If you were to google the term “router,” the first several links presented to you will refer to WiFi routers that are vital to Internet connections in our homes and businesses. However, to the woodworking aficionado, the first thing that comes to mind is a “hand tool or power tool that routs (hollows out) an area in hard material, such as wood or plastic.” (Wikipedia)
So it was for me in the fall of 2016, when I received an email from my employer, Oracle Corporation, congratulating me on my 15 years of longevity with the company. I was presented with a list of gifts I could choose for the occasion, including things like golf clubs, clocks or watches. Things like that didn’t appeal much to me, but fortunately, a Visa gift card was also an option.
So, using my 15 year employment anniversary gift card, I purchased a router (the wood kind). This proved to be a catalyst for my growing passion for woodworking. As I took the time to use that router, I became starkly aware that time using my woodworking tools was a lot more fun and satisfying than doing my professional day job, which I found increasingly dreary, frustrating and unfulfilling.
Now, almost four years later, with Oracle in the rear-view mirror, I still love that router. I broke it out today to do some finish work on a shop stool I am building. An ironic unintended consequence of the employment anniversary gift? A hastening of retirement for me.