It almost does not matter what hobby or passion we may have. All of us, or should I say: most of us; don't feel there such thing as enough tools, enough toys, enough.
If I'm specific about woodworking or shop life in general, I have to say this particular conundrum is ever too real. More so because we tend to find online all sorts of amazing tools, amazing toys, that make the job at hand, or the hobby we love to partake of, a lot easier.
All that being said; I've been trying to put a hard break on this whole thing for a while. Which is to say, not fall into the typical trap of buying more and more things “just in case I need them” or worse.
I'm willing to admit that most of the times when I've purchased a tool compulsively, It never quite worked out as I pictured it inside my head. It was either not as easy as someone else made it look, or the learning curve took away the initial impulse to learn the skill way too fast. Which is why I think it's best to build up to it, build up to the need, if that makes any sense.
In the applying of these mental handbrakes I've had to come up with rules, with self limitations as to not fall victim to my own personality flaws. And the one that seems to work the best, at least for the past couple of years works something like this.
- I see a video of someone doing something amazing
- I wonder if I can too learn to do the same
- I observe the tools they have at their disposal
- I think about the tools I have and feel disappointment
- I wonder if there is another way
- I find the old school way of doing the job and usually get my mind blown
- I rethink the tools I have
- I realize my need is not justified
- I try to find a DIY more modern solution
- I give it a go
- I fail spectacularly a few times
Then a split on the road follows:
If I succeed at making something decent, something usable.
- I try to do even better
- I try to make jigs or tools that would facilitate it even more
- I rethink the tools I have
- Then decide if I should buy something or just be happy as it is.
- If I'm buying, Ill try to wait for as long as possible *
If I dont succeed and begin to feel too frustrated, too unable to enjoy the time and effort I've put into the whole thing.
*1. I try to mentally rescue the things Ive learnt
- I try to recycle the materials used
- I try to feel gratitude for not having spent the money
- I promise myself to revisit the challenge in the future.*
Now, does this work all the time?
Of course not, but the point is that I seem to have developed a system of sorts, a system of self control. I remember, back in the day, when I was a young bassist lad, and in the search for better gear, for better tone, for more music, I ended up owning over 30 instruments, most never got played and that was just tragic.
Why share this?
I guess up until now, I had not tried to lay this out, to put in paper (metaphorically of course) what it is that I've been doing to not fall for GAS (gear acquisition syndrome) as it's commonly called.
**Does this mean I'm a mature neckbeard? **
Probably not… but baby steps… baby steps.