Something happened in October that I haven’t mentioned. My blog turned 10 years old, which is quite an accomplishment. Especially since there are so few active woodworking blogs these days. Around 2009 and for several years later, it seemed that if you were a woodworker, then you had to have a blog. Now most of the woodworking action is on YouTube and Instagram.
My first blog post was dated October 9, 2009. I was working on our coffee table (seen in the image at the top of this post). It was an exercise in how to make an attractive table with nothing but straight lines. There isn’t a curve on it anywhere. And it was an early example of mixing two species of wood, in this case tiger maple and red oak. I never liked that I used oak plywood for the shelf. I created a free woodworking plan for it (here) which has an altered shelf very similar to the design of the top. This table still sits in our family room (and we have upgraded to a much nicer wool rug).
So, it is ironic that I am writing today to say I have come to the decision to end this blog. When I do something, I’m the kind of person who is going to do it the right way as best as I can. Which means I have put a ton of effort towards making this a good blog. The content has become 100% project related. This is not a blog where I write posts dedicated to the philosophical aspects of woodworking. To add content to my blog, I need to be building something. And as my day job has spilled more into what would normally be private time at home (in my workshop), projects are taking longer, there are longer gaps in my posting schedule and I really need to spend time doing other things around my house. There are certain repair jobs which are not getting done because of my perceived need to always build towards the next blog post. I have come to view this as being out of sync with the reality of things.
As I began to finalize this decision, my weekends already feel more relaxed. It’s now OK to do just a little woodworking on a Saturday or Sunday (or dare I say, none at all).
Writing here has been a lot of fun. I don’t consider myself a writer, but I do like to tell the story of woodworking. And I have accomplished a few things through blogging. Examples: I got a mention by Chris Schwarz at the Lost Art Press website (here). My blog lead to a post at SketchUp’s website (here). I have been mentioned in email newsletters by SketchUp (several times), Kreg Tools and Hock Tools. And links to my woodworking plans and blog posts appear at a number of websites here in the USA and at sites in other parts of the world.
Concerning my woodworking plans, over the years I have received a number of emails from people who have built projects based on them (a post about my favorite email is here). I long ago stopped tracking statistics concerning the number of plans downloaded so I don’t have reliable data on their usefulness, but the emails I get tell me people do build projects from them. Making high quality plans has always been a goal and a reason I had to get proficient with SketchUp and begin to understand Photoshop. I have had a lot of fun with woodworking plans and I’ve received a lot of satisfaction from them.
Once there was this guy who was blogging about a table he was making. It was a really good design and I liked seeing the updates. But right in the middle of the project, the blog went silent and eventually was shut down. I remember feeling a little let down by not being able to see the finished project. This is basically what I am now doing. If you are interested in seeing future updates on the Montreat Side Table, I’ll be posting updates at my Instagram account (@jeffobranch). I will move my woodworking plans to my Etsy shop, and I’ll keep this blog live until my current subscription at WordPress ends. When that happens, this blog will be no more. It is kind of sad to write this.
For those of you who visit my blog, I want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart. Thank you for spending time here reading what I write and looking at my photos and my finished projects. I truly appreciate and value your support.