So i got done getting my lumber cart back together yesterday (new big castors are a dream) but as i was doing this i got to thinking about a point Allen Levine made many years ago about the cost of woodworking as a hobby. Up until Allen's comment i had always thought about woodworking being a relatively cheap hobby given what i have witnessed others spending on say Golf or what i had spent in the past on sailing for example. That was primarily because i was thinking in terms of tools, the point being that once you got a set, if you care for them you pretty much setup.
But loading the lumber cart got me thinking of the wood, finish, hardware, glue sandpaper screws etc that you need to have to be able to use your tools and i thought........Yeah Allen's got a point.
But in that same vane this morning a commercial on the news for some latest movie had me reviewing what it costs locally for a night at the movies and what value comes from it. We seldom go to the movies but i know we never get to go for less than $30 for the night out.
So i thought about it and thought heck what is left over from a night at the movies and what can i get for the equivalent in terms of woodworking supplies.
$30 can buy me a 5x5 1/2" sheet of BB ply here or at $3.25 per board foot (for many local hardwood shorts at Century Mill Lumber) I could get about say 6 board foot of lumber, still have change, then get to buy some glue and a few screws and be able to make something.
Something that will entertain for more than an 90 minutes and something that will be around for some time to come but may even be useful.
Now if one has a lathe heck wood for that is not even going to set you back if you keep your eyes peeled or make hay when the storms take place and stock up on downed wood.
So what would you do with $30 in your woodworking hobby?
If you consider what Stumpy Nubbs managed to do with a HF $10 plane converting it to a scrub plane heck he would still have $20 left over. Now i have not gone mad suggesting you run out and buy a HF plane but it is possible to do.
So Allen i agree if one gets to thinking in terms of making new dining room set or kitchen cabinets or some other fair size furniture or woodworking project then yeah the materials can be expensive but at the same time you wont get a round of golf in my neck of the woods for $30 and i don't believe you have to have $1000 + machines or buy a premium Lee Valley or Lie Nielsen plane to enjoy the hobby.
So my question is would you rather go to the movies ( and i don't mean watching it on Netflix or pirate dvd etc) and what would a night out at the movies cost you or would you rather spend the money on something for your woodworking hobby and if so what would you buy for that cost?
I mean do you really need to see the latest version of Hercules ?????