There are many reasons to get into woodworking. The fact that is a fun hobby, and its very good for your health as it can be a very social activity and it is great to help us keep physically active. However, perhaps the most important reason to get into woodworking (and other crafts), is the skills that it nurtures with every woodworking project: creativity, design thinking, problem solving skills.
In the age of artificial intelligence and machine learning, these skills are more important than ever; and the reason why more and more people are getting into woodworking.
Indeed, Nick Offerman, a well known actor and woodworker, credits woodworking as a key part of his success in Hollywood.
Woodworking has been part of human development for centuries
Woodworking has been a human activity for centuries. Very old depictions have been found in Egypt of carpenters working with quite sophisticated tools and there are theories that the name Egypt is a homage to carpenters.
For centuries since, woodworking has been a profession that developed towns and cities around the world. Before steam and machines, everything was made by hand and by highly skilled craftsmen who had a special place in society. When the Industrial revolution made mechanised, mass-production possible, woodworking, and craftmanship in general, did not die. Indeed, it gave birth to the arts and crafts movement that sought to save workers from what was seen as de-humanisation in mass production and instead promote human qualities that were part of craftmanship for centuries: creativity, design thinking, problem solving skills.
Woodworking has since then flourished around the world. Denmark, for example, has a long tradition of fine furniture making with the likes of Kaare Klint, Børge Mogensen and Hans Wegner, who brought Denmark to the forefront of global furniture design and craftmanship.
8 reasons to get into woodworking these days
It is fun
Woodworking involves many of the things we humans love: designing something unique, transforming materials with specialist tools, creative thinking and problem solving. It cannot get any more complete as an activity.
It is mindful
When you get to your workshop, it is you, your tools, and a piece of wood. There is nothing more mindful than planning a piece of wood by hand, shaving one sliver of wood at a time. And see it transform into something unique. Yes, each piece of wood is unique and will become more so as you work it.
It is challenging and empowering. And, in turn, rewarding
When you are starting a new woodworking project, it is up to you to decide what the outcome will be. You are in charge. And there is no right or wrong. It is about what you want to achieve. It is so rewarding to work with your hands, working on your own designs, fix errors even if they seem daunting at first, and get to the point where you have a finished project that looks and feels good, and you did it with your own hands!
It is proven to be good for your physical and mental health
Research by University College London shows that crafts can reduce anxiety and reduce risks of dementia. Also, at times when we spend more time seating in front of a computer or in meeting rooms, woodworking, especially when using hand tools, can be a way to stay physically active and mentally stimulated.
It is good for the environment
Wood is a renewable resource that grows out of pulling CO2 out of the environment. Wood is a perfect replacement for more energy-consuming and CO2 emitting materials like plastics and concrete. Indeed, one cubic meter of wood produced saves the planet 2 tons of CO2. Perhaps this is the reason more city planners are rediscovering wood as the best building material.
The tools are just gorgeous
Just look at those pictures
Its tangible and shareable
Unlike spreadsheets and other things we do in the office, woodworking projects are there for you and your family to see, feel and enjoy. You can make good quality furniture or decorations that are unique and that will last forever. And that will be enjoyed by you and those around you, perhaps for generations.
And it is for everyone.
Why woodworking (in the words of others)?
Here three very interesting takes on woodworking and why it is something everyone should consider at least trying it once