Personal #2: How I got here - Motivation

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Blog entry by RichJr posted 06-07-2010 05:43 AM 5547 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Where I'm coming from - A non-woodworking introduction Part 2 of Personal series no next part

Motivation – or, how I got here

If you read my previous post (good lord, do you have a lot of free time…) it says nothing of how I got to HERE. It probably isn’t worth reading and will probably delete it, so let me summarize here:

I’m a computer guy, no history of woodworking, recently married with new baby.

I’ve had to cut ties with the hobbies that filled the small amounts of time leftover after work and family. No money to buy Video Games nor the time to play them, and the cancellation TV service, effectively cutting me off from watching sports.

So, the Internet is where I turn to in the small pockets of time I have when the wife is doing coursework and the little one is asleep. And for passive entertainment, I started looking for videos that could actually be played on my now service-less television.

The Discovery

Anyways, I use a Bit Torrent client called Vuze and they have some shows which you can download in their “Vuze HD Network” and the one that caught my eye was The Wood Whisperer.

And after a couple of episodes, my thoughts quickly turned from “This could be an interesting show” to “I could do this” , to a mindset of “I am going to do this”. Of course, this is not building fine furniture at this point, more along the lines of actually learning how to make something. And I have plenty of somethings that I could build.

Some simple shelves and other storage solutions for my home is at the top of the list. See, my home isn’t the largest, some may say quite small for a growing family (and other’s would rightly say “don’t complain, at least you still have a home”). And with a dearth of storage solutions, random things tend to fill every flat horizontal surface available. Including some room’s floors. I was never a messy person before, but a lack of storage, and acquiring a lot of “stuff” in a short period of time (all my wifes belongings, the deluge of baby things) led to a house with more things than it can store neatly. I have finally tired of moving things from one space to another due to many of things not having a permanent “place”.

On top of those “simpler” items, There are other things in my home that I am never quite satisfied with. Such as my computer desk or the entertainment centers. I know what I want, and the cheap pre-fab solutions that I can actually afford do not satisfy me. So those will be my “intermediate” projects, should I advance so far.

Beyond the Projects

But in addition to the potential items I could make, it is also a chance to finally put some time and energy into developing skills that can be put to use outside of the typical projects that are considered “woodworking” And mainly, that is a variety of DIY projects that I have never had the confidence to tackle solely on my own. Much of the work on my house has been done with my father around to either “supervise” or often enough he does it himself and I watch and play the “gofer” and that is only if he doesn’t tackle the job while I am at work.

And while I do have a network of family and friends that I can lean on to handle various projects (and I am thankful for that), I feel like it is time I should be able to wake up one weekend morning and set towards getting a particular project “done” – and doing so – without having to schedule for others to be there to assist me.

So, woodworking it is. Whether this turns into a life-long passion and becomes a primary hobby, or if this is just marking some mid-life-crisis type of phase of my life, thankfully I’ve found a site like this where I can turn to for advice and support. Just the amount of comments I have received from posting a profile and a couple of shots of my garage is surprising for an internet veteran like myself. This may be the friendliest place I’ve stumbled upon virtually.

Next Time

So, the plan for the next post will finally focus on more essential matters: The Where and with What am I going to do this potential work? The “Shop” and “What tools do I even have?”

4 comments so far

View Bill729's profile


241 posts in 3107 days

#1 posted 06-07-2010 10:53 AM

I read both of your blog entries. Having done a bit of work in software engineering, I can relate to what you wrote. I feel confident in saying that there is a Lot more to this hobby than meets the eye. Library books come cheap. Tools don’t come so cheap. It looks like you have a nice area to create a shop—much more space than many have. That you will save a lot of time and money is probably an illusion. On the other hand, to me it’s hard to put a price tag on being able to create what you want. Maybe a family member has a table saw that you can use to get started? Read about the SketchUp program (created by Google). It’s free and will encourage you to work on your designs, if you can deal with the program’s learning curve. I hope you have fun. I got here by being interested in building musical instruments but I haven’t got “there” yet. I’m currently working on a traditional-style workbench.


View RichJr's profile


5 posts in 2937 days

#2 posted 06-07-2010 01:36 PM

I’m under no illusions that this is a “cheap” hobby. However, when I get to the tools section, I’ll lay out what I have at my disposal, whether in my garage, or elsewhere. I was surprised when I started looking.

Already looked into SketchUp, Glad there is something out there that is free.
Thanks for the comment.

View a1Jim's profile


117118 posts in 3603 days

#3 posted 06-07-2010 05:40 PM

Welcome we are here to help.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Bill729's profile


241 posts in 3107 days

#4 posted 06-08-2010 04:42 AM

/ I’m under no illusions that this is a “cheap” hobby. However, when I get to the tools section, I’ll lay out what I have at my disposal, whether in my garage, or elsewhere. I was surprised when I started looking. /

One suggestion I read in a book that helped me was to stay in a casual tool collecting mode—picking up a few items each month, month after month. It helps keep the “cost of admission” from seeming prohibitive and you will also be surprised at the deals that turn up when you didn’t expect them—for instance, at clearance sales. I’m still in that mode. I started off collecting several antique planes, chisels, sharpening materials, clamps, etc.

Personally, from reading your blog, I think you would do well to keep pursuing your MS in CS, if you have the time, even if you have to borrow some to do so. I can think of no better investment you could make if you can do so and keep up with other familial responsibilites, which have to come first. Take care and good luck!


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