Monday, May 12, 2008

Something old, something new

As I've been woodworking, I've been paying attention to how similar it is to my other, much-beloved hobby of sewing. At first, all I could see were similarities, but I'm starting to see differences as well.

  • You can make something truly unique. I made my wedding dress, and it is by far the perfect dress for me. Likewise, I made this bookcase for the "cuddle chair" I bought for our bedroom. Part of the bookcase slips into the gap cause by the chair and is the perfect for holding a cup of coffee.
  • They are both great for an person with control issues like me. Too short and fat for store clothes to fit you? make 'em. Can't find a cabinet to fit in a room? make it. The cabinet below was the first thing I made (and in fact, the fact that I couldn't find what I wanted got me started on the whole woodworking thing) It fits perfectly in between our guest room closet and tiny bath.
  • Somethings don't exist for a reason. After you've sewn a while, you get to learn the "rules" like there's a reason high-stretch knit shirts don't have functional buttonholes. Woodworking is the same: remember that perfectly sized cabinet? Part of the reason we couldn't find one to buy was that the pre-made ones were all too deep. Part of the reason the plan was revised mid-process was because the doors were too heavy for such a thin cabinet to hold up. Whoops!
  • In general, mistakes can be salvaged. See above.
  • The 80/20 rule applies. In general, you can get 80% of the job done in 20% of the time. If you want it 100% perfect, you're going to be quadrupling the time you spend. There's nothing wrong with taking that time, but make sure it's worth it to you.
  • Both require DH's help. He's learned to mark with a chalk marker where I tell him to, or put a pin in. He also has to help me lift to the 8'x4' sheets of plywood. He doesn't like either, but he's good enough to help me with both.
  • Both are expensive hobbies. Sure, you can save money here and there with smart purchases and economical habits, but it's still an expenditure. I see many women who sew justifying their fabric purchases by comparing them to their husband's wood shop purchases. My poor dh just gets to watch me spend on both!
  • Wood doesn't stretch. It can bend a little, but no compression. "Easing" doesn't happen. You cut it to size, period.
  • Woodworking is messy. Granted, sewing is messy too. But, after some time in the sewing room, a simple run over the floor with a broom and a run over myself with a lint picker-upper, and I'm good to go. After a day in the shop, a shower is required. It makes working on that much more of a "task." I have to be ready to commit.

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