This is the second time in my life I’ve taken up woodworking.
The first time is when I was married and had a fairly young family. I used our single car garage and accumulated many of my tools doing a trade of time for tools with a local dealer that needed their website redone. I squeezed my time in a couple of rushed hours a night and a few rushed hours hours over the weekend.
By the time I started woodworking as a hobby, our home was already fully furnished with a style of furniture picked out by my wife and myself. Now when I say I was part of the selection of process I’m being generous. It was more of agreeing with my wife’s selection. A friend of mine once remarked ‘men live in their wives houses’ and I think their is a lot of insight in that remark. The result was that between my very limited woodworking skills, a tight budget for wood and an already fully furnished house, my options for building furniture were quite limited. The idea of building a coffee table or a set of end tables just wasn’t going to happen. My taste was not the same as my wife’s and we already had a set. Thus my woodworking was limited basically to the following:
- craft projects (small boxes, cutting boards, shelves)
- small furniture to be given to other people
- shop projects
I honestly find that many guys pour their efforts into major shop projects (tool cupboards, big drawer units, etc) largely because they want to take on larger and more complex project but can’t really make anything for inside their houses.
Anyway, I’m now middle-aged, single, and have a university age daughter living with me and have taken up woodworking again. However it is now my house and I’m free to build and use whatever furniture in it I please. I can make a new coffee table and toss my existing one if I so choose. I can make an entire bedroom set and toss my existing one. I can make other cool pieces and find room for them.
This has dramatically changed my approach to the craft right now. I have tons of things I want to make – a project list of list of fairly ambitious projects that is at least a few years long. My main goals are producing really nice looking furniture in a style that pleases me. The process is still important of course but I’m definitely more motivated by the results. This puts me on the Mark Spagnoulo end of the ‘hybrid’ woodworking spectrum.
This affects my woodworking on many levels – my shop, my tool and technique selection, my sourcing and use of materials. These will be the topics of future blog posts along with the other defining topic of my current approach to woodworking which is my taste in furniture.