My friends attribute it to my 40 year old Adult Attention Deficit Disorder (AADD). Maybe. Maybe not. Ever since I was a little ‘hillbilly’ in the coal fields of Western Kentucky, I’ve always craved knowledge. It did not matter if the subject wast technical, fantastic, or anything else. I have found that if my brain is not processing new things, I’m miserable.
Having a full-time job as a software engineer fills that need when I’m on the clock. After all these years, there is still plenty to learn. Like programming, when I’m ‘off the clock’, woodworking gives me the ‘fix’ I need to keep from going totally insane. There are just so many paths you can follow. This is what I’m doing, still, to this day.
I started in high school doing ‘flat work’ in shop class. I stayed with that off and on, when the Air Force would let me, and have finally settled down in a spot where I can pursue things more diligently. I stocked my shop to do more of the ‘flat work’, until woodturning caught my eye. While turning, I learned about vacuum chucks and the technical side of me came out and I designed my own system for my Jet 1220. Turning is a completely different kind of fix. (Woodturners know this!)
Recently, hand tools have caught my interest. After posting a topic in the forums to start my education process and receiving a huge amount of suggestions and information, I have enough ‘food’ for my brain to last a lifetime. The history of the tools, manufacturers, etc. is fascinating to me. Rather than a huge collection of planes, I can see why folks might simply have a few nice ones but know a ton about any plane they see. Care and maintenance really gets the ‘geek in me’ thinking. Similar to what CNC’s give me. The ability to design, fabricate, create, invent, optimize, etc. Yet another process.
For me, Woodworking and all things that might cross its path, appeal to me in some way. Some are my favorites and some are interesting but not ‘up my alley’. Nonetheless, I explore them all and make my own determinations.
Sorry for rambling on. Folks who follow me think I’m running in 100 different directions and need to focus.
My logic is this: In 20 years, do I want to try something and say, “I wish I had done this 20 years ago.” I don’t.