What to do on weekends? How about getting a little education? There is an excellent community college near Concord—Middlesex College. I like to take advantage of the one-day offerings that allow students to cover material of their choice in six hours. It is like a crash course for working adults looking for a bit of self-improvement. Extra education never hurt anyone, and for me, it is all about learning something practical. The school calls in “adult enrichment” and have devised a vast program of offerings from American literature and history to cooking and metalwork.
Surveying the course descriptions, I found the welding idea to be very intriguing, a skill I can use from time to time in my garage shop. I have a few woodworking tools but would like to expand my repertoire a bit to be able to solder and weld. I see in my mind’s eye a whole array of attractive metal sculptures displayed on a nice wrought iron shelf. I also see basic repairs to the patio furniture and backyard fence. Welding opens up a whole new world for do it yourselfers who want a new challenge. If you’re going to pursue this hobby, you need to spend some time on this web site finding out what new equipment you’ll need to buy.
The course teaches the basics and then focuses on one personal project that each student can undertake. They give you a choice of customizing your motorcycle or bike, making a barbecue grill or small fire pit, or a bracelet or bowl for the wife. You can make a sign, a hunting stand, or garden art. They all sound cool to me and it is hard to choose. I want to do them all, and I might if I have a natural proclivity for the craft. First I have to master the process and learn basic safety. You must wear gloves and a visor, of course. You have to understand the risks and dangers if things get out of control. I know this well which is why I am taking a course instead of going off on my own.
I have looked at home metalwork projects on line and am very impressed with the idea of a metal gate with decorative trim. I also see a funky chandelier that would be a real eye-catcher over the dining room table, or even on the covered patio. There is a wealth of experience on the Internet into which you can tap once you get the basics under your belt. YouTube videos show how to use metal rods, tubing, mesh or strips to fashion into latticework, bars, or whatever your creativity unveils. Otherwise, you can do all kinds of mundane repairs around the house and yard, not to mention the office. People will come to you with their requests. I just want to get started and see where this new hobby will take me. I hope the road is long and adventurous. Everyone needs something fun to do in their spare time.