Friday, February 8, 2013

Get over it and woodwork!

I've been wanting to write an article for Tom Iovino's "Get Woodworking Week," but I've been getting frustrated because I wasn't sure what to write about. I'm sure everything has been covered before, and much more articulately than I am capable.
(What's new, right?)

Instead of moping about that and comparing myself to others, I'm going to do what I want.

I still consider myself a beginner woodworker, I'm sure that will never change, so here is my advice to other beginner woodworkers. (To other bloggers, I advise to edit before you post.)

1) You don't need every tool. You will never own everything you think you need. Even if you can afford it, you will always think of something else you need before working on a project. This will cause a never ending paradox and destroy the space time continuum as we know it. Please don't let this happen. Take what you have and make it work for you. (For all of our sakes.)

2) You don't need a shop. Yes, a shop is nice, but is it necessary to woodwork? Not at all! Find a space and "make" it work! My most memorable years in woodworking were when I traveled across the states in my RV repairing and building things for friends along the way. All by using basic tools and no wood shop. (With the price of gas going up, I couldn't afford any power tools.)

3) Woodworking takes time. I know, crazy right? You can't just wave a magic wand and get a project completed, it takes time. Once you figure this out, the better. The next step is to convince your spouse and customers. If I had to put a time on it, estimate it to take four times longer than you originally think it will. Also, get more done by breaking it into manageable chunks. Work a little when you can and before you realize it, you are pushing a project out the door.

4) Prepare to be frustrated. This is a warning, and a gaurantee. Things will go wrong. Things won't fit correctly. Things won't look as good as pretty as you thought they would. Get over it. Move on and try to do better on the next project. This stuff takes experience (and time...see #3). The more you do it the better you get. The goal is to have fun, not to drive yourself to an early grave.

5) Finally, get out there and do something! You can get ideas from reading book and watching videos, but you will never train yourself to become a better woodworker without getting out there and learning to do it for yourself. This is the absolute biggest hurdle to get over. Just do it, go have some fun in the workshop. Fun, nothing else. When it becomes a burden, it may be time to rethink your hobbies. Have you looked into knitting or Tai Chi?

There are many more excuses I could highlight, but the sun is finally coming out and I've got a window rebuild scheduled for this morning. (And my wife told me that I need to edit my blog before posting it.) It's wet and cold, plus a huge lake puddled up in front of the work shed, but I'll get over it. Why? Because I love woodworking.

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