I know it’s a bit premature to call myself a carpenter with a project and a half under my belt (I installed baseboards in my bedroom and I’m now building the ultimate cutting table). But if I can call myself a gardener after a couple of weeks of gardening I can call myself a carpenter because what I’m really talking about is an aspiration to have a certain skillset. I’m learning the skills of carpentry and learning them by doing which is how I learn best.
I’ve already had several major learning experiences in the half of the table that I have built. My step-dad taught me to use a couple different kinds of electric saws, both of which terrify me. I found a blueprint for a table that I liked but wanted to make a few modifications. And then I re-did all of the modifications I made because I realized that wood comes in standard widths and I can’t just add an inch here and there. I started constructing the table and then realized that I had used the wrong size board for all 5 segments, so I had to rip them apart and start over (screw holes in wood are less forgiving than needle holes in fabric, it turns out). But I’m having a blast, learning a lot, and I can’t wait for the end product.
I think my approach to learning carpentry is a lot like my approach to learning new sewing skills. I’d rather dive into the metaphoric deep end head first when learning something new. My project may have its flaws (screw holes or ripped seams), but I will have learned a ton from doing it.
Have you tried building things with wood? When you learn a new set of skills, do you start small or go big?
Each week this year I’m going to reflect on an aspect of myself and how it affects me as a sewist, crafter, or blogger. It may get deep, it may get emotional, it may get totally silly. It may be something I’m proud of, it may be something I cringe at, it may be something I aspire to. I may say a lot, I may say a little, I may ask questions, I may not answer them. I don’t quite know where the project will take me, but I’m excited about the journey. I’d be honored to have you join me on this journey. Chime in any time this year in my blog comments, on Twitter, Instagram, or your own blog. Join me in my theme for the week or make up your own.