Mick Jagger once said, “I can’t get no satisfaction.” In Sinatra’s version, I think he changed that to, “I can’t get any satisfaction.” Clearly, neither were woodworkers.

There’s nothing like the satisfaction you get from a completed project. But there are different kinds of satisfaction. There’s the kind where you take satisfaction in simply doing a good job. And the kind that comes with getting a good job done on time. Or completing something where you learned a new skill, or made something to fit a specific need around your home or for the home of a client. Or maybe it’s not the physical project itself, but the original design you came up with that fills you with pride and satisfaction.

For me, I think the project that gave me the most satisfaction was my latest spool cabinet. I had made them before over the past several years, but I was making this one for publication. When setting it side-be-side with the first spool cabinet I made (which I had gifted to my wife), it showed not only how much my general woodworking skills had grown, but how my skills at making a reproduction had increased. When I finished writing the article on the cabinet, I was doubly pleased with both the physical cabinet and the completed article, as both worked together to prove to myself that my writing skills have also matured. That’s a lot of satisfaction out of a single project.

I’ve done more difficult projects, and I’ve done projects that are certainly more impressive. I’ve even done other projects that I can honestly say were done better. But this one demonstrates a clear arc in both my woodworking and my writing. Fortunately, this latest spool cabinet will stay in our home where I can reflect upon it and renew that sense of satisfaction any time I wish.

Can you point to a project that’s given you that kind of satisfaction? If so, I’d like to hear about it.

Till next time,


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