Every heard of Yak Shaving?

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Every heard of Yak Shaving?

Postby Eric Knapp » Thu May 05, 2016 11:39 pm

Hello, I hope this is OK to post here in Jam Session. I've been a computer programmer for over 30 years. In that field there is a concept called, "Yak Shaving". It refers to all the stuff you have to do before you can do the stuff you set out to do. We all experience it and as I was working in the shop tonight I realized that woodworking is almost all yak shaving. It's all in the prep. I came in and wrote this to capture what I've doing recently. I'm trying to get my shop back to working condition. Here's a little story about my progress.

1. Decide you need more cam clamps.
2. Look at the price of the clamps you need.
3. Recover from sticker shock at the cost of cam clamps.
4. Decide to make your own since they aren't hard to make.
5. Search for cam clamp plans.
6. Watch many YouTube videos on making your own cam clamps.
7. Design your own version of light-duty cam clamps.
8. Look for local places that carry aluminum bar stock.
9. Stop at local industrial supplier and order bar stock.
10. Pick up bar stock the next Monday after calling to make sure they came in.
11. Search for wood in your shop to make cam clamps.
12. Realize you can't get to all your wood because there's too much stuff in the way.
13. Start cleaning your shop.
14. Realize you can't clean the shop very easily because you now have so many tools you don't have any place to put them.
15. Start searching for a good tool chest for small tools.
16. Recover from sticker shock at the cost of tool cabinets that are any good at all.
17. Decide to make your own tool chest.
18. Spend hours designing a tool chest that will be cheap and easy to make.
19. Start acquiring simple materials to make the tool chest.
20. Make many trips to lumber yards.
21. See a large stack of high-quality, perfectly quarter-sawn Sitka Spruce at one yard. File away for future plans.
22. Start trying to build the tool chest.
23. Realize you don't have any room to build a tool chest since you have too much stuff in the way.
24. Move car and motorcycles out of the garage to make temporary space to build the tool chest.
25. Set up saw horses with plywood on top as a work bench since your real workbench is covered with stuff you have no place to put.
26. Clean off your table saw so you can cut out the pieces of your tool chest.
27. Pile all the stuff that was on your table saw on top of all the stuff on your workbench.
28. Start building your tool chest.
29. Take your time since this is fun and you haven't built anything since your serious shop injury a few years ago.
30. Marvel that your design looks like it's going to work.
31. Marvel more that you cut out all the pieces to the right dimensions.

To be continued...

-Eric
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Re: Every heard of Yak Shaving?

Postby Bryan Bear » Fri May 06, 2016 10:21 am

Ha! I know exactly how you feel. I decided there was a more efficient use of my workshop space. I started building what I needed and looking for new shelving options and whatnot. It has been months and my shop is unusable in its current state. I'm glad I'm not the only one.
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Re: Every heard of Yak Shaving?

Postby David King » Fri May 06, 2016 4:56 pm

"There's a hole in my bucket dear Lisa, dear Lisa".
That's how 80 % of my shop time is spent.
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Re: Every heard of Yak Shaving?

Postby Matthew Lau » Fri May 06, 2016 7:33 pm

That sounds totally like me!

Also add, try to buy wood for cabinets--then realize that a 97 Toyota Corolla doesn't have space (unless it's sticking out the window, flagging my town's very bored cops). Unsuccessfully attempt to strap wood to roof, and have it fall off in street.
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Re: Ever heard of Yak Shaving?

Postby Eric Knapp » Fri May 06, 2016 8:22 pm

Bryan Bear wrote:Ha! I know exactly how you feel. I decided there was a more efficient use of my workshop space. I started building what I needed and looking for new shelving options and whatnot. It has been months and my shop is unusable in its current state. I'm glad I'm not the only one.

Sounds very familiar to many. I'm convinced this is the real work of being a crafter of physical things. It was the same when I was a full-time furniture maker. It's all preparation, then a very brief moment when things go together. I'm looking at how you guys make neck joints. The careful planning, tooling, and fitting are the real work. Then you glue the neck in in just a few minutes.

I had a good friend in college who was driven crazy by all the work he had to do just sanding something. He just wanted it to be done by a machine. I tried to point out that the process of preparing something for a finish was the craft, not just slopping on a quick finish. I was not popular with that attitude. :)

-Eric
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Re: Ever heard of Yak Shaving?

Postby Eric Knapp » Fri May 06, 2016 8:28 pm

David King wrote:"There's a hole in my bucket dear Lisa, dear Lisa".
That's how 80 % of my shop time is spent.

Only 80? Sweet. That's seems like a distant dream right now!

-Eric
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Re: Ever heard of Yak Shaving?

Postby Eric Knapp » Fri May 06, 2016 8:31 pm

Matthew Lau wrote:That sounds totally like me!

Also add, try to buy wood for cabinets--then realize that a 97 Toyota Corolla doesn't have space (unless it's sticking out the window, flagging my town's very bored cops). Unsuccessfully attempt to strap wood to roof, and have it fall off in street.

Ha! Yes, it does sound very familiar. I am finally out of our minivan years and downsized to a small SUV. "Wait! I can't haul plywood anymore? ARGH!!!"

-Eric
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Re: Ever heard of Yak Shaving?

Postby Eric Knapp » Fri May 06, 2016 9:52 pm

Oh, wow, I actually finished something. This is as simple, cheap, and quick as I could manage.

I'm hoping this is a trend and I will join the ranks of beginning guitar makers who've made a guitar. My goal is to do that this year.

toolchest1.png


toolchest2.png


-Eric
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Re: Every heard of Yak Shaving?

Postby Randy Roberts » Fri May 06, 2016 11:08 pm

Eric,
Just be glad you built your tool chest before you built a few guitars, that way you didn't see the need for binding and purfling , nor how essential Brazilian rosewood tuning pegs for drawer pulls are, or spend weeks French polishing the #$%^ thing.

viewtopic.php?f=16&t=3718#p35727

Really nice job by the way.

Mathew,
Explain to me why anyone would design an SUV with the widest possible dimension on the hatchback opening being 47 and 1/2 inches (Subaru)?
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Re: Every heard of Yak Shaving?

Postby Stephen Neal Saqui » Sat May 07, 2016 7:06 am

Eric,

Thank you!

Stephen
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Re: Ever heard of Yak Shaving?

Postby Eric Knapp » Sat May 07, 2016 1:35 pm

Randy Roberts wrote:Eric,
Just be glad you built your tool chest before you built a few guitars, that way you didn't see the need for binding and purfling , nor how essential Brazilian rosewood tuning pegs for drawer pulls are, or spend weeks French polishing the #$%^ thing.

viewtopic.php?f=16&t=3718#p35727

Really nice job by the way.

Mathew,
Explain to me why anyone would design an SUV with the widest possible dimension on the hatchback opening being 47 and 1/2 inches (Subaru)?

Ha! That is wonderful. I hope I can make a guitar that nice some day. Fortunately for me, my joiner/planer isn't working until I can find a new belt. I was limited to my table saw, stock lumber, plywood scraps, and MDF for this or I might have been tempted to do more.

Thanks for the comment on my quick-and-ugly, er, easy project.

-Eric
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Re: Every heard of Yak Shaving?

Postby Eric Knapp » Sat May 07, 2016 1:36 pm

Stephen Neal Saqui wrote:Eric,

Thank you!

Stephen

You are very welcome! (What'd I do?) :)

-Eric
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Re: Every heard of Yak Shaving?

Postby Matthew Lau » Sun May 08, 2016 12:29 am

No idea about SUV's. Here in Alameda, I usually see over aggressive soccer moms in them.

I drive a runty corolla--a compact car that isn't sexy, but may run forever.
I just wished it'd fit 2x4's.
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Re: Every heard of Yak Shaving?

Postby Simon Magennis » Sun May 08, 2016 10:45 am

Eric Knapp wrote:...
1. Decide you need more cam clamps.
2. Look at the price of the clamps you need.
3. Recover from sticker shock at the cost of cam clamps ….


Genuine Klemmsias are $8 to $10 here including our 20% sales tax (vat) but often more at big box stores. Sometimes you can pick up a batch of used ones. I made some once too - kind fun. You can never have too many.
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Re: Every heard of Yak Shaving?

Postby Eric Knapp » Sun May 08, 2016 11:02 am

Matthew Lau wrote:No idea about SUV's. Here in Alameda, I usually see over aggressive soccer moms in them.

I drive a runty corolla--a compact car that isn't sexy, but may run forever.
I just wished it'd fit 2x4's.

I can fit 8 foot 2x4s in my RAV. It will hold 4 feet by 4 feet sheets of plywood, too. But Baltic birch plywood is usually 5 ft. by 5 ft. and they won't fit. I have to wait for a nice day and put them on the rack on top.

-Eric
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Re: Every heard of Yak Shaving?

Postby Eric Knapp » Sun May 08, 2016 11:07 am

Simon Magennis wrote:Genuine Klemmsias are $8 to $10 here including our 20% sales tax (vat) but often more at big box stores. Sometimes you can pick up a batch of used ones. I made some once too - kind fun. You can never have too many.

It looks like my first batch of 24 clamps will cost around $30 US. That's assuming I don't need to buy any wood, and I shouldn't have to. I've never seen them for $10 over here and they would be tempting at that price. Of course we all have to ignore the cost of the time we put into making things. :D

-Eric
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Re: Every heard of Yak Shaving?

Postby Clay Schaeffer » Sat May 28, 2016 10:41 am

Generally it is better to avoid Yak shaving. Yak combing is the preferred method for harvesting the fine down coat that has marketable value. If you shave your Yak, you then have to spend time separating the coarse hair from the down.
"Combing" the archives here may help you avoid some Yak shaving, and show you some ways to avoid unnecessary prep work and tooling not needed to complete your first guitar.
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Re: Every heard of Yak Shaving?

Postby Ryan Mazzocco » Sat May 28, 2016 5:10 pm

Clay Schaeffer wrote:Generally it is better to avoid Yak shaving. Yak combing is the preferred method for harvesting the fine down coat that has marketable value. If you shave your Yak, you then have to spend time separating the coarse hair from the down.
"Combing" the archives here may help you avoid some Yak shaving, and show you some ways to avoid unnecessary prep work and tooling not needed to complete your first guitar.


It's true. If I have have learned anything at all my advice would be to not take too long building your first guitar. That was the mistake I made. It took me about 7 years to build my first guitar. Now, admittedly there was a lot of "life" that happened in that time that took me away from my pursuit including the birth of my two daughters. But if I'm honest I have to say that I spent wayyyy too much time "combing" the internet, collecting information and and figuring out tooling and still ended up with a very sub-par guitar shaped object. After that I just hit the gas an started pumping them out. The repetition and practice is what brought me to the level I am at now, and I still have a lot of room to grow.
So, moral of the story... Quit Yakking about it and just get on with it already. :D
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Re: Every heard of Yak Shaving?

Postby Eric Knapp » Sun May 29, 2016 9:47 am

Ryan Mazzocco wrote:
Clay Schaeffer wrote:Generally it is better to avoid Yak shaving. Yak combing is the preferred method for harvesting the fine down coat that has marketable value. If you shave your Yak, you then have to spend time separating the coarse hair from the down.
"Combing" the archives here may help you avoid some Yak shaving, and show you some ways to avoid unnecessary prep work and tooling not needed to complete your first guitar.


It's true. If I have have learned anything at all my advice would be to not take too long building your first guitar. That was the mistake I made. It took me about 7 years to build my first guitar. Now, admittedly there was a lot of "life" that happened in that time that took me away from my pursuit including the birth of my two daughters. But if I'm honest I have to say that I spent wayyyy too much time "combing" the internet, collecting information and and figuring out tooling and still ended up with a very sub-par guitar shaped object. After that I just hit the gas an started pumping them out. The repetition and practice is what brought me to the level I am at now, and I still have a lot of room to grow.
So, moral of the story... Quit Yakking about it and just get on with it already. :D

Very sage advice, gentleman. I was doing the Internet combing thing for a while. I finally looked at my shop and realized I already had almost everything I needed and I should just get up and get moving. I feel like I'm in a hurry to get back in the swing of things. I'm using my rebuild project as my impetus for getting something done. I am already making plans for my first full build after that. I'm learning fast and enjoying every step.

-Eric
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Re: Every heard of Yak Shaving?

Postby Biff Cooper » Thu Jun 02, 2016 3:52 pm

I feel like my whole life is "Yak Shaving" haha
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