The Slightly Confused Woodworker

Home » woodworking » Crossroads.

Crossroads.


I started playing the piano and guitar when I was fourteen years old, and from my early twenties into my early thirties I was a part-time,semi professional musician.I played in different bands, mainly rock and blues, in different bars and clubs two or three weekends a month,I studied music in college, and I gave lessons on the side. This, along with my day job, kept me busy. I’ve come to find that being a musician is a lot like being a woodworker.It takes dedication, theory, practice, and creativity. And,like woodworking,you need tools.
Over my ten years as a working musician I acquired a fair amount of equipment. Generally, when I was playing often, I would trade instruments and equipment in for newer or different models when I found the need. But, around six years ago, I started my new job, and found that I just didn’t have the time or desire to play in a group anymore. There were a lot of factors, but it came down to work, starting a family, and I honestly just didn’t have the energy being at bars til 5 am anymore. This left me with several high quality instruments and amplifiers that I have no need for, so a few weeks ago I decided to start selling things off. Just last week I found myself at Sam Ash with one of my amplifiers. Knowing what I know about music gear, I knew that I could sell it to the store and with the money I could pay for my new router plane, the wood and material for my latest project, and have a little left over to take the fam out to lunch. It occured to me while at the music store that, at 39, I was one of the older people there, and even more of a shock, I was not excited to be there in the least.
Fifteen years ago I would have tried out many of the guitars, talked shop with a couple of the salesmen, and basically hung out as long as possible. Last week, I couldn’t wait to get out of there. See, while woodworking and music have a lot of similarities, they have one big difference: most woodworkers are not young. Over the past year I’ve taken a few woodworking classes and attended a few shows. I found that much of the time I was one of the younger people there. If I had to guess I would say that the average age was between 49-60. I’m in my late 30s, which unfortunately isn’t young, either. I started woodworking at when I was around 36, which I thought was a late start. But as a hobbyist I’m finding that I may even be starting a little early. I think there are two major reasons why most hobbyist woodworkers don’t get started until a little later in life:

1. Woodworking can be an expensive hobby, and it’s probably a little easier for someone in his or her 50’s to afford the equipment needed. Now I’m sure that’s not always the case, but it’s probably pretty accurate. When I first got married and got a mortgage I couldn’t afford anything. It was a pretty big adjustment period. Luckily things stabilized for us fairly quickly, but it could have just as easily been the other way around.
2. Woodworking is a solitary hobby. This didn’t dawn on me until I attended a hand tool show last October. Ask somebody you know who isn’t a woodworker to attend a tool show and most of the time you will get “no” for an answer, pretty quickly. But even more of a reason is that as I’ve gotten older, I spend much less time with my friends than I used to.

Moving to the suburbs has something to do with it, but getting older is the main reason. I find that after a fifty+ hour work week, the only thing that matters to me is spending time with my wife and little girl, and maybe getting a little time in the shop. When I do get some free time, I want to spend it woodworking, not goofing off with my friends(no offense) Sometimes my little girl will join me and it’s about the most enjoyable time I spend all week. Other times I’m alone and that’s fine with me as well. That’s just the nature of woodworking; that’s part of the reason I like the relative quiet of using hand tools when the project calls for it. I don’t even have a radio in my shop, I don’t want one; I don’t want to be disturbed. That to me is the real comfort of woodworking: it’s just you, a few sharp tools, and some wood to shape.

So next week I may find myself back at Sam Ash. I have a custom Fender Jazz bass in mint condition. I know what I can sell it for, and I know what I can get with the money. Lie Nielsen makes a bench plane, a #7, and I have a lot of glue ups in my future…

Advertisements

Leave a Reply-I'll respond even if I don't like you.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 892 other followers

July 2012
M T W T F S S
    Aug »
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031  

Archives

Categories

Me and my shop helper

Top Rated

Kinderhook Woodcraft

A Former Remodeling Contractor Turned Woodworker

Want Some Honey

Beekeeping with the bees best interest in mind

Knotty Artisans

"Knotty By Nature"

vnwoodworks

A woodworking journey

The WoodWorking Junkie

The WoodWorking Junkie - Not a Real Junkie :D

Australian Workshop Creations

Sustainable wooden signs and fine hardwood boxes.

michaellangforddotorg

Just another WordPress.com site

randallnatomagan

Woodworking, life and all things between

Fine Wood Tools

Use and Restoration of Fine Wood Tools

Jdawgswords

lost my mind...now what????

SteveWorksWood

wood working, furniture building, timber framing, carpentry

thewoodworkingconsultant

An amature woodworker who works as a data analytics consultant

b19y

the pensieve of benjamin james lowery

garthtw2

Just another WordPress.com site

GirlWood

Design. Create. Build.

wesleyworkswithwood

Pursuing a hobby working with wood

%d bloggers like this: