View Full Version : Shop Time Home Life Survey

John Weber
01-07-2005, 10:02 PM
Ok guys, I'm wondering how all the great work gets done. My guess is a fair bit has to do with family situation. Out of curiosity I知 wondering about the family structure of the folks here at SawMill Creek, so I set up this little poll. I知 sure I missed some categories, but try to pick the closest. As for me, I知 married with two small children (2 and 5). My primary responsibility is taking care of them, but I also run a little web based Delta parts business. My woodworking time really runs in focused sporadic spurts, as to get anything done I really need to hit it hard and fast. This might explain some large gaps in my project output. Although I still relax in the shop and have plenty of home maintenance (she 105). In general I often envy others shop time, although I know soon our kids will no longer want to hang with the folks. So what is your situation?

Thanks - John

John Weber
01-07-2005, 10:11 PM
Sorry about the typo, it should be:

Married with Elementary School Age Kid (s)

I'll see it Ken or Aaron can fix it.


Ted Daigle
01-07-2005, 10:17 PM
Oh, man. Your telling my life story here. I'm in the same boat but with four boys, age 5,3,2 and six weeks. (What's causin' all these kids?) Anyway, my shop time story is the same, except now they think it's cool to run the shop vac so they pick up my mess and I can do some non-power tool stuff like finishing and still babysit. :D

John Daugherty
01-07-2005, 10:50 PM
I have an 8 and 4 year old. I try to grab shoptime when I can. It's hard though.

David Fried
01-07-2005, 10:59 PM
As a single parent with 8 and 10 year old sons and a 16 year old daughter, I only get shop time when I bring them with me. The 8 year old hammers, saws, and sands - building boxes, airplanes, and space ships while my ten year old curls up with a book or a game boy. (Lee Valley has child sized safety glassses, hammers, chisels, etc) My daughter makes guest appearances in the shop, usually to request something that will be my next project!

Steve Ash
01-07-2005, 11:43 PM
Well I am married with a 18 year old and a 24 year old at home. I'm a building contractor so I get lots of shop time...usually work related, but do get more fun related shop time in the winter than in the busy spring/summer/fall months.

John Miliunas
01-08-2005, 12:33 AM
I'm lucky, I guess. LOML enjoys doing stuff like painting (faux painting usually), so she does that kind of stuff in the house. I get the "carpentry" end of things, but that still give me a lot of shop time, albeit, sometimes the repetitious work gets a bit boring. Teenage girl spends most of her time with homework or the PS2. Weekends, the girls are usually "gone shopping" for quite a bit of the time, so just MORE shop time for me!:D :cool:

Tyler Howell
01-08-2005, 12:40 AM
Dave's got the right idea. Bring them along. You wont get anything done but it's valuable bonding time. Maybe even share or learn some new skills from the kids.

George Grubaugh
01-08-2005, 12:44 AM
:eek: 1 daughter, 21, one son, 17, one daughter, 9, one daughter, 6, one daughter, 4. :eek:

One slave driver for a boss (me)

No wonder it takes me 7 months to make a bed!

Ray Thompson
01-08-2005, 2:07 AM
I have a 34 year old so I get to go to the shop anytime I want. Hah. The honey-do list now includes submissions from 2 aunts, 1 uncle, wife, mother, 2 sisters, 2 nieces, and 1 nephew. The neighbors I have run off, no time. When the grand nieces/nephews come over everything stops for bird houses, shooting lessons, coloring, tea time, and everything 5, 6, and 7 year olds can think of. What shop time?


Keith Christopher
01-08-2005, 2:43 AM
I have a Son 12 and a daughter 11.

Frank Pellow
01-08-2005, 5:33 AM
Retired, with two daughters, four granddaughters, and one grandson. :) The daughter, granddaughter, and grandson who live in the same city as us are here A LOT :D and the children have their own (home away from home) bedrooms in our house, so we don't feel like empty nesters. :)

Christian Aufreiter
01-08-2005, 7:01 AM
I'm single, but as a student without any income I'm still living at my parents house on the weekends and during week in an apartment (near university) which they pay for me.



Karl Laustrup
01-08-2005, 7:37 AM
Call me MR. MOM! I'm retired, LOML works as GM of a facility, to remain undisclosed. We are also this year the guardians of our 10 Y.O. [soon to be 11] grand daughter. Her dad is going to chef's school in St. Paul.

With LOML working I do all household work/chores. LOML gets home from work and gets to spend quality time with GD. Laundry, clean, cook [which I really enjoy], all the grocery shopping as well as the normal things a guy would do around the house to maintain it. Consequently, this leaves very little time for the shop. Oh, yeah in the summer I get to GOLF 4-5 days a week. :D All in all I'd say I've got it pretty sweeeeeet.

Arnie Grammon
01-08-2005, 7:42 AM
My wife and I have a 23 yr old daughter living at home finishing her teaching degree (almost there!), a 21 yr old son in the Coast Guard based out of in Seattle, and a 10 yr old, a 9 yr old, and a 7 yr old, all sons. The younger boys are just getting interested in "Going out to the shop" to help Dad. Because of that interest, I bought the 10 yr old his own real tool box with real hand tools for Christmas. He loved it.

Incorporation of the younger boys (daughter never showed interest) into shop has always been a puzzle to me......my concerns lie with safety...doing the wrong thing and being maimed for life because of Dad. However, they are getting to the age that they can handle hand tools, thus the gift for the 10 yr old.

IMHO, bringing the children out to a power tool infested shop to babysit the youngins' can have real safety concerns, and should not be attempted without some thought as to where they are going to be at all times. Of course I am referring to a power tool shop.......if you are electron challenged, then the safety concerns are minimal.

That being said, 100 years ago sons learned at the feet of thier dad all the time, and really that is (in my mind) still the ideal. Oh, to have more time.....


scott spencer
01-08-2005, 8:31 AM
I span a couple of categories....married w/"short kids" and "tall kids" - ages 5,7,9, 14,15, & 18 (3 boys, 3 girls). Since the "tall kids" take up alot more time, that's what I checked in the survey.

I honestly expected retirees to dominate the results....maybe a smaller percentage of retiree aged wwers use the web. Last week I had to stop into Woodcraft (yep...."had to"), while running errands with my 15 year old daughter. As we were walking back to the car my daughter said, "Dad, you were the only one in there who didn't have white hair". :-)

Ken Fitzgerald
01-08-2005, 11:36 AM
Interesting poll but could have had a couple of more options....though we both work, are empty nesters....we in the recent past had two teenage granddaughters living with us for a year. Again, because of the nature of my job, my shop time varies dramatically. The past 5 weeks, for instance, I've had "0" shoptime....new baby (MR scanner installation) arrived. Company promised customer they'd scan first patient by Dec.30th. Construction supervisor didn't meet deadlines, limiting what and when I could get done. In short....I managed to get 3 days off between the 23rd of December and New Years Day. I knew I'd be working ridiculous hours over the holidays to meet the deadline, so I gifted my wife with an airline ticket for a 10 Christmas trip to be with her parents (ages 85 & 81) so I was baching it. On the 3 days off, I did laundry, cleaned house and just collapsed!

Dennis Peacock
01-08-2005, 12:01 PM

You don't have a category called: Married with small workforce of children :D

Me? Married, Single Income and 4 kids...teenagers to 7 Yrs old.

Jim Becker
01-08-2005, 12:18 PM
DINKs for now...but you never know what the future holds... :D

Earl Reid
01-08-2005, 12:47 PM
We have been married 48 yrs and have 4 children and 8 grandchildren. I retired 15 yrs ago. We have traveled a lot over the years. woodworking is my main interest and has been about 50 yrs. I have sold very few items and thats the way I like it. I am a camera bug and love taking pics of the kids and sharing them. I gave up golf after I retired. My wife has been a great help, making everything work out.

Erin Stringer
01-08-2005, 3:07 PM
We are currently DINKs but hope very soon to be parents and my wife will stop teaching. I'm sure it will cut severely into the limited shop time I have now but I can't wait! Just waiting for that call from the adoption agency...

Wes Bischel
01-08-2005, 7:25 PM
Well, I'm married with one 3yo son who keeps me on the run. I'm at home now (Mr. Mom if you will) and my wife brings home the bacon. My shop time is limited to nap-time (sometimes) and after Mom and the little man are in bed. So a night owl I am.

Erin - we were in the same boat a little less than three years ago! After months of wading through paperwork, that last bit of waiting is the hardest part - hang in there! Congratulations :D


Steve Clardy
01-08-2005, 7:32 PM
Well it was just the wife and I after the four boys slowly moved out, married, etc.
Then the youngest kinda flew back into the nest, and is still camping out in the nest, draining the frig supply on a daily basis.:rolleyes::rolleyes:

Joe Mioux
01-08-2005, 8:42 PM
DINKs for now...but you never know what the future holds... :DHmmmmmmmm.... lets see..... you are holding off on a new TS (read from a different post) and now you come up with this comment......


Tony Falotico
01-08-2005, 9:03 PM
3 married kids, all on their own, five grandkids. Two of the kids live locally (one next door) and one lives about 200 miles south. Two grandkids next door (occasionally, here mostly!), three out of town. LOML works at local elementary school, I hold down 8-5 40 hr a week job. About one weekend every 4-6 weeks south to visit daughter, SIL & 2 Grands, another weekend west 300 miles to pick up other grand daughter for visit (Divorce situation). One full weekend a month maintaining five acre homesite (More in summer but LOML Usually mows when school is out), plus whatever else pops up! Haven't been fishin' in more than two years.

No wonder it's been 14 months and my my shop is still NOT FINISHED !!! :( :(

01-08-2005, 9:16 PM
Very similar to the thread originator. We've got two boys, a 5 year old in kindergarten and a 22 month old. My wife stopped working after the 2nd was born and has since started her own small home-based business. Shop time and budget are sporadic. Both are at odds depending on how busy my wife is.


Mark Stutz
01-09-2005, 2:29 AM
HMMMM, Jim...this sounds like a stealth gloat!

Arnie Grammon
01-09-2005, 6:05 AM
We are currently DINKs but hope very soon to be parents and my wife will stop teaching. I'm sure it will cut severely into the limited shop time I have now but I can't wait! Just waiting for that call from the adoption agency...

My family just celebrated a 5 yr aniversary of adopting our three youngest sons. Cake and the whole thing. They were 2, 4, and 5 when we got them....they have been a lot of work but also a LOT of fun. They came out of a very rough home situation (drugs, alcohol abuse, etc.) and have proven themselves very capable.....at least as intellegent as our two older bio children (now 23 and 21 yrs).

All three are much bigger (taller and more athletic) than our bio children, and that's saying something because my oldest son had a chance to play 1-A Football. (he is instead serving his country). My 9 yr old has hands are as big as mine :eek: . They eat us out of house and home, but I wouldn't have it any other way. All in all, they are tough, resilient children with a very proud papa :).

We prayed a lot and God blessed us with three miracles. I really do hope the best in your wait. Sometimes waiting is the toughest part. Your life will be turned upside down....for the better! God bless.


P.S. I still have time for woodworking! :D .

Jim O'Dell
01-09-2005, 8:59 AM
I'm married, no 2 legged kids, but four of our own 4 leggers running around demanding attention, plus anywhere from 1 to 4 extra (rescue dogs) at any given time. Plus we have a new puppy we will pick up in Tampa on the 15th. CRAZY life we lead with these creatures!!
But I was honest and answered married, no kids. Jim.

Jim Becker
01-09-2005, 11:40 AM
Hmmmmmmmm.... lets see..... you are holding off on a new TS (read from a different post) and now you come up with this comment......

I really don't want to go into many details at this point, but essentially Ali (Dr SWMBO) and I started down the same path that Erin is currently following and others, such as Arnie and Wes, have already completed. It is a long process of the "hurry up and wait" variety and not inexpensive due to the fact we are going international for one (or two if sibs) of school-age. (5-9) When there is more information, I'll post it. In the mean time, the normal tool budget is just fine, but I decided not to go for the MM slider at this time...we may also need to do a major home addition. So "DINK-dom" is safe for now, but likely will be gone in a year or so...:eek: But if the Prize Patrol shows up, that MM will be on a truck "really quick"!

Pat Kearney
01-09-2005, 11:48 AM
Very similar situation, married with two boys 8 & 4, a full-time job, and trying to get a part-time business up and running leaves almost NIL time for workshop.