Blog: Ten Years! By: John Heisz

10 years old!

In some ways, it’s hard to believe it’s been that long – time does that tricky thing as you get older and speeds up when you’d actually like to have more of it. And it seems that over the last half of those ten years it’s been accelerating at an ever faster rate. A month when I was a kid now seems like a week, at best. Hours when I started working for a living that felt like days now skip past too fast to notice.

But, man! 10 years… that’s roughly 1/5th of my life at this point. 20%!

It was a Friday, and I note it here because I looked through the emails from that time for some details and saw that July 1 fell on a Friday in 2011. Normally the day of the week wouldn’t matter for such things, but in this instance it might have been a factor: I would have an entire long weekend to devote to getting this website up and running. First of July here in Canada is a national holiday – Canada Day – and that’s probably why it’s so easy for me to remember it.

Not that anything actually went on the website on that Friday. These things take more time than I realized and it being a weekend didn’t help. As I recall, setting up a website was something I’d been building up the nerve to do, and ended up being my typical impulsive “let’s dive into this before I think myself out of it.” way of doing things that involve a certain level of commitment.

I bought the domain name “” and arranged for the hosting. The email confirmation I received for the hosting shows a time of 10:08pm and the name server update confirmation email followed at 10:29, saying it can take 24 to 48 hours to process.

All of this might sound a bit mundane, especially to anyone who hasn’t set up a website. But it was a big first step. And the only way to get anywhere is to make that first step.

Of course I had no clue what I was doing. I’d done none of this before. I did very little research, knowing the more I knew about it, the more likely I’d be to talk myself out of doing it.

It wasn’t until the last of the month that content started to show up on the very crudely laid out first version of this website. Again, consulting my emails from the time for clues, I found an email to Matthias Wandel I sent on the 23rd:

“I (finally) started work on my website last night. I haven’t got much there yet, still learning as I go – there are parts that I’ll probably need to do over, since some of it was “just get something there” and worry about fixing it later.
Should be ok and fun once I get the hang of it.”

And I’m pretty sure that first project was a sanding station I designed and made to house my homemade disk sander and the Ridgid spindle sander I’d just bought. It also had a built-in shop vac for local dust collection and four drawers for accessory storage.

The sanding station is no longer with me – I dismantled it in 2017 – but it started the ball rolling.

And even though the breakneck production I had back then that was fueled by the novelty of having a website to fill up has slowed, I still regularly add project build articles. And sometimes there are new plans to go with them as well. These days I’m limiting what I put on the site to a minimum quality of project that I think has some broad appeal.

Enuffa the history, already! What have I got coming up?

Well, I have a number of bigger projects are on my loose schedule. That’s something that hasn’t changed: no fixed timetable. I build what I want when I want and will often get sidetracked by projects that pop up out of the blue. Among the biggest is a new 12″ band saw I started designed years ago:

My plan is to get started on that toward the end of this summer. This replaces my 18″ homemade band saw I started building before setting up this website.

This new saw is sized for the smaller workshop I have now. The old one took up too much space and wasn’t being used enough to justify the space it took up.

Also several furniture projects for my house. Notably, solid wood bedroom furniture that includes a bed, night stands and a large dresser. And more of my ongoing and never ending shop projects and improvements, so plenty to look forward to.