A Bridge-Building Craft

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This article is from Issue 93 of Woodcraft Magazine.

We woodworkers have perhaps more opportunities than any other craft aficionados to mingle our myriad interests. Woodworking itself is vast and varied, with many branches stemming from the craft’s great trunk, including furniture making, carving, and turning, among others. And we can intertwine these offshoots to create projects limited only by our imagination, as we hobnob with a host of companion métiers like metalwork, carpentry, and upholstery. But it doesn’t stop there.

A trade like ours can bridge the gap to virtually any other pastime. The things we make find their way into shops, libraries, living rooms, gardens and the hands of all manner of humans for all manner of motives. As for me, I’ve made a number of kitchen implements for gracious cooks, thanking them with spoons, spatulas, and stacks of cutting boards. I’ve built bookcases for the readers in my life, and projects as small as seam rippers for crafty friends and family. I’ve made knife handles for hunters, a rosin box for dancers, and sawhorses for DIYer buddies.

Over the years, Woodcraft Magazine has welcomed photographers, painters, musicians, and others who have contributed their particular expertise to our pages. And we’ve dipped our toe in home improvement, metal working, and tool making, among other ventures. In this issue alone, we traverse a span of popular interests.

A couple of us on staff are music lovers and record collectors, hence the cover project (p. 36). Collectors will love the extra storage, and fans of mid-century furniture will appreciate the throwback design.

Aspiring tool makers will appreciate the scratch awl (p. 48), where we mash up turning and metalwork to create an indispensable shop implement. The story on edging sheet goods (p. 45) speaks to frugal, practical woodworkers like me, who like building with sheet goods and need to conceal their ugly cores. Many basketball fans will cheer for the cutting board on p. 28. And what better way to experience craft-diversity than by diving into craft shows (p. 32), where makers of all kinds converge to share and sell wares? It’s a great way to expose yourself to new ideas.

Woodworking is an open community that’s accepting of people from all walks of life. The only requirement is that you love working with your hands. So join in, create, and rub elbows with those who do remarkable work. Your own work will be better for it.

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