Friday’s Weekend Column
Looking for a Little Help

by James Glaser
July 21, 2006

Everything I brought back to Tallahassee from my house up North has been sitting in storage boxes in the front of the Studio, in the space I had set aside as a gallery. I have only two weeks left of the time I allotted to get the studio/workshop/gallery done, and so I have been working in the back while everything sat where I had unloaded it.

There is a loft in the building, and I find it hard to believe the last two tenants lived up there. The building has a metal roof with about one inch of rigid insulation, so it is like an oven up there during the daytime. Yesterday I was up there taking up the linoleum with a chisel and got baked pretty well. Today I went on a search, looking for a young man to carry everything up the stairs.

There seems to be a lot of young guys hanging around, but whenever I would ask if somebody wanted a few hours of manual labor work, everybody became too busy.

There is a shop in the Square that makes crown molding, and the owner has several young men working for him. I stopped in and asked if any of them knew someone who could give me a hand. The shop they were working in must have been over a hundred degrees, and they were moving around 16 foot two inch thick lumber. One of them said that he would be glad for a few extra hours after he got off at five.

He came over about ten minutes after he got off work and did everything I needed. He told me he works at the molding shop five or six days a week and has his own studio, where he is teaching himself to be a silversmith. With the cost of silver going so high, he needs extra money to buy the raw materials he works with. I think this young man is going places some day.

Now I have my gallery space back to looking good, and all I have left in there is the trim, of which I have a lot up already. This week I put up my light fixtures, marked out where I want outlets and this next week the electrician will be here to hook everything up. . . including the air conditioner. I have been running that with an extension cord, but the electrician will put an outlet in just for that on its own circuit.

It is hot down here, but I have found I get a lot more done if I don't turn the AC on. If I have the front and back doors open and a fan going, I can be very productive. With that air conditioner on, I found myself staying in that room, and I wasn't getting anything done. I really think what I need is one of those huge box fan that have the blades turning with a pulley off an electric motor. If I could install one of them in the back and drag air in from the front, I think that would work. Also all my sanding dust would be heading out the back instead of floating in the air and landing in the gallery area where I want everything clean.

I have learned if I do want to get a good day's work in, I have to start early, when it is still in the 70's. That way the temperature can rise all day, but I don't notice it that much. If I wait and try starting about noon, it is so hot that I tend to blow off the day, thinking it is hotter than normal. Some days this week have been pretty brutal.

I am getting close to being finished, and that makes going in to work a lot of fun. When I get the floor all painted everything will look nice, like a professional shop. I do have the excuse of not having the lights up yet. It would be hard to make cuts on the band saw with a few lights in there now, maybe a little dangerous too.

So, a couple more weeks of hitting it hard, and then I'll have the shop I always wanted. It's nice to think about, but one thing I haven't been able to figure out. Whenever I am working hard and the temperature is in the nineties, and the humidity is close to a hundred, perspiration will drop down on my work, and you can't have that on something you are trying to get a good finish on. Also it is a real problem when you are trying to draw. A fan helps and having a towel close by works too. Maybe I'll have to have that A/C on part of the time.

Free JavaScripts provided
by The JavaScript Source

BACK to the Essays.