Enjoying The Process

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Blog entry by MJCD posted 11-12-2012 01:53 AM 6137 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’ve recently had more time to focus on good woodworking. My day-job, for decades, was traveling internationally on Corporate stuff – an exciting career, but it’s time to put away that part.

What I’ve discovered during four great projects – Jatoba-based Outdoor Bench, Hard Maple Router Table, Cherry Blanket Chest, and a Cherry Quilt Rack – is to enjoy the process – every part of the process, not just the cutting.

1) developing a mental image of what I want to build, or more-likely what my wife wants me to build; this entails reviewing on-line images of similar projects completed by people who know what they’re doing (Lumberjocks is great for this, and then there is Google & Bing search engines). Caring & considering how a project will be used, and by whom (my grand children, my wife). 2) developing a rough build plan (either from purchased plans, modified; or ones that I create; this yields individual project pieces of given dimensions. 3) Going to my hardwoods store and fretting-over which rough pieces will yield my dimensional requirements – I strive to have less than 15% scrap from my rough lumber. 4) Marking-up of each rough lumber piece with the layout of project pieces – to ensure everything is accounted for. 5) Precise execution of the cut diagram – planing, edge-jointing, mortise & tenons, rips to width, cross-cuts to length. 6) Assembly – the heartache of learning the craft at a hardwood’s cost; and seeing it come together – the joints, the stiles & rails, raised panels, the M&Ts. 8) sanding & smoothing – every edge leading to another. 7) Finishing – taking the proper time to finish the project properly – fretting-over which stain, or rub, the drying time, caring about surface treatment in-between coats.

The whole process – not just the cutting.

For those either just discovering or re-discovering woodworking, there may be more enjoyment found in the craft if you broadly define what the Craft is.

Thanks, Lumberjocks.

3 comments so far

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 4144 days

#1 posted 11-12-2012 02:39 AM

I couldn’t agree more. For me, it’s ALL about the journey. I’m always let down when I finish a project even if it turned out very well (because that means the journey is over).

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View RibsBrisket4me's profile


1554 posts in 3959 days

#2 posted 11-12-2012 02:42 AM

Right on brother. It’s the satisfaction along the whole build. Even making all the initial cuts just right, the joints, all the way down to sanding and finish.

View GrandpaLen's profile


1652 posts in 3726 days

#3 posted 11-12-2012 05:13 PM

That’s what it’s all about, if you don’t enjoy it your only alternative is ... :-/ shopping.

Work Safely and have Fun. – Grandpa Len.

-- Mother Nature should be proud of what you've done with her tree. - Len ...just north of a stone's throw from the oHIo, river that is, in So. Indiana.

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