I am a software engineer by profession and have been since 2001. Prior to that, I used to work as an automation machine designer and builder, which involved a lot of hands-on work. However, with my current job, I spend most of my time typing on a keyboard.

In 2019, I hit a threshold where I felt the need to build something physical with my hands. Woodworking had always piqued my interest, but I never acted on it until then. I watched countless YouTube videos and bought the equipment that I thought was necessary (thanks to the aforementioned videos). I started coming up with ideas for projects, mostly suggested by my wife.

As someone who had worked with machines for a long time, working with machinery did not scare me. However, I started feeling uncomfortable with the potential dangers of working with spinning saw blades. Even though I followed “safety first”, I still felt that there must be a better, safer way of working with wood. After watching some YouTube videos, I discovered the difference between hand tool woodworking and using machinery. As a former machinist, I could relate to the sentiment that working with hand tools is “working with wood,” while using machinery is “machining wood.” I still use some powered equipment like a band saw and thickness planer, but I prefer to use hand tools at my bench whenever possible.

Apart from woodworking, I love desk stationary, particularly pencils, pens, and notebooks. There’s something about the tactile nature of pen/pencil and paper that digital solutions can’t match. I find that making to-do lists on a Travelers Company notebook with a Musgrave Tennessee Red pencil adds a joy to my workday that far exceeds any efficiency I get with software solutions. I have been doing paper-based daily planning since I purchased my first Moleskine notebook back in 2006.