Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Categories of projects

A comment on my recent post by Jeremy of JMAW Works gave me the idea for this post.

I have for a long time been following some general rules of how to categorize a project. These categories help me decide what to do and when.

This is the first time I have tried to write them down and put actual words on the categories, but I have more or less followed them for a long time.
They are all aimed at projects I do at home.

Instead of categories based on form or building method such as chairs, cupboards, chests, turnings, dovetails etc. my categories are primarily based on the weather and secondly the time of day.

Main categories are:
1) Nice dry weather .
2) Light rain or grey weather.
3) Rain.

Off course if a job can be handled in rainy weather, it can technically be handled in fine weather as well, but not necessarily the other way around.

Sub categories:
A) Day.
B) Afternoon.
C) Evening.

Day jobs are jobs that require natural light, and perhaps other shops to be open, and also the longest continuous stretch without disturbances.
Afternoon jobs are jobs that can be done when the boys are home from school, they might like to participate in the job, or I have to be able to leave the project at very short notice to help them or to drive them to soccer practice etc.
Evening jobs are jobs are for the time left after eating supper. During the weekdays our family normally eat supper at 5:30 in the afternoon, but it can be as early as 5 PM or as late as 6:30 too.
So a couple of hours in the shop is not unheard of until our youngest needs to be tucked in.

Whenever I have something that I would like to get done while at home, I place that project into one main category and into one or more of the sub categories.

This approach has helped me to work efficiently on multiple projects, and I like being efficient while I am at home.
Ever since I adopted the idea, I have been a lot better at not getting angry that I had to stop one project due to weather issues, because I would know exactly what other project I could switch over to.

My list of projects that I would like to get done while at home this time will get assigned to the following categories:

Bi-annular control of cars: 3)-A
This is a job that I don't plan on doing myself, and the mechanic can work on the cars inside. I just have to drive the cars to him and also later to the actual control.

Repair Volvo Valps: 2)-A
I have a machinery shed in which the Valps are parked. There is a concrete floor, so even with a bit of water I can lay on my back and work on them from beneath.
These jobs are best done without getting too distracted or disturbed.

Install panels and handrail in the small barn: 2)-A
I need to move in and out of the barn a bit with all the boards for the panels, so full rain is not nice for this job.

Make leather belts with Laura: 3)-C
This is a typical evening project. Something to be done in the shop and easy to go to and from during the process. It will most likely be a Friday or Saturday project.

Run the sawmill: 2)-AB
Dry weather is nice but not a complete requirement for running the sawmill. If it is too wet, it is simply unpleasant to go outside all the time with off-cuts and getting a new log etc. The boys like to help sawing with the sawmill, and I can stop anytime to drive and pick them up etc.

Empty the horses boxes and whitewash of  the stable: 3)-A
This is a large project,  inside save for emptying the wheelbarrow into the trailer.

In addition to these projects that were mentioned in my last post, there is also the ongoing list of perpetual projects, like:
Making and stacking firewood: 1)-AB
Cleaning and organizing the barn: 3)-ABC
Building stuff in the workshop: 3)-ABC
Garden/yard work: 1)-AB

Since the weather is generally bad From October to April, in those months it is especially important for me to have a few projects of each main category, so I won't risk wasting the single day of December without rain on doing indoor stuff.

Does anybody else categorize projects something like this?

Thoughts about what to build when I get home.

I  haven't been very productive this time on board, mostly because the weather has been miserable, so as soon as you get off the shift you had better try to get some sleep, because no one knows when the ship will be moving so much that sleeping is impossible, and holding on to something is the best solution for staying in the same spot.

But I am looking forward to signing off in a weeks time, and I have been thinking a bot about projects that I would like to complete the next home period:

Both our regular cars will have to go through the bi-annular inspection in the beginning of 2018, so I'd better make sure they are OK.

Both Volvo Valps are down at the moment. The black one needs a new set of points and a new capacitor, possibly a new fuel hose from the tank to the pump and a new muffler. The green one needs a new set of timing gears.
These cars are "essential" to my well being. I really like to drive them, and getting one of them back in business will get a high priority.

I would like to complete the interior of the small barn, and perhaps install a hand rail for the staircase as well. But apart from that I don't think I'll work much out there this time.

Our daughter would like to make some leather belts for her friends as Christmas presents, and I am looking forward to helping her with that project. The plan is to make one belt that will look like a saddle girth for the horse interested friend, and the other friend would apparently love to get a bright red semi wide belt. As luck would have it, I have some bright cherry red shiny leather that I haven't been able to use in any project, so making a belt of some of it would be great.

I need to work the sawmill a bit too, so we can get a new load of sawdust for the horses. I am also starting to run low on regular boards, so a day or two spent re-stocking the barn at home is also pretty high up on the list.
If I manage to produce a lot of sawdust, I would like to empty the boxes of the horses for the old sawdust that has been there during the last year, and at the same time give the stable a coat of whitewash. But for that project to work out, I'll need at least one Volvo Valp to be running. I need the 4WD to haul the laden trailer onto a wet field and unload the old sawdust.

It might sound like a lot, but my experience is that I can be fairly efficient when I am at home, given that I can devote the entire day to a project. So there should hopefully still be plenty of time to enjoy the holiday season with the family and take the dog for long walks and perhaps even ride the horses if the weather permits it.

And who knows, perhaps some last minute projects will suddenly find their way onto the list.