decided to really find out the true message of what God wanted me to understand without someone putting a slant on it. I also spend lots of time watching evangelists and apologists on YouTube. I certainly regret that it took me so long to get around to doing this. I now better understand why just being a good person won’t get anyone into heaven. We have all fallen short of what is required by God to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. I also understand why certain things in my life happened the way they did; why bad things happen to good people; why there are wars and rumors of wars; why there is evil everywhere. I hope you can do the same. (End of my sermon 😏. )

    Anyway, we are all going to miss your blog. But I am happy for you that you have taken a closer look at what really matters to you and your family.

    May God bless you and keep you safe.

    Chuck

    • Thank you Chuck. Part of my time commitment on weekends now includes more time at church. So I do appreciate the message in your comment. I’ll also check out that app. God’s peace to you.

  2. Sorry to hear that! I’ve been blogging for probably 12+ years and started it to let clients up to date on their project. I find that as a supposedly “retired” woodworker it lets me feel connected while working at this solitary pursuit, especially when you add Instagram & Facebook to the mix. As a retired woodshop teacher it gives me opportunity to help others and connect with other woodworkers worldwide. Hopefully when you get into that retirement mode I can enjoy reading your blogs once again, thanks for them — John

    • Thanks for the thought John. I am 59 so I do think about what retirement will be like. We will see and who knows how we will share information at that time.

  3. joe Pardo says

    As I learn woodworking your blog has been one of my teachers. I for one will really miss you work. Thank you so much for your teaching class. A beginner making sawdust.

  4. Best of luck to you Jeff and thanks for your work on this blog over the years, I’ve enjoyed it. I would also like to thank you for your support of my work.

    Sometimes there is just not enough time in the day for all that we want to do. Of that, I am all too well aware. Hard choices have to made. Enjoy the step away from the blog.

    Greg

  5. Dear Jeff
    I’ve loved your blogs over the years – inspirational, professional and fun. You have a way of communicating that I felt you were talking to me. Thank you a million times for all the hard work and expertise that you have employed in your blogs. Good luck with finding more time, for all those other things you hope to get done and indeed time just for you. All the very best. Mary C.

  6. Hal Brown says

    Jeff
    Thanks a bunch for all your hard work with your blog, I especially enjoyed your storage cabinet build for your shop and how you adapted it to your shop space and equally as well your workbench build sharing with us your issue with the build. And wish I could master the skills and smarts you have with utilizing Sketchup
    I plan follow you on Instagram
    Hal

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