One aspect of woodworking that I enjoy very much (while curiously, exhibiting the least amount of skill with – when compared to most other aspects of woodworking) is woodturning. A woodturning project can often be completed in an evening in my shop. The objects I make are often useful and beautiful, even though I am far from an “expert” skill level. (Oh, I am getting better at turning… my use of the skew has increased about 6,000 percent in the last year… )
Why do I mention this? Because it also intersects with another wood-related sidebar in my life – heating with wood. My house is equipped with a secondary heating system that I use to keep heating costs low. So in the fall, I am busy on certain days cutting, splitting and stacking wood for our upcoming long winter. But my burn pile is sometimes depleted because a chunk of wood intended for the fire looks just too appealing for my turning hobby. The equation of “fun and beauty” vs. “warm and comfortable” plays out again and again. But this is not exactly a “zero sum” cipher – some of those turned pieces end up in my firewood pile again. Apparently, I need even more practice with that skew chisel.
Rob Johnstone, Woodworker’s Journal