I am not sure why I am always drawn to wood craft and wood furniture but there is an undeniable draw. On a philosophical level, maybe it has something to do with a connection to the earth and nature. On a more basic level, there is the tactical attraction: I love the smell of cut wood, the the feel of a planed surface, the look of the grain patterns, the aesthetic of contrasting woods – and so much more.
Woodworking allows creative expression in a wonderful medium. My skills are still limited, which means it can be frustrating to try and achieve the results that I imagine but it is so rewarding when the results come close to the plan, even when that plan has changed from the original. Plans often change in wonderful ways because of the characteristics of the materials or learning of the process. And the development of new skills or different approaches is half the fun.
I am partial to work with hand tools. I like the slower pace and the quiet. Working this way is contemplative and so much more relaxing for me. It makes me feel more in touch with the work. Of course, there are times when power tools make sense so I will do a rough cut on a bandsaw use a router to add a chamfer but my favourite times in the shop tend to be when I am unplugged. Don’t get me wrong – I admire work done with power tools. I love turned bowls and accessories but am not inspired to spend much time at the lathe myself. I will leave that to others and admire from afar.
There is lots I still want to learn about woodworking and definitely I want to become more proficient and efficient. But there is lots that draws me to continue to try because there are so many things that I want to try and make. Besides, I am still trying to perfect hand sharpening. That is why I’ll keep seeking ways to learn, buy more books, take some classes, watch instructional videos and pick the brains of other woodworkers. I’m looking forward to many more adventures in woodworking.
Here are a couple of resources for learning new skills.
Craftsy.com Woodworking Classes – great teachers, lifelong access and in interactive forum. Some free classes but most have a fee ($14.99-$45.99 – frequent sales)
Fine Woodworking – how-tos and other resources, many member only. Free trial memberships available.
YouTube.com – there are way too many channels to recommend here – magazines, shops and individuals have posted a wide range of topics. Find some that you like and subscribe for updates. Your list will reflect your personal interests and style. Some that I like:
Why are you a woodworker? Share your passion – and favourite resources – in the comments.