The Perfect Pastime

by | Feb 1, 2013 | 4 comments

I’ve been lucky enough to steal a few evenings this week to enjoy some woodwork for our videos. It may seem strange after building workbenches all day that I would long for some spare time when I can work wood but that’s just how it is. I never tire of building my benches but I find I big difference between building with wood and creating with it.

When I’m able to get stuck in to a furniture build then that’s when I can really enjoy wood the way I want to – as a natural material. It’s got to be one of the nicest materials and lets face it its beauty comes from its diversity, no two pieces are the same nor would we want them to be. My favourite type of work then has got to be small pieces, it doesn’t matter what so long as I can get a feel for every piece of wood that goes in and allow that wood to dictate the plan. There’s no need for fixed dimensions I’d rather go by eye and make judgements along the way.

There are so many ways to go about woodworking and I’d never say that power tools should be avoided; they can be quick and ideal for getting a job done, but when it comes to the enjoyment it has to be hand tools for me. This isn’t a stubborn traditionalist view just my experience and how I get pleasure out of woodworking when it can be a pastime.

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About Richard Maguire

About Richard Maguire

As a professional hand tool woodworker, Richard found hand tools to be the far more efficient solution for a one man workshop. Richard runs 'The English Woodworker' as an online resource and video education for those looking for a fuss free approach to building fine furniture by hand. Learn More About Richard & The English Woodworker.


  1. Ken

    I totally agree Richard. When I need to wind down after working on the bench all day. I will start a small project, It dose not matter what It is really, I usually end up watching a woodworking video at the end of the night.

    To some that is sad, they say,Ken get a life, well I love working wood, and I’m happy doing what I do.

    Cheers 🙂

    • Richard

      Whenever someone has a passion that another doesn’t understand it’s usually deemed sad. If I get told to get a life then I say this is my life! What could be better than woodworking on an evening… watching some thrilling soap???

  2. John Walker

    Absolutely Richard. However, when you are somewhere around my age, you will be in a quandary! Mainly because if you become like me, you won’t want the dust and noise of machinery, but you won’t have quite the energy and stamina for the more physically demanding aspects of hand-working… But I still love the craft!

    • Richard

      Thanks John. It can certainly be a bit of a work out at times so this is a fair point. Saying that if I keep building benches like this I might not survive long enough to worry 😉


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