Reply by John Steffen

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Posted on Are We A Part Of Dying Art?

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John Steffen

218 posts in 3053 days

#1 posted 08-17-2010 06:51 PM

I just think the entry age for woodworking is getting older for several reasons.

Kids don’t look for creative outlets these days. They don’t need it as a hobby as they have other things to keep them occupied (Internet/TV/Friends… probably in that order). In high school they are being trained to go on to college, and MOST of those kids won’t get into a vocation like woodworking, so they don’t worry about it.

I’m willing to bet that a very solid majority of the people here got into woodworking well after their life/career were established. If only because up until that point they were spending all of their energies getting to that point.

And finally woodworking is wtfexpensive. In the last 8 months I’ve wrapped up about $4,000 in tools and $500 in my workbench, and that’s just basic power tools. I have no hand tools (which are darn near as expensive) nowhere near enough clamps to do any real glue-ups, and I’ve bought zero hardwood (can’t believe some of the prices). I’m not sure where kids are supposed to get that kind of funding. Most of the money I spent came from a lot of overtime and selling my car.

No, I don’t think woodworking is dying. Quite the opposite… I think it’s making a comeback, just in a different capacity. The commercial side of it has, and will continue to die down (but never go away completely). I think as long as there are bored middle-aged men and women with a nack for building things, there will be plenty of new woodworkers.

-- Big John's Woodshed - Farmington, IL

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