When you tell others you are into woodworking, what responses bug you?

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Forum topic by paxorion posted 07-28-2014 01:24 AM 949 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View paxorion's profile


1100 posts in 1466 days

07-28-2014 01:24 AM

Topic tags/keywords: humor

I (like many hobbyist) live in a white collar part of the country, with many decidedly un-hands-on friends/co-workers/affiliates. While many of my friends/coworkers/affiliates have creative hobbies, such as photography, cooking, sewing, grilling/smoking, beer brewing, electronics (soldering/programming), etc…the level of handy/hands-on experience is well, lacking (some probably shouldn’t be allowed to use a power tool).

In the past few years, I have been steadily showing my humble projects to them and have gotten an interesting number of responses. I thought I’d share a few as a means of humorous venting. Some of the ones that bug me (and the snarky response I would like to give) include:
  1. You do carpentry? That’s so cool – I don’t build houses!
  2. When are you making me mine? – Sorry but I don’t take commissions, and you’d probably balk at my hourly rate
  3. Really? No way. You’re not handy at all! Remember that time when… – Yes, because a person can’t learn new skills over the course of like, a decade?
  4. Heavy machinery? You don’t really that do you? (this one wasn’t from my wife! she knows that quality tools are worth getting) – Tell that to my first project…I still balk at those stupid little errors!
  5. Can you tell me why is [insert product made of wood] SO expensive? I can get the same thing from [insert flat-pack store] for [insert ridiculously low price]? – Try pouring water on it or unleashing your toddler with a fork on it. We can have the conversation after that!
  6. Where do you find time to learn and do all of this? – Don’t you make time for your hobby? Wait, do you even have one?

Another favorite (that wasn’t said to me), was when I was at a tech conference, and several of the panel speakers mentioned that they were into fine woodworking. The host commented about how it’s neat that they have a creative hands-on outlet in carpentry. Several members of the audience butted in to correct the host about the tolerance differences (rough vs fine). It was a lovely 10 minute tangent. Never knew so many techies were woodworkers ;-)

-- paxorion

7 replies so far

View TravisH's profile


438 posts in 1356 days

#1 posted 07-28-2014 03:14 AM

Rarely do I come across fellow coworkers with interest in woodworking as overall they see it, for a lack of better terms, beneath them. I think in the 14 years at the current job only can think of 4 people I have meet. I have to get around the ones closer to retirement age to increase the odds of finding someone that does woodworking. They have almost always been higher management guys also and have a shop full of high end tools.

One guy I talk with frequently as he is into woodworking. Other than that usually choose other topics.

View woodbutcherbynight's profile


2302 posts in 1830 days

#2 posted 08-20-2014 05:11 AM

I have a few people I share with my hobby about. Outside of that I do not mention it. It generally brings up requests to build something so cheap even Walmart could not compete. LOL

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View ChrisK's profile


1794 posts in 2503 days

#3 posted 08-20-2014 02:42 PM

Most people that see my work are impressed. Most appreciate that I enjoy doing the work and do it for that reason. I have of course had the occasional person drop the snide remark about how it could have been done better or bought cheaper, etc. I choose to avoid those folks. I also have the few people that ask if I can do something for them, most are small projects that are simple. I usually say yes with the proviso that they pay for materials and I work on my schedule and they finish it. I usually get a nice bottle of Bourbon or a good home cooked meal out the deal, overall not too bad.

-- Chris K

View DrDirt's profile


4141 posts in 3163 days

#4 posted 08-20-2014 07:46 PM

My own experience is closer to your tech conference experience.

There seems a high number of folks that work extensively looking at the computer screen… love to get home and make something tangible that they can run their hands over, and point at to say “I MADE THAT”

The response that bugs me – only happened once, was the wife of a coworker described a storage bin coffee table, where the top lifts/swings to be a TV tray.
She saw one at BigLots for about $179 …. and expected that I could beat their price.
Just chalking it up to her not knowing any better…and that folks are always looking for a ‘deal’.

I just left it at “There would be at least 100 dollars in wood alone” to duplicate that.

-- 'Political correctness is fascism pretending to be manners' ~George Carlin

View BinghamtonEd's profile


2263 posts in 1791 days

#5 posted 08-20-2014 07:56 PM

I just left it at “There would be at least 100 dollars in wood alone” to duplicate that.
- DrDirt

Not to mention then you have to pulverize the wood, and glue it back together into sheets, and apply melamine to it.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

View Earlextech's profile


1157 posts in 2111 days

#6 posted 08-20-2014 08:10 PM

At one point in my career I was working for a large, busy custom cabinet shop, doing design and sales, having moved up from installation. One day I brought a box in that I had made and put it on the island display in the middle of the showroom. This brought many comments from my coworkers, but my favorite was “I didn’t know you could build anything?” from a guy I worked with for almost 8 years but he never took the time to find out what I was about. I said to him “Did you think I was a shoe salesman and just decided to go into custom cabinet design without some experience!”

-- Sam Hamory - The project is never finished until its "Finished"!

View TheWoodenOyster's profile


1275 posts in 1356 days

#7 posted 08-20-2014 08:11 PM

carpentry… Hehe. I get that one too

-- The Wood Is Your Oyster

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