Cold shed = low productivity. A few resin inlays

I’ve not done much recently because it’s just been too cold in my shed. I have a small heater, but my inadequate power supply means I have to be careful how much current I draw. Tools or heat!
Anyway, I have been playing with resin inlays which are easy and effective. I did this for a few chopping boards for people for Christmas, but I forgot to take pictures. The thing I realised was it’s not much of a stretch from chopping board, to wall art, and these seem to have gone down quite well.
I particularly like the tree of life in yew. Kind of a stupid tree of life, the roots are loops, but what do I know. I had a go at being artistic too (the curves, that is just a chopping board), but I don’t really know what to aim for. I forgot where I saw the dog lead holder, was it here? A lovely way to use up off cuts with nice grain.


install one of these in the corner of your shed.

The fact you do woodworking means you probably have many sources of heat lying around.


Looks really nice! Are you using a food grade resin & dye? If so could you share a link?

I do need to do this, it’s a pretty small shed and wouldn’t take a big stove to heat it…

I have avoided the ‘food grade epoxy’, because as far as I can tell (I’m a lab chemist, so have some experience), it is exactly the same material (same source, same facility), just that the manufacturer has submitted to testing.
In any event, properly cured epoxy resin is food safe inherently (in my opinion), but I tell people not to chop on the epoxied side, because they’ll ruin it!


This is what I use in my cold shed.

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Those look nice. Have you had any problems with bleed when using dyes? I tried red dyed reisin and had some serious bleed near the end grain. Granted, this was cypress, so maybe not the best species for reisin applications.

Occasionally yes, particularly with some types of oak, where small channels seem to fill and be hard to clear. Generally it’s not a problem, because I cut and fill to a depth of 3mm, then thickness after setting, removing about 0.5mm. Any resin bleed is usually removed. Gives a clean resin cut too and saves me pre-sealing.

Good to know, thanks. Maybe I just need to sand off more material next time.

I’ve been experimenting with these carvings, particularly those ripple patterns I see everywhere done in plywood. This came about because I discovered that a local (Lake District) 3d topographic map I have done a couple of times in walnut also works well in Iroko (much cheaper). When I tried the ripples, there was quite a lot of fuzz (both walnut and iroko), then I tried yew, my favourite softwood. It worked really nicely, its layering produces a nice effect and the finish is really smooth. This is the only time a cheaper softwood has been superior!
Now if only I had the brains to work out how the hell to create my own ripples files, I’d be delighted. I’m not far enough in FreeCAD yet, and had a look at Blender, but there’s also a lot to learn there. I’ll get there.

Both pieces on the left are Iroko, right top is Walnut, right bottom is Yew


Those work well. But PLEASE say your shed is well ventilated and that you have a CO detector.

Yeah, the gables are both open, and I usually have the door cracked. Why I have to run the heater. It’s a self defeating cycle. Detector is on the shelf.

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My old shop was a former machine shop. Basically a deep 3 car garage building built of block. In the middle back we had a nice huge wood stove. It was always super cold when the coals went out. And it took an hour or so to get a good fire going, but once we got it right, OMG that thing could heat it up so much that we’d have to open one of the garage doors to keep from burning up! So it’s always a challenge no matter how big or small a space you have.

The shop I’m planning on building will be a 4 car garage and deep. I’m planning on insulating it really really good. Then getting a pellet stove or one that is multifuel. But may just get a regular wood stove. It all depends on budget and hot things go this next year.

Certainly someone makes a combo - pellet stove / pellet smoker for heating and cooking.


I’d like a stove that can use pellets or wood. But I’ve yet to find one.

Ever have one of those ideas that comes to you in the night and you’re so worried you’ll forget, you have to get up and write it down? That. I like resin and I like wood. I did some 3D stuff recently in wood, where the grain makes the shapes more interesting. I realised though, that I can go a step further. Resin in the wood, then cut. I had filled this piece of Yew with resin a while ago for some reason I’ve forgotten. Very pleasing effect (the black is resin).


Solved a coding issue in a dream one time. Jumped up from the dream and wrote it on a piece of paper.

Typed it up when I got to work and the stupid thing worked first try. Now if only I can get work to believe me that when I’m sleeping at my desk, I’m still coding…


@niget2002 there have been studies that prove that if we don’t spend time “goofing off” and let our subconscious take over we are much less effective in jobs that require a large amount of thought.

Unfortunately the stories of Edison and Einstein not sleeping as well as the Japanese culture of working crazy hours hasn’t helped our society.

Silicon Valley has done some with volley ball courts, game rooms, etc but in some ways has gone too far. So we need a good balance. Unfortunately I don’t have an answer. What I can say is an IT manager I try to make sure my team members are productive. We discuss what they need to get done and when then I let them do it. Then as long as the work is good and the deadlines are met and they’re not bothering anyone else I let them do their thing.

Maybe you can get more work from home. Many of us are now and we find that it makes us more productive.

Sorry. That last statement was more tongue-in-cheek, than it was anything else.

I WFH 3 days a week when not in COVID mode.

When at work, we have access to fooseball and ping pong tables. My company does stress a good work/life balance and doesn’t have issues with employees taking breaks to clear their heads.

We do shy away from people curling up under their desk and taking naps while on the clock. We do, however, have no issues with people taking little naps on the recliners that are placed around the office.

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I work 3 days/week and I only work from home. I know it isn’t realistic for everyone, but for my family, we weren’t happy with my and my spouse working full time and not having enough energy/time for our kids. So instead of one of us completely flipping to being the stay at home parent, we both went part time.

It is tough sometimes because there are a lot of full timers that work a lot and they end up worrying about my productivity, but I have tried to position myself in a role as a senior advisor, who can answer tough questions or just give good technical feedback on hard problems and that seems to work better. I do more in one of my “on” days that I used to in one workday though.

Working from home is great, if you like what you do. It can be pretty miserable if you don’t. That is honestly the worst part. When you don’t want to do something, and there is a full kitchen, and a bunch of electronic projects or something right there. But I when I want to do something, I can work in piece and if I turn off the email, no one can barge in on me working.

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