The Holidays are always a time for Woodworkers to shine. Receiving a handmade gift from someone you care about is a wonderful treat, and as a woodworker it shows you are willing to invest time and skill into what you give to that person. I know that as a woodworker, I enjoy giving gifts to my friends and family that I make and I will be doing just that this coming Holiday season.
As a woodworker there are a couple things you can do in the outset to make your life a bit easier when giving gifts. I like to first determine the number of gifts I am going to be giving out. Then I take a look at that list and see if I want to do a single type of gift for everyone, or if I want to try and change things around. Lastly I like to think about the various people I am giving gifts to and determine if the project I have in mind is right for that person. Once I have my list set and my projects determined, I can start planning out how I want to tackle them through the coming months.
I find the hardest, but most essential part, is determining what exactly you are going to be making for each person. As a woodturner I tend to stray toward things that I can turn on my lathe, though now as I am branching out into the broader world of woodworking, my project ideas are growing. Another thing that influences my project choices is if the project stretches skills that I want to focus on. As I am growing my woodworking and my various skills I am looking for projects to help me with that. I have some boxes I want to make for friends so that I can work on my joinery skills; I have some casework I want to work on for others, so that I can work on a different set of skills.
With Holiday projects you can test your limits or take it easy, the most important thing is to get out there and make something for the folks you care about.
Matthew York has been a woodturner since 2004 and has been interested in woodworking since he was a teenager. He currently lives in downtown Atlanta and has a small shop in his basement. He is an avid woodworker and is always available to talk about the craft. He can be contacted at email@example.com or visit his website at fracturedturnings.com. You can also follow him on twitter at @raen425