With thanks to Stephen Hoops of Woodcraft Magazine
The world is full of worthwhile pursuits fueled by passion and the communities that form around them. From hobbies to actual careers, there are so many ways to pass the time and do things you’ll undoubtedly enjoy.
Between our lack of need to create things with our bare hands and ease of purchasing whatever we can imagine through Amazon and other online retailers, modern technology has made it easier to take craft work for granted. But let’s say that you do want to try out a new hobby to help you get engaged in something you enjoy that satisfies your desire to work with your hands, it might be hard to know where to start.
If you could do something worthwhile, a passion that’s been passed down through thousands of years, would you take the leap and give it a go?
For those that haven’t looked into it, woodworking is truly one of the most rewarding and fulfilling hobbies you could ever take part in. From multiple schools of thought to thousands of woodworking projects to keep you busy for the rest of your days, woodworking is just waiting for you to get started.
If at this point you’re still feeling skeptical, here’s a look at the top three reasons you need to dive into the world of woodworking.
For beginners, you’re probably not diving in face first and creating a drawer or a custom acoustic guitar from scratch. The fact is that you probably don’t have a full workshop of tools to work with from the start and have only the basics. Even if you have access to a public workshop, there’s a myriad of safety reasons why you don’t jump into using tools without having some formal training.
But once you start with the simple projects, using the few tools you do have at your disposal, you’ll be able to see something tangible that can be felt with your hands. The hours or days it took to create the piece before you represents the effort you sunk into making this.
When we think broadly about woodworking projects, we tend to think about furniture pieces like cabinets, drawers, chairs, and more. At this level, we have items with real life utility and will serve some purpose years or even decades after they’re first created. So not only could you be doing work you enjoy, but the end result is something you’ll use for years to come.
After a few basic projects are under your belt, you’ll probably want to grow and take on bigger, more ambitious projects. This jump will require a strengthening of skills and force you to become a student of woodworking to master the techniques necessary.
As your collection of bigger projects grows, you’ll also notice how you and your technique have improved over time. This is validation, showing your progression and providing a visual aid which unequivocally proved how you have worked to perfect your craft.
2. Passing Down An Age-Old Craft
Ever since man learned how to craft tools from bone, rock, and eventually iron and steel, he has been using the resources available to him to make life easier for himself. Working with wood is something man has been doing for centuries, and wood is still one of our more precious resources.
Time carried on, and the processes and tools used to work with wood progressed with advances in technology. Eventually, woodworking split off into the art of furniture making and carpentry. To this day, this line of work is still being done on a daily basis throughout the world.
Only now with inherent changes to society and alterations to how most make a living, woodworking can be enjoyed by just about anyone with the desire and time to devote to it. Just know that if you’re curious about taking up woodworking as a hobby, you’re essentially passing down and furthering the legacy of an age-old pursuit that will probably last for years to come.
3. Your Hobby Can Turn Profitable
There’s no doubt that woodworking can instill a sense of pride in your choice to take on the craft. With such a wide world of projects to dive into, you’ll most likely never run out of things to try and learn along the way. Woodworking can satisfy your creative side and yield items you’ll treasure long after.
But what about something more than how it makes you feel?
Besides the intrinsic value working with wood, it’s worth noting that hand-made woodworking projects are worth top dollar, always in demand, and can earn you a nice chunk of change. Few hobbies can be leveraged to make a profit, but most furniture made through woodworking are pretty universal regarding the people that want to buy them.
But then there’s the last bit of how woodworking can earn you some cash; why not do it full-time?
Believe it or not, woodworking needs less than you would imagine getting started and there are plenty of workshops that are always looking for competent employees to help their business. So whether you go into business for yourself or you want to find a workshop that produces quality goods, woodworking skills could potentially provide you with the income to do it on a full-time basis.