A Heavy Load and a Long Road to Haul

A few of us have been kvetching lately about tired, aching feet after a long day in our concrete-floored shop. (Still, I’d rather have sore feet than a sore butt from sitting in front of the computer all day.)

Editor Chris Schwarz spent last weekend teaching at the Marc Adams School of Woodworking, and he was on his feet all day, for two days. But he had a nice mat to stand on, so while his fingers were raw from sharpening, his feet were happy. And I spent a number of years as a bartender (and can still mix a mean mint julep), so I know what a difference a bar mat makes , especially when traipsing around for hours in high heels (not that I often wear high heels in the shop).

So, we decided to break down and buy six mats , one for each bench, and one each for the table saw and jointer. I searched the interwebs for stall mats, on a recommendation from Charles Davis, of The Wood Zealot’s Workshop (a very funny blog, but not one for the easily offended). Charles claims they’re the best anti-fatigue mats he’s tried (which makes sense, since the average horse outweighs the average woodworker by at least a couple hundred pounds). You’d think stall mats would be easy to find this close to the Bluegrass state, but we had to drive about an hour east of Cincinnati to score some nice sturdy ones, made on-site out of recycled tires. And those suckers are heavy , 100 pounds each. And they’re not very malleable. But, we managed to cram them into the back of my Subaru, then headed off to the relatively nearby lumberyard to pick up some 8/4 stock for an upcoming project.

But, we had three people in the car. So we made the youngest (and most malleable), Drew DePenning, associate editor for the web, sit in back atop the stack of mats and hang on to the stock; after all, it’s only 28 miles, and these mats are supposed to be very comfortable!

I believe I need new brake pads and shock absorbers. And should a police officer see the picture below, um, it was all Chris’s idea…

– Megan Fitzpatrick

p.s. A couple Cincinnati-area readers have asked where we got the mats: From the very nice people at Dandy Products in Goshen, Ohio, 513-625-3000.

5 thoughts on “A Heavy Load and a Long Road to Haul

  1. Chris Schwarz

    Wayne,

    These mats aren’t soft. I’ve had soft mats. This is the same stuff they use in weightlifting rooms, where traction is somewhat important. They give a little bit, kind of like a rubber gym floor.

    Chris

  2. Gene

    For the rest of us in Cincinnati… which lumberyard. I’m always afraid that the might be one I don’t know about…

  3. Wayne Cannon

    It’s important that mats or shoes not be TOO soft, otherwise you will be continually "rocking" while trying to stay stable in the soft cushion, and your legs will get tired. The thick, soft, soles of the popular "athletic" shoes are too soft, for example.

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