2020 Hindsight

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This article is from Issue 98 of Woodcraft Magazine.

I don’t think I’m creeping to the end of a limb to suggest that this was a particularly rough year. Natural disasters, some man-made ones, a bitterly divisive election, and a worldwide pandemic have marred 2020 with hardship and tragedy not seen for generations. And that’s just scratching the surface. If you’re anything like me, you can’t wait to see this year in your rearview mirror. But I don’t want to just wave goodbye as the year crashes into history. I want to observe 2020 with the benefit of hindsight, while cruising into the New Year a little wiser.

Webster’s defines hindsight as “Perceiving the nature of an event after it has happened.” But this clear-eyed rearward view is only helpful when we apply what we’ve learned. Fortunately for woodworkers, thoughtful retrospection is innate to our craft, as every project we engage in informs the next. Surprises will always arise during a build, but the bumpy roads we’ve already traveled make our hands steadier on the wheel going forward.

In this holiday issue, our team of talented woodworkers have employed their hard-won wisdom to deliver a load of fun, thoughtfully designed projects. For starters, we have a festive table topper (p.28) that displays tasty treats during the season, and cleverly stows away the rest of the year. Then there’s a battery-free game that provides hours of holiday entertainment (p.24), and a pair of puzzles (p.44) that are as fun to build as they are to solve. Neat gifts, all. And if you know a newbie turner, they may love something from the carefully curated list of tools on page 41. If you’re into CNC woodworking, check out the display shelf on page 48. Anyone would like it. Finally, that very special someone would be awed to receive the spectacular dimpled box on the cover of this issue. Giving birth to any of these projects is a great way to wave goodbye to a stinker of a year.

As its replacement climbs the horizon, it’s bound to hold some promise. How will you use your hindsight? As for me, this New Year’s Eve, my oversized party glasses will be fitted with 20/20 lenses. Happy 2021, my friends!

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