I am a 67 year old retiree that is currently working on build Matthew Teague’s elegant chair. It has stretched my problem solving and woodworking skills, as well as, I believe, stretched my mind in general as much or more as playing Bridge.
I’m sure all of you have seen on the news the recent troubles with Lumosity’s claim of mind exercises that work to prevent dementia. In the news stories, all the “experts” say that you can receive just as much benefit by playing Bridge, which my wife does in several groups. I don’t enjoy playing bridge, but when these “experts” come on the news, I get the comments like “You should play bridge with me and our friends to improve your chances of not ending up drooling in some nursing home!”. Now I do a lot of other things with our friends, like organizing road trips and dinners out, but I do not want to play Bridge.
I am writing this as one of the first steps to start a movement of woodworkers (and hopefully some studies,that’s the only thing that will convince my wife) that beleive woodworking really is mind expanding. I am hoping to get some help on Shop Talk Live by asking them to discuss this very important topic. I would also ask the Fine Woodworking editorial staff and their research departments to consider this for an article.
To all you younger woodworkers, just remember you will be old some day your wives will want you out of the shop doing something to stimulate your mind. Wouldn’t it be nice to show them the support for woodworking’s positive effect on the brain!