|Philip Ganderton's |
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Woodworking Woodwork is about a number of things. Firstly it's about making practical stuff, like cabinets and furniture. It's also about making things out of wood that you could easily buy at Walmart made out of plastic, or paper-mache. There's the decorative stuff like clocks and lamps too. Secondly woodworking is a hobby or past time, which for me means that the process of doing it is at least as satisfying as the end product. Since I'm an average married guy with children, my scarcest and most valuable resource is my time, which I struggle to allocate well (to hell with efficiently) and hate to waste. Woodworking takes lots of time. And worse, it really suffers when rushed, not to mention the associated increase in the risk of losing your hand in a 3hp 10" table saw when rushing. I think that's why I try to use more hand tools, because it's harder to rush with them.
(a continuing project...)
Once you get down to it, woodworking is about some other things. There's the wood, the tools, and the methods. My dad was a woodworker and while he never taught me formally, he taught me by example, and I must have learnt something. You also learn to work wood by doing, and experience is the best teacher. My dad taught me to respect toolsto use them properly as designed and not be afraid of them. I'm afraid of chainsaws, and I rarely use them. Chisels I use, properly and wisely. My dad also introduced me to wood. Australian wood that grew locally and that he got from small mills in the southwest of Australia. I learned about softwood and hardwood, good wood and crappy wood. Woodworkers use good wood because it's a joy to work. Not necessarily easy to work, but satisfying. I didn't learn too many methods from my dad, I suppose because I must have not been too attentive during those times. It's a shame now that I don't have the opportunity to see him work.