For hobbyists of every kind, browsing for new equipment is always a guilty pleasure. There are so many things that we see that we think, “If I had one of those, I could do so much!” But then we stop and think about the cost. And the next day, we're back to window shopping.
This guilty pleasure isn't a bad thing. It's good to dream about taking projects to the next level. It's even better if you can take projects to the next level.
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We're not here to tell you to rein in your interest! This article is a guilt-free endorsement of buying something that makes you happy, especially if it helps you do what you love.
Below are a few suggestions for hobbyists from all walks of life that will help you go that bit further with your hobby.
1. For the Woodworker, the Router Table
A router table can make your life so much easier as a craftsperson. There's no need for clamps, and shaping is so much easier than when only using a router. The precision you can achieve is incredible.
Knowing which router table is right for you depends on a few things. One of these is your budget, as the more high-end router tables can do amazing things but do get pretty costly. However, even a more basic router table can still make woodworking a lot easier and neater.
Router tables such as the Kreg PRS2100 are high-performance and incredibly affordable. If you shop around, you're sure to find something within your budget that will improve your woodworking immensely.
2. For the Chef, Whetstones
Most of us have seen chefs on TV thrashing their knives against a metal bar. Most of us have assumed at some point that this was sharpening the blades. Then we've bought one of these bars and found it wasn't quite as effective as we'd hoped.
What these bars do is ‘realign’ the edge of a knife. They're not sharpening as much as ‘un-blunting.’ To sharpen the knife, you need something which removes metal from the blade. Enter: whetstones.
Any home chef preps a lot, especially with meat, knows the value of a sharp blade. A set of whetstones can make your life so much easier, and the process of sharpening is strangely cathartic.
3. For the Gardener, the Greenhouse
Especially for those who live in colder climes, a greenhouse can be a lifesaver for plants. Smaller plants that you don't have room for in the house can over-winter much more easily in a greenhouse.
Even if you can't heat the greenhouse, being out of the elements is a huge difference. Some plants even prefer shelter in the warmer months because they wither under direct sun. It's a significant investment, but it's worth it.
A greenhouse also allows plants that need a lot of light to take in the winter sun. For anyone without south-facing windows, this is a real gift.
4. For the Outdoor Diner, the Wood-Fired Oven
Grillmasters of the world, here is a new challenge. You have perfected the art of the steak and the burger. Now you can add pizza to your love of outdoor dining.
Making pizza at home is great fun, but somehow it's never quite as good as in the restaurant. The reason is that home ovens can't achieve the same temperatures as wood-fired ovens.
A wood-fired oven creates a beautiful, crisp base and cooks the pizza quickly and evenly. You have to taste the results to believe it.
The Bottom Line
The next time you've got a bit of extra spending money, invest it in something that will further your craft. The items listed here are excellent for woodworkers, gardeners, home chefs, and professional cooks.