Why I Started Woodworking
Like so many men out there, I have gotten into woodworking.
Why did I pick up this hobby?
There are a few reasons why I decided to pick up the hobby of woodworking, and some of them may not be what you think.
After all, each person gets into a hobby for different reasons, and these are my reasons for picking up woodworking.
I Needed A Hobby!
In this day and age where we have so many electronics and technology around us, I felt I was missing something in my life, and it was a hobby.
You see, I am an entrepreneur, and I am usually at a computer most of the day, if not into the evening, much to the chagrin of my wife.
I believe this has made me very stale and diminished my ability to be creative.
One day, I was going down a rabbit hole on YouTube and came across a woodworking video. After watching it, and thinking, “I could make that!”, I watched another video. The same thought came to mind.
I even went through what tools we had on hand and realized that, in fact, I could make that thing, if I just got the materials.
What was that project?
I know, not so glamorous, but I saw the practicality of it, and I figured I gotta start somewhere.
After making those, I was hooked.
Idle Hands Make One Dull
When I moved from Nevada to Texas, I also left an 18-year career in the gaming industry, working on the slot machines and all the periphery that is involved in making those work.
Which meant I did a lot of work with my hands.
I especially missed that aspect of the job, because I enjoy putting things together and seeing them work. It’s something that gives me great satisfaction, and I just plain missed that.
I needed to be able to put something together, either from a set of plans or just from off the cuff, and see it be finished.
Looking back, I realize that is something I have enjoyed all my life. From Tinkertoys to Lincoln Logs, to Legos (I’m still big on Legos), I enjoy putting things together and seeing the finished product.
So after I put together those sawhorses, and felt that sense of accomplishment, I realized I was hooked.
For some time now, before I actually decided to take up woodworking as a hobby, I kept thinking about how nice it would be to have some furniture that I made. It wouldn’t have to be fancy, but it would serve a purpose and it would be tailored to exactly what I needed.
And while I know my skill level isn’t where it needs to be to make that fancy dining room table, I know I can develop those skills by making sawhorses, shop stools, or even a short table to hold the fan in the shop.
Are those fancy?
No, not really.
However, they are functional and help me to develop the skills I need in order to get to where I can make that fancy dining room table, or build that dresser, or entertainment center that fits our home.
Being An Example
Being an example is a multi-level deal. Let me break this one down for you a bit.
First, I want to be an example to anyone who is like me out in the world. I want to show that even at 53, with no real woodworking skills, that you can pick up this hobby and enjoy it.
Second, I want to show that you don’t need a shop full of tools and toys to do this! I was blessed this Christmas to have my wife get a miter saw from her stepmother (I seem to have taken it over now), and with the limited tools I had on hand, I was able to make a set of sawhorses.
Third, I have a stepson that I want to be an example for. I want to show him what work ethic and determination looks like, and the best way I know is to do something that models that. Woodworking seems to be the best way to help show him that, and it’s important to model that so he knows what others may expect of him once he gets out into the world.
Last, I want to be an example of what any beginner would experience when getting started with woodworking. This means that I will share the enjoyment of it, but I will also share the struggles of it as well. In this age of social media, where all we seem to see is how great everything is, I want to show each of you that learning a new skill for a hobby may not be as easy as it seems in the videos you watch or the posts you see from others.
Happy Wife, Happy Life
Earlier you may have read that I’m using the miter saw my wife got for Christmas. It was her present, not mine.
Why would she want a miter saw?
She wants to make things for the house, little mini-projects that make a house a home.
So when I decided to take up woodworking as a hobby, she was excited and named off a list of projects she would like. Not just for the house, but also for the church, where she works.
While this may have stopped me, it has not. Mostly she wants projects that can be made out of free pallet wood or are simple projects that can be taken care of in an afternoon in the shop.
And, as any husband out there knows, if the wife is happy, then I am happy.
Besides, as I mentioned earlier, it’s that sense of accomplishment that fills me inside, that’s important.
So for those out there who have been woodworking for many years, what is it you enjoy the most from your hobby? Let me know in the comments below.
And, if you’re new to woodworking, and want to join me on this journey, be sure to sign up for the weekly newsletter, where I share the tips and techniques I’m learning and have learned on this journey.