Not So Serious Business

Most of my projects don’t get many laughs. Or at least, I don’t intend them to.

I bet you’re probably in the same boat. We woodworkers spend a lot of time thinking about form, function, good technique, the right material choices, durability, safety and so forth. Most projects have an intended and practical purpose. And, I think those are all good aims. Materials are expensive, and shop time is often pretty short. Not to mention the fact that if you actually make your living—or even part of it—from the furniture or cabinetry you build, there’s not a lot of room for funny business. You follow your plans, turn out good work and move on to the next challenge. Get ‘er done.

That’s why some lighthearted woodworking is a really nice change of pace to see now and again. Take, for instance, this little YouTube gem a friend of mine sent me recently:

“The Most Useless Machine.” Gotta love that! Wouldn’t this little project be a kick to give to a kid? Heck, I’d be amused having it sit on my desk, too. Pure tomfoolery, and built to be nothing more than that.

What sorts of whimsical, silly or even completely “useless” projects do you like to build? How far does your funny bone extend into the shop? Drop us a comment and tell us about them. It might be nice to take a break from the serious projects now and then to build something purely for the laughs it brings.

Catch you in the shop,

Chris Marshall, Field Editor

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About Chris Marshall

Chris Marshall has been writing for Woodworker's Journal as a contributing editor and field editor since 2001. Prior to that, he spent five years developing home improvement and woodworking books. He's written five of them and has served as a contributing writer on many more. A wood and tool junkie since childhood, Chris thoroughly enjoys building projects and reviewing woodworking tools for the Journal. When he's not assembling new machinery, sawing parts, taking photos or crunching text for an upcoming story, he enjoys spending time with his family and a houseful of pets at their home in rural Ohio.

2 thoughts on “Not So Serious Business

  1. The classic cube-within-a-cube-within-a-cube comes to mind as something interesting but useless. I received a copy of The Big Book of Weekend Woodworking, by John & Joyce Nelson, Lark Books, Ny, from my granddaughter for christmas. It’s on pgs 45-46. I modeled it in Google Sketchup first to test the instructions. It worked beautifully. Now what do I do with it?

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