Do it yourself - My biggest challenge

Do it yourself is fun. The pleasure I derive from finishing a project is immensely fulfilling. The near end of one assignment almost immediately marks the beginning of the next envisioned idea. And there are countless conceived designs that are waiting to be executed. My grouse though is that most of the ideas are still only in their conception phase. I find it extremely hard to maintain the consistency with which I would like to indulge in this hobby.  And that, quite naturally, affects the frequency of posts you see here. While there are many factors, there is one main challenge that I face in being able to sustaining the DIY steadiness.


There is me time, we time, free time. There is work time, travel time. And amid all this I have to squeeze in hobby time. While working on a DIY project is one thing, making a post on it is another thing altogether. My last post on building a shoe rack took 6 hours of my Sunday to make just the illustrations. And the shoe rack itself took close to 12 effective hours spread across multiple days.

The fact that woodworking is an addictive hobby, it is not difficult to understand that you would soon get sucked into it much like any other pastime. Sometimes I am glued on to it for hours together completely oblivious to the passage of time. Spending time compromising on other priorities is quite concerning right?  Though at one point, I would have easily declared “not finding time” as a made-up myth, I am coming to realize that it is an apparent truth and a reality.

It is easier to read and hear about things like, “You have to work around your obstacles if you are really passionate about something”, and other such philosophies. But in reality, it becomes quite impossible to make compromises for just a hobby, even if it means am obsessively passionate about it. Right ?

Do you relate to the situation? How do you handle it? Leave me a comment. Am sure it would make me feel better.

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  1. Hello Somu,

    First of all, great site, and thanks for all the useful information,and more importantly some the candor. A site that makes things look too easy (oestensibly because the author wants to show off his/her skills), leads to disappointment for its novice followers.

    Back to the current, topic, I completely identify with your dilemma. I am a passionate woodworker and DIY'er. I have been the latter for practically all my life, but have started the former quite recently (about 6 months ago). It is only now that I found the space and budget to take things seriously.

    I am often faced with the challenge of too little time on hands. Since you asked views on how others handle this situation, here are mine: First of all we have enough pressures to 'complete' things in life, and I don't want my hobby to be one more of them. However much I enjoy doing things, once I start feeling that I 'have to do it', it starts getting stressful. In fact, it also starts affecting quality. So, my approach is that I take my hobby more like a walk along a trail. I start something, and spend as much time as I can. Somewhere in the middle, if I find an opportunity to build a tool or a machine, that will help in the project, I branch off into building the machine rather than the project itself. Once the machine is done, I come back to the project. And more importantly, there are times I don't feel like working, so I just stretch and watch TV! The result is that my projects take quite long. A tissue paper box I made out of solid wood took 15 days, since I used only hand tools. I realized the importance of having a table saw, but I got quotations for Rs.40,000+, which I could not afford. So, when I started my next project (a Jewellery Box for my wife), I first took up a project for building a Table Saw using the Skil Circular Saw I already had. That itself took close to a month, since I was seriously challenged on the design of the Fence (since it needs to slide easily but retain its angle perfectly). Once the Table saw was finished, I jumped back to my Jewellery Box, and finished it in about 4 weeks (since I had to travel to the US for 2 weeks).

    While doing the Jewellery box, I thought of doing something interesting, so I explored the art of Intarsia. I found a good design (a Rose), but I did not have a scroll Saw. So, again, I branched off into a building a jig to make a scroll saw out of my Jig Saw (hanging upside down under a sheet of plywood). With that contraption, I had a reasonable result at cutting the 19 pieces of the rose. Now, I plan to build a more elaborate scroll saw since I found Intarsia to be pretty cool!

    And so on and so forth! You get my drift.

    The point is, as I said earlier, I look at my hobby like a taking a walk along a trail. I enjoy the walking, but if I see a butterfly, I will go behind it, or stop to admire a well build tree, or observe the antics of the squirrels! There is no time pressure, and I am not compelled to complete any task.

    Thanks for listening to my blabbering! Enjoy, and wishing you and Preethi lots of fun and lots of success!



    PS. If you are interested, I would be happy to post pictures and designs (sketchup) of my projects. Just not sure how to do it on this blog.

    1. Hi Shripad, Thanks for the response... I have not responded to your comment yet. Will share my views on this shortly :)

  2. hi
    have you tried painting on plastic?
    if you have please give me some few tips.

    thank you

    1. Dear Surabhi, have not worked with plastics before. You may want to check with your art supply dealer or at the art / craft store. Am sure they will be able to offer some information on the same.

      Meanwhile, will post this query in the Chennai craft community and will come back when there is a response.


  3. Hey really a good work, thanks for sharing with us.

  4. Very nice post, It was such an informative and a motivative post, Love it ...Very thankful to sharing here.


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