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As soon as I finished writing my list of woodworking goals for 2014 (see below), I realized something. I am a prime candidate to take a few furniture making courses. The interest is there. Some of the skills are there. The only thing missing is that I am not quite smart enough to take a furniture making course.

maplesyrupYou see, I am cursed with what you might call the “DIY or die” mentality. It’s a close cousin to the New Hampshire state motto, “live free or die.” While respectable in its own way, it can also lead to unfortunate results – such as acquiring every tool and machine you could possibly need to live and work independently, and also the propensity to put maple syrup on everything you eat (preferably homemade).

Instead of tackling each of the following goals on my own, it would be smart to look into taking a few furniture making courses – thereby gaining expert, in-person instruction and access to superior workshop appliances and tools. But for the sake of character-building, I think I’ll try first to build things myself … maybe with a little help from our value pack of the month, the “Essential Digital Woodworking Library.”

A DIY Furniture Making Course – My Woodworking Goals for 2014

1. Make 2 or 3 pieces of progressively more difficult furniture. I am planning to start with making an Adirondack chair. We have an excellent project plan for Adirondack chairs that is available for free. It looks like a plan that will help me get over the hump from box- and cabinet-making to assembling stand-alone pieces of sturdy furniture. Later in the year, I want to get into table designs. Depending on my living situation at that time, it could be anything from a small side table to a large dining table.

2. Carve out more overall time for my woodworking. It may sound unbelievable, but I don’t necessarily have more time for woodworking than a lot of you, dear readers. I am inspired by how much woodworking many of you complete in between day jobs, social lives and family time! So I am making it a goal in 2014 to spend more time on projects, tool-hunting, shop tune-ups and the like. You never regret a couple extra hours in the shop.

3. Budget some money for woodworking, and spend that budget. As you know from following my 2013 blog posts, I know how to squeeze a dime. But that’s not always a good thing. As I look into scaling my efforts and building more furniture, it’s going to be useful to make a couple strategic purchases of tools and supplies.

Furniture making courses cover all three of the above goals – encouraging woodworkers to build more, spend more time doing it and invest money in the craft. Woodworking classes really are a great option but, all kidding aside, so is doing it yourself. It just depends on your philosophy and your approach.

If you go my route and acquire the “Essential Digital Woodworking Library,” just try not to spill maple syrup on your computer.

Dan Farnbach

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