Self Impossed Boundaries

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Blog entry by Don posted 12-24-2006 11:59 AM 1018 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch

[This also posted in Coffee Lounge blog.]

I purchased my first woodworking equipment in August ‘01 which was my entry into woodworking. So I’ve only got five years of woodworking experience under my belt. There is just so much more to learn and to attempt.

In my mid forties I made a phenomenal personal discovery. Most of the limitations I faced in life were set by me. The many things that I thought I couldn’t do were simply things that I determined I wouldn’t do. The limitations were, in large part, self-fulfilling prophesies. The idea of “Just do it!” was foreign to me. Then through a series of incidents that I won’t go into, I learned that the limitations I had accepted as inevitable were boundaries I had placed on myself.

And, of course, this applies to woodworking as well. I still find myself looking at other people’s work and saying to myself, “I wish I could do that”, or “I wish I had the skill to do that.” Well, the skills that were employed in creating fine woodworking didn’t just happen – they were acquired through discipline and practice.

There’s little point in hoping for the end result without being prepared to do the tough slogging. Although time may not be on my side, that doesn’t matter, because for me, woodworking is about the journey as much as the destination.

Sure, I get a lot of satisfaction from completing a project, and from appreciative comments by fellow woodworkers. But the real joy comes from the process. It took me a while to understand this. At first, I was impatient for the end product. This accounts for my many errors, stuff-ups and abandoned pieces. There are no short-cuts. I can’t get satisfaction from the finished project if I am not prepared to take my time, learn and practice new skills, and continuously push aside self-imposed boundaries.

As I journey through 2007, the Lord willing, I will undertake projects that will both challenge and stretch. Now don’t get me wrong. These don’t have to be exotic elaborate creations. No – they can be quite simple pieces. You see, making a joint truer, cutting an angle more accurately, and improving the application of a finish, are all skills that enhance the final result.

Here’s to greater woodworking satisfaction during 2007!

-- CanuckDon "I just love small wooden boxes!"

2 comments so far

View Karson's profile


35120 posts in 4393 days

#1 posted 12-25-2006 05:49 AM

Very nice Don. Yes the satisfaction comes from doing your best, and when you find errors or deficiencies. Then fixing them and try to keep from doing them again. It’s kind of like Golf. You make that one perfect hit and then you wonder why you can’t do that every time. But I guess even Tiger Woods ends up in the rough sometimes. May God bless you in your woodworking throughout the coming years.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View Don's profile


2603 posts in 4170 days

#2 posted 12-25-2006 07:49 AM

Thanks you, Karson. I know in my life that all good things and blessings that come to me come from God, and God bless you and yours in the coming year.

-- CanuckDon "I just love small wooden boxes!"

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