Today began like any other day, with a cup of coffee sitting in front of my computer and seeing what's going in the world. Then it happens, I go to my emails and get the age old question. " I want to get into woodworking. What tools do I need to get started ? " And going back through everything I have published I quickly realized I have never addressed this question before, I have not even touched on the subject.
Now looking at a question like this I can understand how it could be intimidating to walk into the shop of someone who has been woodworking for years. All the power tools, the hand tools, the jigs, and then the work bench and the walls covered with everything from clamps to templates, it's a lot to take in.
But I think the intimidation comes from the simple over sight that you are standing in a shop that is built from years of various projects, filled with the tools collected to complete each one of those projects. With this in mind my best advise is to decide what you want to build, then it's just a question of what tools do you need to build that project and that's where the tool buying should start.
This last week I finally found myself back in my little workshop, spending most of my time trying to remember what I was doing last. I'm not sure if that's my age showing or if it had just been that long since I found myself in here. But I decided to take advantage of a nice day and spend my time cleaning up and dusting off the slant top desk I built a while back, then moving it outside to get some good pictures of it as I usually do with most of my work.
It is funny how much different things look through the eye of the camera. What I mean is for me especially I find I do not truly appreciate anything I build until sometime after the project is finished then one day I find myself looking at pictures of it and that's when it hits me, that feel good moment the moment of pride .
I have been producing content for years for other people to enjoy and if I'm judging this on the number of people who subscribe to or follow me, I would be inclined to believe I have done a pretty good job. But I have to question the quality of what I have been doing and a lot when I look at projects like this desk. In the world of youtube for example I would have to build this desk and edit the video in one week, so I have to ask myself if I could build this at this level and craftsmanship in that time frame and I have to say no. I could hit that time frame if I half assed it with plywood and pocket screws, but half of the pride for me at least is the joinery and meticulousness that a build like this offers.
Don't completely miss understand me, I'm sure there are craftsman capable of producing a piece like this in that time frame, just not me and nor do I want to be. I believe this is what has pushed me away from social media platforms such as youtube. It has become a place where quantity of content has surpassed quality, a place where bragging about your new foreman machine gets people excited yet talking about your scratch stock is typically greeted with that famous cricket noise. I'm not sure what the future of my content holds or where it is going, but I am sure I'm happy with quality versus quantity.
I think we have come to a cross roads. Is it about the quantity of projects produced or the quality? Is it about the number of views or the time spent to hand rub the french polish finish of a piece like this desk ? It comes down to what motivates you, I think if your chasing views and your only concern is revenue, then it makes sense to break out your foreman machine then a rattle can finish to hit your deadline. For me I would rather spend that week with a scratch stock and a beautiful piece of Holly working on something federal and if someone happens to see it that's great, and if they appreciate it or gain something from what I'm doing that's even better.