Getting Sharp: Take a walk outside today

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This article is from issue 112 of Woodcraft Magazine.

Take a walk outside today.

Nearly every day, especially in warmer weather, I take a walk outside. Usually during my lunch break, I leave my desk or bench behind and head to the woods. Not far from the magazine office is a wildlife refuge with a paved walking path and several well-maintained trails for hiking. So I drive the few short minutes it takes to get to the park and enjoy the fresh air. Reserving this time for myself pays dividends. These daily constitutionals have a whole host of physical health benefits. I get my heart rate up, increase my immune function, and strengthen my joints, to name a few. But they also do wonders for my mental health.

Stepping away and stepping out helps me to recalibrate. I can put things into perspective and shift my mind to other matters, reducing stress all the while. Often, as I’m communing with nature in this way, ideas present themselves, nurturing my creativity. And solutions to problems, woodworking and otherwise, spring up as if they were there all along. A helpful boost to my mood. 

Your mood will no doubt improve as you stroll through the projects on the pages ahead. The table on page 25 is designed to be of service outdoors, so you can enjoy nature and your craftsmanship together. Another way to celebrate the natural world is by making the dragonfly (p. 22) with all its gravity-defying wonder. Learn the basics of bent lamination by building a stand for your guitar on page 46. And finally, the modern sideboard (p. 30) with its tambour-teaching technique (p. 39) will keep you plenty busy between your treks.

Walks have been life-changing for me, and I hope you can get some good out of them, too. So, take a walk outside today, and breathe in all that the natural world has to offer. Perhaps pay particular attention to the trees you come across. Not only do they supply the material we all love, but they also filter the air and water, provide habitat for wildlife, and moderate the weather. National Arbor Day is April 28, and it turns 150 this year. What better time to do what you can to ensure that the next generation of woodworkers have the material they need and a happy, healthy environment in which to enjoy a restorative walk. Maybe I’ll see you out there.


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