Getting Sharp: In defense of abandoned projects

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This article is from issue 111 of Woodcraft Magazine

In defense of abandoned projects

If you’re anything like me and most of the woodworkers I know, you can glance around your shop and find more than a few abandoned projects. In one form or another, you have probably paused your progress on a project, small or large, and started something else. You may have had to set aside a personal project to make room for a job, a gift, or some other burst of creativity. Perhaps you needed a particular bit or a piece of hardware, and you just haven’t made it to your local Woodcraft. Or maybe you simply got tired of working on your current project. Sometimes the well runs dry. 

Whatever the reason, this phenomenon doesn’t mean that we woodworkers enjoy shuffling parts from one corner of the shop to another or that we’re quitters. You’re not quitting your commitment to the craft. Don’t let the cobweb-covered leg assemblies and empty carcasses bring you down. It’s not inspiring to have guilt over ditched projects. I think these half-finished undertakings should be viewed as encouraging. Consider those dovetailed drawers in need of fronts as a testament to your quality work, lessons learned, or even future inspiration that keeps you creating. Whether it’s finally making a panel for that empty frame or starting something new, it’s about the journey. 

I love having a variety of creative projects to work on. It’s luxurious. Depending on my interest level or frame of mind, I might want to be working on something different. A project for every mood. In this issue, we offer an assortment of projects for folks of all sorts. CNC enthusiasts and pet lovers alike can find a fun feeder for your dog on page 28. Turners will enjoy the cart on page 48, designed to hold all your turning accessories and roll out of the way when not in use. The traditional louvered shutters (p. 22) will appeal to the home improvement crowd. Fans of Stickley furniture will find a classic music cabinet (p. 31) to construct. And for when you’re in between near-finished projects, flip to page 43 to build your pore-filling skills.

We hope you finish one or more of these projects, but if not, we understand. Besides, abandoned projects are good for our creativity. We have to keep fabricating believable excuses as to why the project isn’t done.

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