What's not to like?

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Being a woodworker is the greatest job in the world.

Technically speaking, my job isn’t being a woodworker, but rather writing about woodworking. Sure, I’ve been working with wood since my shop days back in high school. I’ve made furniture, clocks and other items for our home. I regularly make handcrafted gifts for family and friends for years. I even make money from time to time selling my woodworking. Still, if it wasn’t for the woodworking I do, the writing wouldn’t be there, so underneath it all I like to think that woodworking is my job.

And I’ll tell you something, most people have a natural affinity for woodworkers. They like woodworkers, and think of all of woodworkers as friendly sorts. I suppose a lot of that comes from TV woodworkers like Norm Abram, a man as genuine and likeable off-camera as he is on his show. They meet us, and immediately accept us for the down-home kinds of folks we are. And I feel the same way about other woodworkers – they’re the nicest people on earth.

I’ve mentioned recently the reproduction spool cabinet I just completed. As with most of my work I like to take beauty shots of the finished project. We have a quaint sewing shop in our neighborhood located in an old house. Filled with old fireplaces, warm surroundings, hundreds of bolts of fabric and sewing notions, I thought it would be the perfect place to take my photos. I wasn’t sure they’d let me, but they readily welcomed me into their shop when I asked.

And here’s the thing: The whole time I was there they were chatting with me as if we’d been friends for years. I tried to plan my photo shoot for a time when store traffic would be slow, but a few customers came in while I was there. They, too, were as friendly as long-lost acquaintances. When they learned what I was doing they had endless questions about my cabinet, told stories of the handcrafted wooden furniture they or their parents (or grandparents) had, asked about my other woodworking and, in the case of one bored husband dragged along to the sewing store with his wife, spoke proudly of their own efforts in the shop.

When I was done one of the store owners asked if they could have a few copies of the photos to show customers, many of whom have mentioned they’ve looked for spool cabinets to purchase. I’m not sure how many other occupations would elicit this kind of support and care, but for woodworkers this type of things seems to be the norm.

People feel good to be around woodworkers, and woodworkers enjoy the company of people. You can’t say that about most endeavors, and I’m glad to be a part of it.

Till next time,

A.J.

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