This Facebook Page Is All About Appreciating Woodworking Skills, Here’s Their 40 Best Posts
Let’s take a moment to appreciate our hands, shall we? Hold them up and take a good look — these complex evolutionary wonders are two incredible tools we have attached to our bodies. What our minds dream up, our hands can do, giving us opportunities to consistently create new and exciting goods.
Take woodworking, for example. Enthusiasts come up with the most meticulous designs and trust their steady hands that every detail will be carried out with precision, care, and passion. Many people who devote time to master this craft are no strangers to the touch of raw wood and the feeling of thread-thin streams of sawdust running through their fingers. Once they grasp how fulfilling, relaxing, and inspiring this activity is, they never look back.
So let us introduce you to the "Amazing Woodworking" Facebook page. With their magic touch, talented craftsmen keep sharing unique and impressive projects they're extremely proud of, and it’s easy to see why. We at Bored Panda have scoured the page and selected some of the best examples, so be sure to upvote your favorite ones! And if you’re looking for even more artistic pieces made out of wood, check out our earlier publications here and right here.
Ever since the 'Amazing Woodworking' project appeared on Facebook, it has invited woodworking enthusiasts from far and wide to share their impressive projects. Plus, it has amassed over 1.1 million fans along the way. The founder of this community, trainer, educator, and master craftsman John Rowe, started this project to share his passion for the craft. He is also the founder of the WoodPlansFree.com site, where he offers free plans and advice to aspiring crafters.
Apparently, Rowe created the site because most of the plans that woodworking aficionados collect from magazines or books are shoddy, incomplete, and "will leave you with more questions than answers." Throughout his career, he felt frustrated about his students ending up with half-finished goods, so he decided to solve his problem. "These plans are an accumulation of my 40 years of woodworking experience and know-how," the educator wrote. This way, he offers people a chance to absorb knowledge and build stunning new projects.
Rowe also opened up about how he picked up power tools and fell in love with this fulfilling activity. "I started learning woodworking from my granddad when I was 11 and I've never stopped since. He taught me everything I knew and together, we built all the furniture around the house. Many of the projects we've built are still present in my house," he revealed on his website.
"Woodworking has been a career and a passion for me and I consider myself fortunate to be doing what I love for a living," Rowe said, adding that nowadays he also runs a workshop conducting classes and creates custom projects for clients. "This site serves as a 'journal' as well as a 'giveaway' for all the plans and knowledge I've amassed throughout my life," he explained that it would be a waste for him to keep his knowledge and expertise to himself.
To learn more about woodworking and how fulfilling this recreational activity is, we reached out to Gary Rogowski, founder of The Northwest Woodworking Studio in Portland, Oregon, and author of Handmade, Creative Focus in the Age of Distraction. He told Bored Panda that woodworking is his life, passion, hobby, and a way of living and surviving in the world.
"It is both an elixir and an irritant. It is as necessary for me now to interpret the world through my hands at the bench as it is to read and hear the world’s revolving bad news. Woodworking is my method of relaxation and my greatest source of frustration. It is simple, elemental, and seemingly a small world that once you enter grows into an enormous place to explore," Rogowski said, adding that he started around 40-plus years ago and yet still has so much more to learn.
The teacher and builder of fine furniture explained that when a project goes well, woodworking is as soothing and rewarding as so many people say it is. "It is the best feeling in the world," he added. But unfortunately, that’s not always the case. As Rogowski explains in his podcast called The Joy of Gluing, some things in this craft are far from relaxing, and a glue-up "can summon anxiety like skidding on black ice on the highway."
"I had a student once, former military, and he told me that it was easier for him to sit in some foxholes in a firefight than it was for him to glue up a complicated piece," he continued. Although the stakes do not seem as enormous, you may be ruining weeks of work. "This is why one apologizes to one's helper if they are unlucky enough to be with you during a glue-up."
However, it’s hard to deny that creating something with your own two hands is extremely satisfying. Crafting things out of wood brings forth plenty of mental and physical benefits too, like a healthier body, lowered stress levels, and countless opportunities to express your creativity. For Rogowski, it is the sense of control that is appealing.
"First, I have to have my tools spread out exactly where I can find them. Then, I have to have knowledge of the technique I am about to reproduce. I may have an inkling of what success looks like but it can be elusive and feel more like a limp to the finish line than a triumph with horns trumpeting in the background. And yet, I am lost without being able to build," he told Bored Panda.
"If you are a woodworker, I know who you are," Rogowski said. "Woodworkers love tools. We love to get our hands on them, tune them, make them sharp so they can perform magic for us. We love to display them so we can stare at them like trophies but these trophies also carry stories inside. This is what I can do if only the hands holding me can figure it out." The teacher also added that craftsmen simply need to know where everything is in their shop. "Control of their universe is so important because the world is such a crazy place. This is critical to our mental health."
Moreover, woodworkers are problem solvers. Even if you don’t consider yourself a generally innovative person, this craft requires you to consistently think of new ways to carve wood to achieve the desired result. You will need to think outside the box and begin to see solutions where other people see only issues.
Woodworkers love to figure out a way to make something work, Rogowski noted. "I had a new student who was an old teaching doctor of surgery at a large hospital in my city. He told me that he never knew how much woodworking was like surgery. I had to say: Neither did I. But what he said next made perfect sense. Woodworking and surgery put you into situations you have to get out of. You have to figure out how you correct your mistake and then how never to get back into that spot again," he recounted.
"Finally, the reason we love to be in the shop working at the bench is so that we need to talk with ourselves. This conversation may be the best one we have all day long. It is restorative, regular, and barely remunerative." Putting your mind on a project helps you relax and unwind from the pressures you may have in your personal life. It keeps your mind sharp and maintains an overall healthy mental wellbeing. "I tell my students that woodworking is a terrible way to make a living. It is a great way to live."
If you’re considering picking up woodworking as a hobby, Rogowski mentioned that once you find something you enjoy doing at the bench — whether it’s planing wood, carving, creating, or setting intricate inlay — time will disappear. "You will enter that state of flow where the world goes away, the work in front of you consumes all your attention, and this effort is as fulfilling as anything you do on that day. It is exhausting and restorative at one and the same time."
Woodworking has given Rogowski more than he ever thought. This age-old skill forced him to slow down, pushed him to think in different ways, and, ultimately, learn how to forgive himself. According to him, this is the hardest skill to master.
"My ability to screw things up can be impressive. But to recognize that the new mistake is not actually as big as the room as it first seems. If I can walk outside and walk around for a few minutes, when I return the problem has shrunk down to its normal size, I have come up with a solution, and you will never know it’s there unless I point it out to you. God and I know of all of these errors in my work, and since she stays mum on the subject, so do I," he concluded.
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