Question: What is the one thing we could (and should) all do that would make us all better woodworkers?
It isn’t greater knowledge: The world (and the especially the virtual world) are chock full of knowledge that is easier to access than ever before.
It isn’t planning: For sure planning is important. Planning makes sure you place your cross cuts on a board so that the grain wraps around the carcass when you are making a case piece. Planning ensures you have the right tools and it stops you picking projects beyond your skill level. But it doesn’t make your technique one iota better.
It isn’t necessarily practice either: Often people practice skills that simply reinforce bad habits, poor posture and sloppy skills. Practice alone won’t do it for you (but we should all practice good technique and create ‘practice’ pieces).
No; If I could point to one single thing that will make a difference to your skill level it would not be any of those things. I bet all of us plan what we are going to do (how long is your ‘to do’ list?). All of us without exception seek out knowledge by doing research on the web, reading magazines, books and articles. We all spend moons looking at the latest and greatest shiny tools (go on – tell me you don’t with a straight face)…
The one thing that will make each and every one of us a better woodworker is consistent execution. Not planning, not reading (not even this blog!), but cutting, planing, sanding, oiling and painting piece after piece after piece….
if you want to be better at this craft (as we all do). Add up how many things you completed last year. it will give you a great idea of how far you progressed your skills.
– Paul Mayon