My name is Mark Young, I’m 30 years old, and I love DIY.
Woodworking is my preferred field of crafting. Creating something for yourself can give you a chance to really get in touch with what you’re making. There’s nothing more amazing than knowing a piece from the inside out, or being able to say that it’s yours, from start to finish—or finishing coat.
If I’m being honest, I might have to say that I’m a little addicted to the DIY grind. If there’s something I can make for myself, why bother buying it in a store? Half of the fun is the challenge of figuring out how a piece should go together, or how I can improve on what someone else has already made. It also gives me the chance to update a design to fit my home better and skip out on all the awkward rearranging you end up doing whenever you try to fit something new into what you already have.
My main workstation is in my garage. While being a woodworker means that I know my way around a circular saw, I’ve never wanted to be restricted in what I make. For me, that meant taking the time to learn how to weld.
For you, that might mean branching out into woodworking, or even learning more about reupholstering a couch, or getting into the science side of stains and varnishes. There’s a lot you can easily do for yourself that most people never even consider trying.
Anyone can become a woodworker. The main principle behind DIY is that anyone can make something professional quality, if they put in the time and effort to learn how. “Anyone can become a woodworker” doesn’t mean that everyone will, but if there’s someone out there who wants to learn how, I want to help them get started.
Some of my favorite projects are the ones I’ve made for my own home. I usually prefer the ones that are mine from top to bottom, but there are a few “fixed” pieces I’m proud of. These are the ones that I’ve added on to, taken away from, or just generally made my own. What really makes a piece special for me isn’t so much the end product as the journey it takes to get from the very beginning to the finished piece.
I prefer working with a solid wood. Softwoods and hardwoods alike have different strengths for different projects, and I do enjoy using both, but I definitely enjoy the way dense woods come out after being worked. They also tend to be a lot more durable, especially if a piece is going to be spending any time outdoors.
Getting into woodworking has changed my life. I love being able to talk to people about what I do, and I love getting to teach them about it. Whether someone’s taking up woodworking for pleasure or because they want to get into the DIY lifestyle, there’s always something more to share.