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Looking for a (constructive?) hobby.
How bout painting miniatures? if you get really good you can make some serious cash painting armies for people into warhammer and the like.
Stercus, Stercus, Stercus, Morituri Sum
edited November 2013
My recent-ish fun 'making stuff' hobbies are:
chainmail (which I would recommend, it's not all that difficult and you can definitely start doing it pretty cheaply)
polymer clay things (small charms, tabletop gaming terrian/other stuff if you're into that)
dapping, you take sheet metal or precut shapes and stamp letters/designs into it with a hammer and a dapping stamp.
Of those three, polymer clay was the cheapest for me to start doing, you can just buy a small packet of clay for a couple dollars, and then make what you want from it. (I also then painted it and sealed it, and added charm hoops for hanging the charm from things, but that's not super necessary depending on what you are making.) You can mess with clay for under $5 if you want to.
The one I would recommend the most is chainmail.
This site is a great resource, and this guide helped me a lot when I was getting started
. You can get two pairs of pliers for a dollar or two each (or super cheap) at most hardware stores (teethless if you are going to work with soft metals that aren't steel). I would recommend Harbor Freight if you have one nearby. If you get into it you'll want more expensive better pliers, but that's just a luxury. You can order rings, which costs quite a bit more but is much faster, or go the cheaper labor-intensive route (which I like doing as part of the hobby itself) and wind the wire into coils yourself, and then cut the coils into rings. You can get started for pretty cheap I bet. You'd need pliers, a spool of galvanized steel wire, cutters (I have an expensive set of mini-bolt cutters because I like working with stainless steel. I doubt you'd need that for galvanized steel wire), a way to coil the wire (I was pretty lucky and my dad owns a lathe I can use, so I bought
and insert the size I want into the lathe and then just wind my wire up. There are non-mechanized ways to go about this for sure though.), and I think that's about it. The best supplier around is
The Ring Lord
if you decide to order rings/wire instead of starting cheaply with hardware store things. Their shipping a bit much because they are based in Canada, but their prices are still the cheapest, even with the shipping if you are ordering more than just a few smallish things. Their selection is amazing as well.
I mostly make jewelry and small pouches/bags with chainmail, using aluminum wire and stainless steel. Someday I'll make chainmail armor, but that's a big investment in time and money.
Dapping is a lot of fun and can also be done cheaply. You can get a cheap alphabet stamp set
, and sheet metal/stamping blanks at lots of places online, or even in some hobby stores/craft stores. You'll also need a heavy hammer, sheet metal cutters if you go with sheet metal, a drill of some sort to drill holes into the shapes you cut out, and an anvil/bench block to stamp on. (also chain etc. to attack your finished product to. I often make my own chains using chainmail techniques.) This hobby is fun, but I only pull out my dapping toolbag every few months when I need to make a gift for someone, it's not really an everyday hobby.
I would also recommend crocheting if you think it would appeal to you at all. (Some people call chainmail 'crochet for dudes' but I think crochet can be crochet for dudes, and plenty of women make chainmail stuff as well.) I also sometimes do some simple weaving using an inke loom, but I don't think that's something you'd be into and you'd have to build the loom yourself, or else buy one for about $90. I've done a bit of whittling/wood working and it's something I would definitely recommend if you have the space and means. Candy making can be a lot of fun too, especially if you get into making hard candies and such. I've made a few candles and it was fun, but not something that hugely appealed to me, it was very paint-by-number because molds are necessary.
Usually every christmas I pick up some new hobby and have my family gift me the tools/supplies I need for it. This year I am probably going to get into making my own terrain for tabletop gaming using Hirst Molds, but I haven't done it yet, so I can't say exactly what the entire thing would involve. (and it has an expensive-ish buy-in, about $100 for the basics from what I can tell.)
If you're into tabletop gaming at all, you could always take up miniature painting. It's cheaper now than ever with the new Bones line of Reaper Miniatures. And if you're not into tabletop gaming, that can be a hobby all on its own, though not really a 'create things' hobby (unless you decide to say goodbye to all your money and build a warhammer 40k army.
(This got long, whoops. Hope you finda hobby you love!)
Making your own Go board is awesome though, I'm actually doing that myself. I bought a cheap square solid wood table from a Goodwill shop and I'm going to cut the legs short and then sand the entire thing down and draw the grid on the top. It won't be a traditional full goban, but ah well.
Here's a thread I made last year while doing research into making my own, I decided against going with any fancy screenprinting/whatever, but there's some good info there.
This is another good resource, though sadly a lot of the links are lost in time.
Another link with people talking about making their own/how they made their own, with some photos
I'm going to make a few really cheap MDF go boards using this guy's method to practce with drawing the grid before I use the table.
Especially a 9x9 and a 13x13.
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