Woodworking can be a wonderful hobby. And while I’m personally pretty terrible at it (the highlight of my woodworking career is still the pencil case I made in high school), I definitely have enjoyed working on my own amateurish projects and toiling away in my garage when I get a spare couple hours. For me, it’s mainly about stress relief: I enjoy myself when I’m creating something out of wood and I can forget about all the stress I’ve endured during the day while I’m doing it.
As I really want to get the word out on the joys of woodworking, I am publishing this piece to hopefully inspire new people to get into woodworking. In the near term future I hope to write more about why I enjoy woodworking, and also am reaching out to woodworkers asking them to comment, and sending out queries like this:
Looking to hear from amateur or professional woodworkers on what they enjoy about woodworking, and why you’d recommend people to try it (if you do). We’re publishing a simple piece intended to encourage people to get into woodworking, and your submission will be published there.
So far, these are the main woodworking benefits people have mentioned in the responses I’ve had:
- The potential to make money selling your woodwork
- Keeps you busy
- A peaceful, zen-like experience
- Satisfying to work with your hands
- The sense of accomplishment and pride when you finish a project
- Can make for great gifts
- Can use your imagination and experiment to make whatever you want
I have listed the best input I’ve got about the joys of woodworking below. If you are a woodworker yourself, you’re very much welcome to make your own submission to this article and I’ll add it at the bottom.
I am a DIY enthusiast and every time you walk at my place, you will find me busy on a project. Besides, I love furniture too. One thing I love about woodworking is that it keeps me busy whenever I am not working on other projects. Also, I have been able to leverage this hobby hence, making some money through it. For, example If I have a piece of furniture that I crafted long a go and I feel like I don't need it anymore, I do some revamping and sell it to friends. I would advise people to do woodworking as a hobby since it comes a long with some benefits. For example, instead of hiring a woodworker to renovate your old pieces, you can do that yourself if you have the skills hence, saving money.
--Carl Jensen, MoneyMow.com
I enjoy woodworking because it is a peaceful, almost as zen-like experience.. I know this may sound crazy but... When carefully stripping the faded varnish from a Merton Gershun Executive floating desk with 220-grit sandpaper, I feel like I’m peeling back the passage of time. The dark rings, once a reminder of that misplaced coffee cup, disappear. And when I apply the final coat of tongue oil to accentuate the beautiful wood grain of a rare Paul McCobb coffee table, I understand how Indiana Jones must have felt when he unearthed the Ark of the Covenant.
--Ray Morrone, theliquoratorepdx.com
I spend an enormous amount of time on the computer or phone as many of us do these days and absolutely cherish the time I get to spend woodworking in my free time. I must admit I am the most amateur woodworker you could expect to find but working mostly with hand tools as part of a DIY project for the home, or to craft something for myself, I find it immensely satisfying working with my hands to create something from a piece of wood.
--George Hammerton, hammertonbarbados.com
I began as a closet woodworker a couple of decades ago - it was the only place available in our apartment in which to store my tools. By day, I’m a mild-mannered Electrical Engineer. Evenings and weekends, I’m usually working with tools and wood.
Woodworking is a satisfying and relaxing way to spend time. Planning a project gets the imagination going. Selecting the wood, cutting it to size, sanding, and assembling something you’ve crafted, creates a lasting sense of accomplishment and pride. Looking at something you made years previous is an instant reminder of the details and time well spent, and sometimes a bit of a shock.
Like many, I grew up watching my parents and grandparents putter and build things they needed. So, when I needed a set of shelves or a coat hook rack, I went to work. Using a skill saw or router in an apartment is frowned on, so a handsaw, planner, block of wood and sandpaper, and a ‘quiet’ electric drill had to suffice. I still have the shelves in my office, a reminder of why careful measuring, accurate cutting, and extra time sanding are important.
Crafting something from wood, whether using power or hand tools, is an awesome way to make a gift. It’s not something from a store; it’s from the heart. It is a unique and lasting piece of yourself that you give to someone else.
The coat hook rack I made long ago I gave to a friend when I no longer needed it. It was a thank you gift. It’s on the wall of their front entry now and cluttered with coats, hats, and even keys. Every time I go to visit, I see it and am reminded of why I gave it to him.
--Eugene Sokol, PlasticineHouse.com
I started with woodwork a couple of years ago. I’m still an amateur, but I’ve managed to make quite a few handy things for my home. The thing that I love most about woodwork is that it helps me relax, slow down and shift my focus to the creative process. Woodwork requires a lot of patience and precision which is something we all lack nowadays, thanks to the modern lifestyle. Also, there are no rules as to what you should make - you can use your imagination and experiment with wood as much as you like.
--Dusan Goljic, dealsonhealth.net
I stare at a computer for a living. Much of my daily routine is mental rather than physical, and involves a lot of screen time - woodworking gives me a chance to break away from that, and use different muscles mentally and physically. It challenges different parts of my creative brain, engaging the math and mapping parts in a way that even creative writing doesn't. And yeah, it gets me onto my feet and out of the house! And at the end, there's an actual physical product - a trophy, if you will. I miss it when I can't do it, and I know it actually helps my writing.
--Aaron Walker, thewalkersabroad.com
Wood working belongs to a wonderful group of interests that not only drive creativity and imagination, but they also have practical and useful benefits.
The creative side that tries to find interesting solutions to a problem, and that gives people the ability to start designing beautiful products from scratch is a key component of why woodworking is so useful.
The practical side of problem-solving, learning to look at things analytically and gain the know-how in order to make your imagination into reality is also something that drove me towards pursuing practical crafts which includes woodworking.
Also, working with wood has its charms, as each sort is different and has its own special properties, smell and the best way to work with. Woodworking will enable to recognize different types of wood and know if they're good for your purposes. That could potentially be useful when shopping for furniture.
In any case, I think that the prospect of building something with your own hands that also has a practical purpose is one of the best ways to spend your free time.
--Bryan Stoddard, Homewares Insider
My wife said I get serene when I cook, which is ironically something that I do not fancy. In order to check out her theory while doing something I may like as well, I decided to try small woodworking projects. I bought myself a scroll saw and began doing small decorative pieces. Results were amazing: Kids are happy because they get a continuous stream of wooden toys. Neighbors are positively surprised to receive unusual gifts. Wife is happy since I am -well- out of her hair, and I finally found an activity that really takes my mind away from the stress of my job.
--Jake Miller, homendgarden.com
I got into woodworking after being inspired by a DIY article on how to make your own bench out of an old salvaged wood joist. I went on a hunt for the perfect piece of wood which ended up coming out of a century old barn that was deconstructed. As I took great care to not sand away too much of the patina, while smoothing it out enough not to get splinters, I realized the joy for me really was in celebrating the beauty of the wood and that it had a past history. I always loved creating things from nothing and woodworking was just another medium to do that.
I started Urban Wood Goods 10 years ago as a fun experiment on the Etsy crafters marketplace. I had made this first bench for my home and was in awe of how it looked so different than any other piece. The wood slab/joist I had chosen was stately with gorgeous grains, an aged patina, a slightly uneven or perfectly imperfect top, and an authentic look that made me fall in love with it. I put it up for sale and since then, I have been able to turn a passion for salvaging old wood and turning it into beautiful one of a kind furniture into a viable and successful business.
To this day, my favorite part about woodworking is the hunt for gorgeous wood. I keep the focus on using only salvaged wood that had a previous life. My advice is find your niche, love and appreciation for the aspect of woodworking that brings you the most joy. I never tire of taking old wood and giving it a new life. I'm constantly inspired seeing the products, styles, ways that others build, finishes and the use of wood as a raw material in so many ways.
--Erin True, urbanwoodgoods.com
Learning how to work with wood can be incredibly empowering. Our world is made up of so many objects, and lots of them are, or could be, made out of wood. Having the skills and tools to make things myself means that I can construct exactly what I need; I’m not constrained by the designs or dimensions of industrial manufacturing.
I got into carpentry and woodworking from the angle of natural building and working with materials like clay and straw. I loved these natural materials, but noticed that floors and roofs were usually made of wood, and I wanted to be able to build from the ground up. That drew me into woodworking and more “conventional” construction, along with continuing to use natural modalities.
Through the years, I’ve had a hand in building dozens of structures, including my own home, and I’ve taught hundreds of students how to build. Empowerment and creativity continue to be themes as I learn, teach, and build more and more. Participants in our Women’s Basic Carpentry classes plan, design and build simple projects like bookshelves, and that really opens a door for them. Many walk away feeling like they can build their own house someday, and some do!
--Natalie Bogwalker, wildabundance.net