Woodworking as Therapy

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Blog entry by Bravesst posted 05-14-2017 01:57 PM 1127 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Allow me to introduce myself to Lumberjocks. I’m Mike and I’m a retired FDNY captain, been through lots of stuff, and about a year ago I got reconnected to woodworking. In the early nineties, I managed to put a small shop together with just some basic tools and skills, and I actually designed and cranked out a few pieces that I still use in my home today. I’d learned everything pretty much from books and magazines.

Fast forward to 2016 and the magic of the internet.
I’ve been in therapy for a while, dealing with some post 9-11 issues, when my therapist suggest I get back into woodworking. I happen to have a large space (about 16×30 with 10 foot ceilings) that was just vacated on my property. Little by little I’ve put together a meager, but efficient shop, while I buried myself in the learning process. I happy to say I’ve been designing and building some stuff I’m really proud of.

But here’s the point of the article.
Woodworking has turned out to be the best therapy of everything I’ve tried so far. That includes medication, therapy, exercise, getting a job I love, and getting healthy in just about every way. Woodworking has led the charge to my road back to real enjoyment of life once again.

Whether I’m drawing up plans, negotiating with a customer, or in the shop building, I’m feeling my best. I always tell my therapist that even when I can’t really design or work, my mind is active with the fruit of what’s to come, and the never ending learning process.

I am very pleased to have found this forum and continue my learning adventure.

Thank you fellow woodworkers,

-- If you love what you do, you'll never work a day in your life. - Marc Anthony

7 comments so far

View Ron Aylor's profile

Ron Aylor

2649 posts in 1864 days

#1 posted 05-14-2017 02:34 PM

Welcome aboard, Cap! I hope you find this site as enjoyable as I have.

View Jeison's profile


968 posts in 4324 days

#2 posted 05-14-2017 02:42 PM


-- - Jei, Rockford IL - When in doubt, spray it with WD-40 and wrap it with duct tape. The details will attend to themselves.

View Texcaster's profile


1293 posts in 2890 days

#3 posted 05-14-2017 02:43 PM

Welcome Mike and good work in NY. An FDNY tee found it’s way to Oz.

-- Mama calls me Texcaster but my real name is Mr. Earl.

View DocK16's profile


1199 posts in 5303 days

#4 posted 05-15-2017 10:04 PM

No doubt, woodworking is great therapy, best wishes on your continued recovery

View builtinbkyn's profile


3031 posts in 2157 days

#5 posted 05-15-2017 10:07 PM

Welcome to LJs Mike, from a fellow New Yawka :) Good folks here from all over!

-- Bill, Yo! Brooklyn & Steel City :)

View Bravesst's profile


9 posts in 1602 days

#6 posted 05-16-2017 09:05 AM

I can tell I’m in the right place!

-- If you love what you do, you'll never work a day in your life. - Marc Anthony

View Cathie Zimmerman's profile

Cathie Zimmerman

103 posts in 2029 days

#7 posted 05-17-2017 09:56 AM

Hey Cap,

I couldn’t agree more. I’m a Marine -medically retired and have been working with a therapist for about 3 years now. Of course I’ve learned the mindful methods, meditation and other skills but I find I process the best when I’m working in my shop. I’m with you on that! Nothing makes me happier than to be planning, sketching, envisioning and DOING in the shop. I just cut some red oak down for three boxes I’m experimenting with for different joinery techniques yesterday. It took maybe 15 minutes to measure, cut and use my sketch for reference… but the joy of working with my hands lasted all day.

Welcome to Lumberjocks. Can’t wait to see what you post! Hope you stay in touch often!

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