Growing up, there was little doubt I would turn out, um, peculiar. One week my dad threw out his back while working on the farm, and his doctor confined him to his bed to recover.
So my dad set up a little workshop in the bed and — while on his back — built a small end table and hand painted the end panels. My friends don’t believe this story, but I have the table to prove it.
As a result, I’ve always been careful about my own back. I lift heavy objects with my knees, blah blah blah. But lately, I have to say that the concrete floor in our shop at work has been murder.
In our previous shop, we had anti-fatigue mats, but we pitched those because we were going to have a wooden floor in our new shop. That didn’t work out. So a couple weeks ago we bought some thick rubber mats intended for horse stalls and weight-lifting rooms. Each 4′ x 6′ mat weighs about 100 pounds and cost about $60.
How do they work? Well they immediately made the shop smell like a tire store. Aside from that dream come true, they helped my back quite a bit. After a couple weeks of dovetailing and planing in front of my bench I definitely felt a difference.
This week, my love for my mat became even more obvious when I was working in my shop at home. After three days on my concrete I was ready to sneak into a nearby horse stall for relief.
I found a temporary solution: a moving blanket emblazoned with monster trucks. I folded the blanket in half and put it in front of my bench to protect the carcase assembly I was working on. Surprisingly, the moving blanket also helped my carcass.
- Christopher Schwarz