Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Quarantined At Work

Christmas at 3815 Utah Street

The world has changed since my last post.  I have been as busy as always, working on diverse and amazing projects.  But with the emergence of the global Pandemic all non essential business has been shut down and half the work force is advised to stay home.

For me nothing has changed.  I get up at 5am as usual and walk 6 blocks on deserted residential streets to work.  I stay inside and work all day until it is time to walk home.  I am deeply concerned about the future of the global economy, but I am not concerned about having something to do.

In many ways business has picked up, unlike the economic collapse of 2008.  At that time it was serious.  The phone stopped ringing for several months.  My normal backlog of work went from the usual 6 months to 2 weeks and I was taking any job that showed up just to make ends meet.

These days we are more plugged into the virtual communication features of the web.  Since people are staying home they are interested in getting things done around the house, including restoring furniture.  More importantly, woodworkers are busy in the garage building things and ordering glue.

I am pleased at the dramatic increase in Old Brown Glue sales the last week.  Unlike the modern glues that are sold in "bricks and mortar" stores, OBG has always been sold online.  That means that woodworkers do not have to leave the house to buy glue but can easily order online and we are formulating and shipping large quantities of fresh glue every day.

Another reason for the increase in sales is the recent release of several Fine Woodworking videos that I taped last year.  I had completely forgotten about them since they were available only to magazine subscribers, but FW decided to make them public in light of recent events.

Last year Ben Strano, who is the digital brand manager for the magazine, spent a day at my shop with his equipment.  I have done several television and web videos over the years, but spending a day with Ben was a lot of fun.  The videos turned out fantastic.

There are 6 short videos in all.  I will post them here every day, starting with the shop tour.  Ben wanted to do an introduction to my shop for other woodworkers to see just how I operate.  It will allow you, dear reader, to virtually visit my studio  while maintaining your social distance.

The rest of the videos discuss different features of working with protein glues.  I will post the start of that sequence tomorrow.