Why I Woodwork.

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Forum topic by pashley posted 10-26-2009 01:37 PM 1356 views 0 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1043 posts in 3687 days

10-26-2009 01:37 PM

Topic tags/keywords: shop

Why are you drawn to woodworking? What is it about the activity that you find so ingratiating?

Myself, I just like the fact that I can create something tangible, something that can be touched and will last a long time. I do websites as a side profession, and find pushing pixels to be tedious and not very satisfying. A website can evaporate in a half-second, if you push the wrong buttons. A coffee table will be there as long as you want it around; it will be useful, and hopefully, pleasing to the eyes. I have the satisfaction of knowing I made it.

The shop teaches me several good habits: thoroughness, patience, excellence and attention to detail (probably more).

It’s my place, my little corner of the universe, where I can go and just chill out and enjoy myself.

-- Have a blessed day!

17 replies so far

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4137 posts in 3545 days

#1 posted 10-26-2009 02:33 PM

That pretty much sums it up for me too.

-- Eric, central Florida / Utor praemia operibus duris

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Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3791 days

#2 posted 10-26-2009 03:44 PM

Partick, I think that, for most of us, this is pretty much why most of us are drawn into woodworking.

If memory serves me right Charlie is the only one on board here who has publically admitted he is in it for the screaming fans and the groupies. :)

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

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92 posts in 3109 days

#3 posted 10-26-2009 03:48 PM

Ditto to what pashley stated but I’ll also add the following. For me it’s Zen like in some way. When I’m in my shop it’s a rare opportunity for me to work alone with my thoughts. Being in my shop, carefully measuring, cutting sanding, etc recharges my soul.

I’ve always been a creative in some way. When I graduated college I wrote software, created websites and the like. Spending hours designing and writing software can’t hold a candle to the satisfaction I get from creating with wood.

p.s. I no longer write software for a living!

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246 posts in 3118 days

#4 posted 10-26-2009 04:00 PM

Can I get a amen… Love the thoughts on this.

-- Have thy tools ready. God will find thee work.

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154 posts in 3110 days

#5 posted 10-26-2009 04:15 PM

Great topic. I was just thinking about this the other day in fact. I think it’s a bit of therapy for me in some way. I also drive a desk all day and find being in the shop to be relaxing and somethng to get my mind focused and organized.

This can also be a double edged sword though as I sometimes can’t stop my mind when I think of a new project or the next steps in whatever I’m currently working on. I get that itch and if I can’t get some time in the shop, I start to go a little crazy.

-- Life is a one lap race.

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3474 posts in 3497 days

#6 posted 10-26-2009 05:08 PM

Wood working is just part of my artistic expression. I really love the character of wood for the many types and natural formations hidden within. The feel of finely sanded and shaped forms. So many possibilities. So many surprises.
Seems to me each piece of individually made project, no matter what it is, has a special essence. Something of the creator of that object, that lives forever, as it were…............
Also I admit to a great feeling of accomplishment after the struggle from start to finish on an idea…........
We were all given the gift of life, I think the creators and builders are making the most of it….............showing their love of it….......................sharing it…..........................being thankful for it….............

-- mtnwild (Jack), It's not what you see, it's how you see it.

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117063 posts in 3546 days

#7 posted 10-26-2009 05:24 PM

Yes Yes Yes I do woodworking for all those reasons plus it answers the question “can I do that” and when you have completed the project the answer is Yes I can. This you did by yourself with your own head and hands.
And the proof is the end product it’s there to see touch and remind you YES I CAN.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

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5705 posts in 3201 days

#8 posted 10-26-2009 05:29 PM

There’s groupies?

-- Please like and subscribe to my YouTube Channel

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1097 posts in 3314 days

#9 posted 10-26-2009 05:45 PM

Hi Gang,
I do it for many of the reasons above too. I started doing it for 2 other reasons. One, I was a single mother with a son who needed a rabit hutch. lol That turned into making a few other things for outside. Two, I’m a tight wad and started doing it to save money. Adding steps to the deck, adding a piece of fencing, trellis for the vines. It was cheaper to build than buy or pay someone. I watched the guy build my deck and found myself saying, “I could do that”. Since that time I’ve built a ton of things. Not all the nice, fine furniture I see here a lot, but a variety of things for my home or for friends. I am leaning towards woodcrafts these days.
Take Care,

-- Vicki on the Eastern Shore of MD

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1092 posts in 3264 days

#10 posted 10-26-2009 05:53 PM

I rode a desk and chased manufacturing of large projects for couple decades and when the final product was done you had some pride, but your part was only a small part of the entire project. Even if you designed your part from scratch, someone else did the tooling and then produced it.

In the shop I can take the raw material and make that tangible item. There is a much larger satisfaction from completely making something that the other job could never approach. Actually, there are times that stuff destined for the fire pit have had more satisfaction.

I consider myself more toward the mechanic end of the spectrum than the artistic end. for me, the challenge of making the item with a certain level of craftsmanship and integrity keeps me going.

Now to the real question: “There’s groupies?”


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238 posts in 3709 days

#11 posted 10-26-2009 08:21 PM

This very thought track went through my head yesterday, as I had a visitor to my shop who could not come to grips with the amount of time, effort and $$ I have invested in the current projects.

Guaging his response to what I was trying to show him, I could tell that even though he was a wood cobbler (a hammer, nails and 2×4 kind of guy), he had no apprecieation for what to the wood art meant to me. It frustrated me that I could not properly explain to him what the projects and time in the shop means to me.

I agree with the previous posters. To me woodworking is a kind of mind therapy. The shop is an escape from the hurdles and pressures of everyday life. A place where I can impart my own desires and fortitude towards a goal that is mine and mine alone. In the end I have a tangible result, that I can look at, carress, and crituque knowing that it was because of me that this item became what it is.

Only my wife, and my fellow Lumberjocks can probably have an understanding of what it all means to me. Showing someone what you have made either in person or in pictures does not do justice to the inner peace that building the product brought to my soul.

A great topic and one that I am sure every LJ can identify with.


-- Trevor Premer Head Termite and Servant to the Queen - Heirloom Woodworking

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2199 posts in 3908 days

#12 posted 10-26-2009 09:02 PM

Over the years I’ve come to realize that there are people who do not need therapy and have no desire to produce something. These are consumers. They operate under a different set of assumptions than those of us here who feel the need to create. We are producers. When I came to the realization that not everyone is a producer I stopped trying to explain why I do what I do. Now, there’s nothing wrong with consumers. Producers need consumers or else their basements get filled up with more stuff than they can use. It’s simply a matter of natural leanings. Some folks produce, some folks consume.

Why do I do what I do? Because it’s who I am.

-- Working at Woodworking

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7228 posts in 3324 days

#13 posted 12-09-2009 10:48 PM

Why do I do IT… because I can… plain and simple….. some can and some cannot… I am fortunate.
It is also a safe haven away from the everyday world… per se.

-- Don't drink and use power tools @

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3071 posts in 3471 days

#14 posted 12-09-2009 11:43 PM

Satisfaction. Challenge. Fun. Wood Appreciation. Creation. Learning. Tool Use. Did I mention Fun?!
I like the Wood Trance, the place I go to work the Wood. A place I go alone, without all the chaos of the world…A place where, good or bad, my effort produces my results…
Great Topic, Pashley!!

-- Mike in Concord, NH---Unpleasant tasks are simply worthy challenges to improve skills.

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3902 posts in 3667 days

#15 posted 12-09-2009 11:59 PM

pashley… I agree with you, my favorite line is:

It’s my place, my little corner of the universe, where I can go and just chill out and enjoy myself.

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