I am truly devoted to woodworking. If you don’t believe me, ask any of my friends. In fact, I am so devoted to woodworking, some of my smart ass friends (you know who you are!) might reply, “Chris has friends?” Most of the friends I didn’t meet in school, I met because we share a common interest – woodworking. Woodworking is my life. My daily routine goes something like this:
- Check e-mail. Right now, I get about 40 e-mail per day. Many are notifications about forums or my Facebook page, a few are woodworking e-newsletters, some are business-related, and others are from woodworking friends;
- Check and reply to posts on the woodworking forums I am currently active on four. They are The Burl, Canadian Woodworking, Festool Owners Group, and Wood Talk Online;
- Optional: Make and eat breakfast while reading a woodworking magazine. I have all the back issues of Woodwork and am gradually making my way through them;
- Start work;
- Optional: Eat lunch while reading a woodworking magazine and/or checking e-mail and forums;
- Back to work;
- Make and eat dinner (not optional, but may be postponed until 10 or 11 pm)
- More work;
- After 9pm (or thereabouts) stop using power tools and either:
- Continue work with hand tools;
- Read woodworking books or magazines;
- Check e-mail and forums;
- Watch a woodworking video;
- Brainstorm/ponder woodworking projects; or
- Check some of the woodworking blogs I follow including Atelier du Bricoleur (Woodworker’s Workshop), Half-Inch Shy, John Economaki’s blog, Tom’s Workbench, Ron Hock’s The Sharpening Blog, and Woodworking for Mere Mortals. Gee I had no idea I read so many blogs.
- Go to bed and repeat.
Probably the only reason I can do this day in and day out and not tire of it is that I thoroughly enjoy it. I always enjoy working. Usually it’s the work itself that I enjoy, but in the rare case that it’s not, I enjoy the challenge it brings. A good day for me is a productive one (nearly all days are productive). A really good day is one where I’m not only productive, but also inspired. A great day is one where I’m productive, inspired, and new possibilities are realised. Sometimes this comes in the form of a new and exciting tool or material, other times may it be an epiphany.
Here’s a picture taken Saturday of me holding up some prized Pacific yew. Can you guess what kind of day this was for me?
On my days off, (which I don’t get/take many at all), I am usually lost with regards to what I should do. Sometimes I’ll go for a mountain bike ride in the forests on my mountain. Aside from that, there isn’t much that comes to mind.
I might go into downtown Vancouver and explore the woodworking galleries or just wander around looking for inspiration. Whatever I do, I simply cannot escape woodworking. It’s in my blood. I remember one summer on a family holiday, I was determined to spend the whole week away from woodworking. I left behind all my woodworking books, woodworking tools, even my pocketknife. I was so bored with nothing to do, I started sketching ideas of what to make and later ended up in a used book store in – you guessed it – the woodworking section.
That was at least three years ago and I don’t think I’ve taken a holiday since. The closest thing to a holiday for me, as I say, is the occasional woodworking show I get to do on the road with Lee Valley Tools.
As long as I am at home, I’ll be hard at work. Even when it doesn’t look like I’m working, you can bet I’m thinking hard about something. No day is ever wasted – I’m always learning new things and tweaking my procedures to improve my work.