In a reply to a thread on old machine refurb, Allen L put forward a view on woodworking as a costly hobby for young (men)people to get into.
I thought this view merits some debate not that i totally disagree with Allens point of view, but i do think there is some room for leeway here.
Thinking back here i have had several hobbys so far and i dont see that Woodworking has to be put into the camp of being percieved as expensive to get into and have fun doing.
Lets compare some of the alternatives:
Sailing.....used to race Catamarans....to do so you travelled each weekend and that plus accomodation plus entry fee and entertainment at the watering hole after boy it sure added up and left no room for anything else. It was also not quiet a family fun sport it was pitched as.
Golf......got a few golfing buddies that make my spend at Lee Valley look like pocket change.....Just their annual green fees here cost nearly as much as i spent on all my machines and then each year there are the "gotta have new clubs, balls, shoes, and other clothing, plus the watering hole and dont forget the betting on just about every hole. Then competition fees and attending as a spectator any events in the area. You also have to travel to the course which is back at the gas pump and dont forget Caddy fees and tips.
Fishing......now there is probably one that could be considered cheap to do and involve a young family but like any hobby if you gonna rise up in skill ....well sooner or later you into a boat and fish finder and rods and reels and oh boy the list goes on plus the licence fee each year. Never mind all the lures and bait and again the gas and travel.
Hunting .......not much different to the fishing ....i would guess and even more costly if you ever think of getting one of the big 5 trophies....ask friends of mine what it cost for them to get a trophy antelope head they shot in South Africa back to Canada never mind the rest of the trip. But a young guy and his kids could go hunting in the woods for relatively low cost if the guy gets to know a property owner.
Painting....well i got to see what that cost my mother when she was doing oil pastel and water colors and i guess compared to woodworking its perhaps comparable depending...
Gardening well probably the cheapest....grass dont take much and a few seeds not that costly..
But lets look at woodworking.
You dont have to be putting down huge dollars and buying a sawstop. You dont have to buy machines at all especially as a young guy. In the hand tool department you can get to buy reasonable workable hand tools either second hand or new and you can buy them one at a time over time and get to build a great deal and have a great deal of fun and share it with the kids.
Whats more there is something left over afterwards that carrys the memories and you dont have to even leave home or travel to do it.
Allen i think the issue is more along the lines of the expectations of some of the young uns today. I cannot get over a couple i heard of here that when they got married and i mean in their early 20's expected to move into a home they owned. One family never had the resources for such a gift so the parents sold their home and used the proceeds to pay their half of the gift. Now thats just totally crazy and extreme but the young couple had no problem with accepting it.
With all the marketing creating hype of what you gotta have to be "IN" or HIP.....its not suprising to me if they dont want to get going with less than the best.
But i would like to think that we dont have the most expensive hobby to have fun with.
Even in the wood department, my local lumber place always has shorts which you can do a great deal with if you have the desire. And dont forget there is always the Habitat Stores where incedible bargains can be had.