One great thing about my retirement years is a long lifetime of experience to draw upon when making decisions. Let’s take a look at my two main hobbies that have lasted me a lifetime, Photography and Woodworking.
Both hobbies allow the beginner to start off simple. A simple camera, whether using film or digital media, is all that a trained photographer needs to make memorable images. Too much fluff and the fun exits the big picture. In my 68 years on this earth I’ve owned dozens of cameras, built dozens of darkrooms and owned dozens of computers to edit the thousands of images I’ve taken. I still love going on photographic safaris where I limit the gear and explore the capabilities of a single camera with a single lens. K.I.S.S. KISS stands for (Keep It Simple Stupid), an old acronym that has served me well all my life.
That same philosophy has worked for me in woodworking as well. I buy quality tools and accessories designed to last a lifetime. This was drilled into me as a child while working with my dad, and old school carpenter/contractor from Germany. My fondest memories of him are the times we worked together building houses from scratch. My basic work ethics come from his tutelage. “Measure twice, cut once”! “You get what you pay for”! “Any job worth doing is worth doing right, the first time”! My dad was very wise indeed!
So it is with my hobbies now in retirement. I live in a 10’x20′ single main room housing unit yet I’ve managed to assemble a killer collection of quality tools that are well made and can get the job done right the first time. I built my entire new workbench using a single Japanese backsaw and a screwdriver.
Japanese “Z’ saw
As of today I have the room in my apartment to fully utilize that new workbench as well as all my hand tools. They’re quiet, relatively dust free and efficient. I’ve improved on the quality of my power tool accessories recently as well. I graduated from the standard issue table saw miter gauge that comes with any saw and upgraded to a whole new level of accurate, versatile gauge. I look forward to the fun I will have with my new shop. 🙂
Standard el-cheapo miter gauge
Incra 1000SE Precision miter gauge