Beginner Woodworking Philosophy - Perspective

" We can 'not' be done for as long as you want."

Allowing yourself some perspective may prove to be the valuable piece of information you ever get. In our current case, it's regarding beginner woodworking philosophy, though of course this truism reaches beyond mere dust making.

As beginners we lack the physical tools, practical skills, and experience to build anything of (let's call it) salable quality. There are a lot of interesting results possible, but let's face facts and realize that what we envisioned several hours ago doesn't accurately resemble what we now have sitting on our table.

Part of why the house at West Hills Wood has projects left undone is that we remain daunted by the thought of having to look at the results of our work forever. That's a long time. And if some joint is off, or the finish has streaks, or one side is slightly longer than the other it will drive us get the idea.

What we need is some perspective. Look down the road a ways and imagine all that can go wrong. How many things can be so off as to bring you embarrassment when folks see the thing. Can you see it? Good. What can you do now to address those problems? Joints don't fit? Make some smaller projects requiring a lot of joints. Finish has streaks? Experiment with different types of brushes, get an HVLP spray unit, or stick with paint until you get it down.

Build your skills, build your confidence, then build the thing.

The process ain't that hard. Do you think you'll be better at this two years from now? You will be if you stick with it. Guess what? The two years will pass regardless. You can quit now. Or you can keep playing with it and get better. There are a load of valuable woodworking books available. Your local supply store has guys with first hand knowledge they can share for free.

You are not alone and you are not the first or last to go down this road. And nobody's watching anyway. One thing is certain: if you stop now, you've reached the end of the road. You only lose if you have nothing to show for it. Start small, work up, keep at it. Send us a picture.

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