Free-time fun

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If you’re like me, you use your woodshop skills for chores outside the shop. But do you ever use those skills just for fun? Sure you do.

Woodworkers have numerous skills regarding tool usage, understanding of measurements, the properties of different materials, etc. All of those apply to work, so when things need repaired you have the skills to handle most of them. Of course, that’s still “work.”

But you can also apply those same skills to fun pursuits when you have the time, using them on things that are just for you. And why not? You deserve a bit of fun just like everyone. Let’s find out how woodworkers have fun. I’ll go first.

I’ve wanted to make one of these for years, and started gathering the parts and materials about six months ago. Now, since I’m between major assignments and have some free time, I was finally able to finish it. Take a look.

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That’s Han Solo’s blaster – to be precise, a BlasTech Industries DL-44 Heavy Blaster. It’s a full-scale and almost 100 percent accurate reproduction, entirely metal except the walnut grips, made with parts and materials from five sources, and lovingly – if a bit geekily – crafted over several months. Yeah, it’s silly and serves no practical purpose (unless I plan to make the Kessel Run). But you know what? It was also a heck of a lot of fun to make, and I couldn’t have made it without the skills I’ve learned and honed in the shop.

So, I want to know: How do you use your woodshop skills for fun? What do you do or make entirely for your own enjoyment when you find the time to set work and serious things aside, and do something just for yourself?

A.J.

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