Canadian Woodworking

Top 10 reasons why we work wood

Though I’m sure more than one of these reasons applies to each of our readers at any one time, there are lots of reasons why we all love to work wood.

1. Produce Something Tangible

 Just the act of hav­ing something to show for your time spent in the shop is a large reason why many woodworkers work wood. I bet they generally don’t even care what they’re making or who the project is for. They just want to be able to emerge from their shop after a session with something to show for their hard work.

2. A Nice Change

 The daily grind – no matter what you’re doing – can take its toll over the long haul. Having something to trick your mind into completely letting go of what you did at your day job, and what’s waiting for you tomorrow, is a wonderful thing.

3. Make Functional Items for Our Homes

 Creating interior woodworking projects like furniture and accessories is a big reason why our readers work wood. Whether it’s something they just couldn’t otherwise find, or they just wanted the opportunity to casually mention “I just made this” to dinner guests, making projects for our home interiors is satisfying. Outdoor projects like a bike jump or a deck don’t usually have the tight tolerances that most indoor projects do, and that’s a great thing.

4. Home Improvement

From functional to decorative, DIY home improvements are very common these days. Even improv­ing a home for resale happens very regularly. As long as you have the knowledge, a lot of money can be saved by doing something yourself, while the satisfaction of a job well done is immeasurable.

5. Make Gifts

Whether it’s small Christmas or hostess gifts, or large wedding and birthday presents, making things for others is a lot of fun. We’ve all started making a Christmas gift way too late, but I guess we enjoy the pressure for some strange reason.

6. To Earn Income

Furniture makers, part-time businesses and people in the cottage industry all make at least a portion of their income via woodworking. They very likely got into the trade because they enjoy it – and probably spend more time working wood than most of our readers – but rather than taking the fun approach, they often take the fast and efficient approach.

7. Teaching Others

From time to time I’m guessing many of us teach friends or kids about woodworking. There are also people who teach woodworking as a business, and earn their income that way.

8. To Pass the Time

Some folks just like to stay busy, and shop time is one of their “go to” activities to keep their minds occupied. Maybe they got into woodworking as a hobby years ago, and rather than pick up a new hobby and need to amass a new collection of tools, they just stick with what they know and have.

9. To be Part of a Community

Talking with others dur­ing club meetings, socializing online and meeting someone at their shop are all aspects of woodworking some folks really enjoy. By nature, woodworking is generally a solo activity, but there’s nothing saying we can’t turn it into a more communal thing from time to time. Even branch­ing out and doing something for the community can be very rewarding.

10.  An Excuse to Buy or Use Tools and Machinery

 Admit it. Many of us have likely started a project at least in part to justify a tool purchase. I’ve never been one to put the kit before the finished project, but the main goal for some woodworkers is to have a fully equipped workshop, and to be ready for action whenever the need strikes.

Rob Brown - [email protected]

Rob is a studio furniture maker and the editor at Canadian Woodworking & Home Improvement. Instagram at @RobBrownTeaches

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