Woodworking seems to be the process of obtaining lumber taking it to my shop and converting it to smaller pieces of wood.
I have a pile of small pieces of beautiful wood that I don’t want to throw away because of their perfection and because they may come in handy for some future project. They perfectly clear and straight. And they do come in handy. But I seem to add to the pile more than I take away. And eventually I have to cull it. These pieces make a great fire in the living room. But any grief is soon assuaged by pleasant fire, nice music and a favourite beverage.
I also generate piles of shavings from my hand plane. The making of these shavings gives me pleasure. The long thin shaving which curls up into a tight ball that I generated from the full length and thickness of a board gives me satisfaction. Also some sense of accomplishment and confirmation that I am learning the craft of woodworking.
These shavings are eventually swept up added to the saw dust generated from my other tools and put in a plastic garbage bag which ends up at the curb for the garbage man. I feel guilty about this. I once offered some to a cat person to use as kitty litter. But after careful inspection she declined my offer, it may hurt her cats paws.
However the greatest evil of woodworking is the generating of fine dust particles. These are not pieces of sawdust or shavings that quickly fall on the floor, but material that hangs in the air for hours after it is created. This material gets into my lungs a coats everything in my shop. This is something I did not anticipate when I began this hobby a few years ago. I have made considerable progress in reducing this evil but have not yet to my satisfaction.
I have had an epiphany recently. The goal of woodworking is the process its self and not the finished project. I have too often rushed a project to completion to satisfy some artificial deadline or forced myself to do work when I rather be doing something else.