Amateur woodworkers - Do you do woodworking to relax?
#11
  
From time to time, I hear people say they do woodworking to relax. Do you belong to that group?

I never do hobby woodworking for relaxation reasons. Projects are a lot of work, stressful (a handcut dovetail could come out wrong, glueups, blunders to fix) and the next one seems always to be the one that will be better (though not necessarily true). I also don't find woodworking by hand more relaxing than using machines as some allege. I do woodworking because the end result gives me pride and satisfaction. Every time I look at the "masterpiece," touch the handle, or run my fingers over the crisp edges, I feel the joy of woodworking. Relaxation has never been a motivation factor for doing it.

Is woodworking a relaxation avenue for you?

Simon
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#12
  Re: Amateur woodworkers - Do you do woodworking to relax? by Handplanesandmore (From time to time, I...)
I never had the patience to work with wood(other than framing/rough stuff) until I was past 50. I was a mechanic and a self taught welder/blacksmith, famous for my hammers and my ability to make metal into useful things. I could not buy hammer handles that could stand up to my punishment, so I fabricated hammer handles that would last(to this day). I even learned to stick weld aluminum.

I do woodworking because I cannot afford to buy furniture I want or need. When our household got to a point we seriously needed a desk, a bookcase, and a storage unit for the bath, I could not find the sizes of furniture that would fit the spaces available.

I wrestled cutting full sheets of ply on a Ryobi BT3000 sitting out in the yard , using home built extension stands. I began making picture frames, making the stock with the Ryobi and a Sears molding head cutter. I had two picture frame vises from my Dad. I made a desk with overhead bookcase/storage using oak ply that LOML is using now. And several more pieces of furniture.

That was when I found WoodNet And started volunteering with Habitat for Humanity. Learned patience with HfH and got more woodworking knowledge from WN than I can remember.

Now, with a fairly well furnished basement shop, I find woodworking is relaxing, even under a deadline(making Christmas presents). I learned how to work wood and that made the difference.

However, I have little patience for hand cut dovetails. Or surfacing a piece of wood by hand. That is boring, I don't have enough Zen developed for that to be relaxing. Uhoh Uhoh




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#13
  Re: Amateur woodworkers - Do you do woodworking to relax? by Handplanesandmore (From time to time, I...)
I hate working, I'm way to lazy. So I only do things I enjoy doing. My job.. yeah they pay me to do something I enjoy doing. Woodworking, yeah it's a hobby so only fun projects. The repetitive mundane stuff.. like cutting grass I'm usually enjoying music or contemplating something or talking over the phone to relatives. Also helps to pair up with one of your boys or what not and make the less fun stuff a bonding experience.

If it's not fun at all I get someone else to do it Smile
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#14
  Re: Amateur woodworkers - Do you do woodworking to relax? by Handplanesandmore (From time to time, I...)
My perspective is much like yours.  I don't woodwork to relax.  I don't stress over it, but woodworking started out as a means to an end and for all intents and purposes, it still is.  I enjoy the end result and the satisfaction it provides.
If you are going down a river at 2 mph and your canoe loses a wheel, how much pancake mix would you need to shingle your roof?

http://blazinbladesscrollers.webs.com/
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#15
  Re: Amateur woodworkers - Do you do woodworking to relax? by Handplanesandmore (From time to time, I...)
I started wood working because SWMBO wanted a bookcase and then another one and then cabinet for a hard to fill spot then another bookcase.

I wouldn’t call it relaxing, but it is very engaging. All my other cares fall away and I focus on the project. Well except for sanding, that’s plain boring.

Nowadays I almost exclusively do turning, which is much more relaxing. There’s no measuring (as I do it) and much less sanding (usually). And I sell what I make so I can tell myself that my hobby pays for itself.
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#16
  Re: RE: Amateur woodworkers - Do you do woodworking to relax? by badwhiskey (I started wood worki...)
(05-16-2019, 05:07 PM)badwhiskey Wrote: I started wood working because SWMBO wanted a bookcase and then another one and then cabinet for a hard to fill spot then another bookcase.  

I wouldn’t call it relaxing, but it is very engaging.  All my other cares fall away and I focus on the project.   Well except for sanding, that’s plain boring.  

Nowadays I almost exclusively do turning, which is much more relaxing.  There’s no measuring (as I do it) and much less sanding (usually).   And I sell what I make so I can tell myself that my hobby pays for itself.


Turning is as close as you can come to instant gratification working wood.  No planning, little sanding, and maybe a bit of fitting parts depending on the project. 

One memory this thread recalls is a classic rats nest on a casting reel, with my dad flailing, trying to untangle it, cursing, and repeating "why don't you relax, Nick - go fishing."

He did woodworking.  Claimed the Dr. told him at thirty five to lose thirty pounds, quit smoking, and get a hobby or he wouldn't make forty.  He did them all, but then someone suggested fishing....
Better to follow the leader than the pack. Less to step in.
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#17
  Re: Amateur woodworkers - Do you do woodworking to relax? by Handplanesandmore (From time to time, I...)
I find picking thru the stacks fun and relaxing.
I find jointing and planing relaxing.
He L L, I find making continuous rip cuts relaxing too.
I’m in my place doing what I want to do.
The fact the end product is probably for someone else doesn’t matter to me.

I try not to do things I don’t enjoy. Life’s too short.
Gary

Liberty, Self-Reliance, Self-Responsibility
Say what you'll do and do what you say.
ServicePen 2014
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#18
  Re: Amateur woodworkers - Do you do woodworking to relax? by Handplanesandmore (From time to time, I...)
I grew up wood working.  It's just life.
Need something.   Build it. 
Something broken.  Fix it.
Envision it, make it become a reality.
Don't like the way it came out in reality, do it over.
Sometimes for need...sometimes just for fun....
sometimes just because I can.

Look deep into the abyss of my imagination,
and bring it into the world, by my hand.
When it's done, wallow in the grand euphoria of a job well done.
It's just life.
he not busy being born,
Is busy dying.
--Bob Dylan
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#19
  Re: Amateur woodworkers - Do you do woodworking to relax? by Handplanesandmore (From time to time, I...)
Creativity played an important part of every job I have had. When I retired I had to find new ways to fill that void. Woodworking lets me develop creative skills I never learned growing up. I do it for the sense of growth and accomplishment; for the pleasure of doing something for someone else; and to stave off boredom. I enjoy the touch and smells of woodworking and the challenges it entails. It feeds the renaissance man in my soul. And yes, it is peaceful and calming. When things are going right, time and the world outside vanish.


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#20
  Re: Amateur woodworkers - Do you do woodworking to relax? by Handplanesandmore (From time to time, I...)
I started wood working to challenge myself because I've never been able to sit around and do nothing.....I'm always working on something. 

Avian photography actually got me back into wood working.  Trying to attract Bluebirds to my back yard and raise young I resorted to feeding them mealworms.  Tired of putting out mealworms in an open container and feeding Starlings, Blue Jays and Robins I came up with a feeder design that limits the size of a bird that can access the mealworms inside. 

   

After a lot of trial and error I came up with one made out of Cedar and 1 1/2" copper rings.  I have a long list of people that want to buy one of these feeders but because I do wood working as a hobby I don't take orders...I build them and offer them for sale when I feel like it.

Wood working is frustrating, satisfying and relaxing all at the same time.
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