It does not surprise me that the popularity of woodworking has been growing in recent months and years. Every day new woodworkers are taking up the hobby, and old woodworkers are picking up their tools again and getting a new woodworking project started. In my opinion there are three main reasons for this.
1. Working with wood appeals to our deeper instincts
Since the dawn of time, man has always worked with wood. We used wood to build our weapons, build our houses and to build pens and fences to house our livestock. Hence wood has helped us with our safety, our shelter and our food. For this reason wood, and working with wood, is something that is central to our very existence. If you fast forward to the modern world we are becoming increasingly disconnected from the real world. The Internet and social media increasingly allow and encourage human interaction to take place in virtual reality. Hence most of us can really benefit from something that re-connects us with the physical world, and our deeper souls.
I believe that woodworking has the power to provide this re-connection. You will too after a blissful day spent in your workshop working on your latest woodworking project, producing something that is real.
2. It is simple for the beginner to start, but will also challenge the expert.
When you are starting out with your first woodworking projects, the basic techniques are easy to understand and easy to perform. Essentially woodworking is simply about selecting, measuring and cutting wood to the right shape; and then assembling your pieces together and sanding them smooth. You will do this with your first simple project, and you will do this if you are a master craftsman. You can learn each of these techniques in a day, but they will take a lifetime to master. For this reason the beginner can complete a woodworking project on day one and be really proud of it. But twenty years later that same woodworker can still be challenged and thoroughly engaged by working on more complex projects.
3. What you produce has value
Every woodworking project that you tackle will result in a physical object being produced. OK I accept that some won’t be great works of art. You will also have some mistakes that will be consigned to the recycling bin in the blink of an eye. But these mistakes will be in the minority, more usually your woodworking hobby will produce you some delightful results. Some will be beautiful, some be practical and even more will be both.
Very soon after you take up this hobby, and complete your first woodworking project, you will be able to point at something that is being admired and say, ‘I made that.’
It’s a great feeling.