Over the past couple of years, I have read many a blog and forum post on the subject of what kinds of music woodworkers listen to while working in their shop spaces. Most of these posts ignited an extensive thread of replies by woodworkers describing the particular soundtrack to which they preferred to perform their sawdust-making activities.
As can be expected, the responses described just about every known musical genre, and every well-known artist, dead or alive. Musical tastes are as many and varied as the woodworkers themselves.
For the handsawgeek, the preferred music is that of the shop itself…
Not the sounds of a noisy power tool shop, but those of the hand tool world.
The whisper of the plane slicing off a shaving from the edge of a board.
The steady rasp of saw teeth slicing through a piece of stock, the sound changing noticeably as the cut progresses.
The percussive strike of mallet to chisel as a mortise is being knocked out on the workbench.
The mechanical sounds of various tools such as hand drills and vises produce while doing their work.
In short, I enjoy the silence of the shop, broken only by the sounds of the work being done there.
This may appear unusual for a guy who is a musician, and enjoys listening to a wide spectrum of music, much of it cranked up to pretty substantial volume levels.
But, when I am in the shop working on a project, I just don’t have a need for music burbling away in the background.
Just a geek and his thoughts….
Actually, this is a fairly recent development. Until I moved most of the woodworking operation to the Basement Annex, I always had some sort of music going in the garage shop.
Once set up in the basement, I thought that the same was necessary. In fact, I went a step beyond just music.
In the basement storage space sat a huge 50” rear projection TV that was long out of use – shunned in favor of HD flat screens. I wheeled this monstrosity out to the vicinity of the shop and gleefully cabled it up to the house Sat TV distribution device, and programmed a universal remote control to operate it from my workbench. Now I could have full TV programming and Sirius music channels in the shop. I went even further by installing a spare DVD player I had hanging around so I could put on some movies, concert videos, and play music CDs. Even my little MP3 player could be connected into this TV via a mini-plug to RCA cable. I have my entire extensive music library at my fingertips in the shop.
As it turns out, I have powered on and used this system all of two times since I have been working in the Basement Annex. And one of those times I wanted to keep track of a Broncos game while I was working.
The funny thing is, I don’t miss having music in the background, whatsoever.
Maybe I’m getting old… Naaaah, no way.
Maybe it’s a by-product of embracing traditional ways…after all, our woodworking ancestors didn’t have Led Zep blasting away in their shops….
Maybe it’s just because I’m a geek….