I noticed a lot backlash from readers regarding my tire pressure management post. The gist: TPMS won’t keep your tires aired up, and if you’re too lazy to check them every so often you’re probably too lazy to air ’em up either. I half agree, specifically that an indicator light is no replacement for good maintenance. After all, no tool can ever replace the drive to actually get in gear and do the damn project.
But before we go smacking down an indicator light, let’s take a close look at ourselves. Do you fall into any of these three Toolmonger pitfalls?
1. GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome)
I first heard GAS spoken in music terms, describing a particularly craptastic guitarist armed with a $3,000 Paul Reed Smith axe. But it afflicts Toolmongers, too, like the guy who buys a zillion-buck table saw then spends the next six months polishing it and shopping for accessories. It’s easy to define: You know you’ve got GAS when you cross the line from buying tools to get the job done to buying tools because you just like tools.
Admittedly, there’s nothing wrong with collecting tools, assuming that’s your passion. If you want to just own the world’s most awesome planer, hell, that’s awesome. Kudos! (Send us a picture.) But if you’re buying the tool to use it, don’t forget to do so.
2. Becoming a Shop Organization Guru
Keeping your shop clean and organized makes a lot of sense. If you can find everything easily, you’re way more likely to finish the projects you start. But if you don’t start projects because you’re too busy cleaning up the shop or trying to figure out exactly where to put that new milling machine, maybe you’d be better off ditching new new mill or just letting the shop get a bit dirty. When Sean and I visit Toolmongers’ shops, we consider (some) mess to be a good sign — and indication that the shop sees use and owner keeps his priorities straight. (Which means they’ll be much more interesting to meet.)
3. Becoming a Joiner
This one’s a real pit of quicksand since no smart Toolmonger works in a vacuum. Taking a little time to meet the people around you with similar interests not only makes projects a lot more fun, it often makes them possible. Need just the right chisel? Your neighbor might have it. Better yet, join the local woodworking club and you’ll meed dozens of like-minded folk. But think twice before you give up do-your-own-project Thursday nights to be a club officer in charge of chair stacking.
You can probably think of dozens more similar situations that can draw you away from the task at hand, usually under the guise of help. Just don’t forget: Only YOU can put the D in DIY. (Otherwise it’s not Y.)