So, we’re a few days into Get Woodworking Week, and I had an interesting question sent my way.
It comes from Neil Zenuk – better known as TwoWheelNeil on Twitter – in response to yesterday’s post about inviting someone into your shop to teach them about woodworking, Neil wrote, “Any tips if you don’t know anyone who is interested?”
Hmmm… Neil seems like a pretty social guy, but maybe he is secretly a little bashful. That assumption flew out the window when he said he was taking out a personal ad reading “Woodworker seeking new friend willing to explore new joinery.”
OK, that would be kind of an unorthodox approach to the week’s mission, but hey, if it floats your boat.
Back to the question at hand. Not everyone knows someone who is interested in coming into your shop to learn the basics. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t play along. In fact, here are some ideas on how you can participate without inviting anyone into your shop:
Spread the wealth. Most woodworkers have that special bookshelf in their homes… Someplace where their collection of woodworking magazines runs back to – I dunno – 1984. While it’s great to stroll down memory lane to see how to build a great typewriter stand, your shelves might appreciate if you went through the collection and donate the ones you may never read again to the local library. Future woodworkers would get a kick out of reading the collected knowledge.
Sneak it in. One of the members of the St. Petersburg Woodcrafters Guild took several of his old woodworking magazines and left them a doctors offices, gyms and other places he frequented. Not only did he do that, he also attached stickers to them inviting the reader to the guild’s next meeting. Pretty resourceful.
Send to a solider. Or airman, or Marine, or sailor. Many of the brave men and women deployed overseas are woodworkers, and while they are on base, they may be looking for a distraction from the day-to-day grind – or the dangerous missions they undertake. Get in touch with a local chapter of the USO, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion or other organization to see if you can donate some woodworking books, magazines, tools or wood to the troops. You might be surprised how appreciated those gifts are.
Talk it up. Libraries aren’t just for books anymore. Many libraries offer an extensive speaker’s bureau where professionals come in to talk tax preparation, what the local government is up to, how to write a novel… the works. Talk to your local library’s manager and see if they might be interested in hosting a talk where you let people see some of your tools and finished projects.
The ABC’s and 123’s of woodworking. Where will the future woodworkers come from? The grade schools, scouting groups and other youth organizations. Find out where these groups meet, make an introduction to the leaders and see if you can’t schedule a talk there. You just might be the spark that ignites a new woodworker’s career.
Start a blog. Hey, come on in. The water’s fine. Google and WordPress are two easy places to start blogging. Just set up an account, and let us know what is going on in your shop!
You can see, there are plenty of things you can do if you can’t invite someone into your shop. Just give it a little thought, and you’d be surprised just how cool it can be…
And, here are some links to some great articles written for Get Woodworking Week. Remember, send me links to your articles so I can link to them:
- The Unplugged Woodshop: The most important step
- Infinity Cutting Tools: Get Woodworking – find a mentor
- Spunjin’s Blog: Get Woodworking Week 2014!
- MonkWerks: Clamps, Clamps, and more Clamps!