Anyone who has a carpenter as a friend knows that their house will be full of beautiful, crafted furniture which looks like it cost a lot of money. To these guys, the idea of visiting a store like IKEA is a major sin. While most of us spend our free time passively – watching movies, sports or going on day trips, these guys are exercising their creative talents and producing beautiful products which they can use at home or choose to sell.
While we tend to admire woodworkers and flirt with the idea of taking up the hobby ourselves, very few people actually go through with it. Some are put off by the worry that they might not have enough space, or the right space in which to work. In fact, a woodworking space doesn’t have to be all that big. Smaller spaces can be used, with smaller tools, to accomplish smaller projects, or to do most of the work on large projects that will be assembled elsewhere. This last approach is also common for those who work in their basements – they may have ample space to work on a dining table but no possibility of assembling it and then carrying it out of the basement!
Others are put off simply by having to clear what may currently be a cluttered space. In fact, clearing such a space could result in coming across items to sell which can raise money to put towards woodworking tools. While you are clearing out the junk, you are learning more about your new working space – where the electric sockets are, how good the ventilation is and getting an idea of how the workshop can be set up.
By far the greatest proportion of people are put off by the initial outlay for tools. In fact, it is possible to pick up most of the tools you’ll regularly use – power drills, spirit levels, utility knives, tape rules, screwdrivers etc. for a low price. People sell them all the time but you definitely want to take a look at and have a feel of the tools before you part with your cash. For your most important tools – for example your miter saw, don’t be swayed too much by discounted prices – do your research and pay that little more for a saw that seems like a great choice rather than something someone is just trying to dump at a discounted price and might not suit you or your workspace.
Once you are set up, you can start right away with simple home woodworking projects. Small and simple is better, as you can use this time to get to know your tools and practice different techniques. As you progress, you’ll be able to take on more complicated projects in the confidence that you have the skills to pull it off and not blow your time and money on timber for something you’re not quite ready for.
You can find plenty of designs online to print off and follow in your own time. Popular ideas include your own tool rack, folding stools (possibly for picnics), bookshelves, wine racks, coffee tables, study desks and so much more. Once you have completed a few projects that you are happy with, you may decide to keep them or give them away as gifts. In fact, you may never have to buy expensive gifts for housewarmings or newlyweds ever again.
As you refine your techniques and see the quality of your craftsmanship improving, you may find that you have run out of projects for your home – you are now one of those people whose house is full of wonderful, crafted furniture and, yes, IKEA is a distant, ugly memory. At this point you can create projects for others for a profit. This could mean selling your products on Ebay or craigslist, or taking customized orders for specific items for people.
In addition to making your home more beautiful, you have also provided yourself with an extra income and untold savings, you have learned a new skill, kept yourself active both physically and mentally and thoroughly enjoyed the whole process. What better reasons could one need to finally take the plunge?