Hobbies are essential for a man. They help him cultivate new skills, keep his mind and body sharp and meet new people. Plus, they give him something cool to talk about.
But how do you know which hobby is right for you? The best way is to try out a project. Below are five manly project options. One might even lead to a long-term hobby.
1. Restoring a Car
Working with cars is one of the best-known manly hobbies there is. One of the most rewarding car projects you can do is restoring a classic car. There’s a bit of a learning curve, but once you get into it, you can easily spend entire days in the garage returning your car to its former glory.
Before you get into this pastime, you should be aware that you’ll need to dedicate a considerable amount of time and money. Beyond the initial purchase of the car, the restoration will cost thousands of dollars and take about 1,000 hours. A car restoration project also requires a lot of planning. Consider joining a local classic car owner’s club, and take some time to learn the skills you’ll need from club members, friends and family and by taking classes.
If you have the time and money, this is a great project to undertake. If not, you can still test the waters by learning how to make simple repairs on a car you already have.
2. Brewing Beer
Microbreweries are popping up all over the place, and there’s no reason you can’t get in on the brewing action. Just think about how cool it will be to offer your buddies a beer you brewed yourself when they come over to watch the game.
You can buy a kit with all the equipment and ingredients you’ll need, or pick your gear yourself. The essential equipment includes a fermenter, airlock, kettle and siphon. The main ingredients include malt, hops, yeast and water. Your first brew might not taste like your favorite brand, but remember practice makes perfect. Once you’ve got the basics down, you can start experimenting.
3. Refinishing a Table
Woodworking is a classic manly hobby. A great way to get started with it is by refinishing a table or another piece of furniture you already have. This project will give you a chance to get familiar with some basic woodworking skills, and at the end of it, you’ll have something you can proudly point to and say, “I did that!”
To refinish a table, you’ll need stain, polyurethane, some stain brushes, sandpaper, tack cloth and, ideally, a belt or orbital sander. First, you’ll sand the table to remove the stain and clean off the sanding dust. Then, you’ll apply stain and sand again before applying polyurethane.
4. Forging a Pair of Tongs
Can you imagine grabbing burgers off the grill with a pair of tongs you made yourself? Making tongs is an excellent first project for those interested in getting started with blacksmithing.
You may be able to find a blacksmith near where you live where you can go to try out your first project. If you’re committed to learning how to blacksmith, you can also buy your own tools. You’ll need a forge, tongs, clamps, a vise and an anvil. Of course, blacksmithing involves extremely high temperatures and can be dangerous, so it’s best to have someone with experience show you how to do it at first.
Once you’re set up, you can start making your tongs, which you can later use as one of your blacksmith tools or for other purposes. Other good beginner projects include S-hooks, nails and bottle openers.
5. Starting a Beehive
If you want a hobby that’ll be a genuine conversation starter, consider beekeeping. It’ll take some time to learn what you need to know to properly care for a beehive. The behavior of bees varies depending on where you live, so consider joining a local beekeeper’s club if possible to pick up some local knowledge.
An excellent beginner project is building your first beehive. There are lots of tutorials for making them online. You’ll need some lumber, nails, screws, wood glue and some basic tools. You can start with one beehive, and if you want to expand later, you can easily add more.
Whether you turn your project into a long-term hobby or not, anytime you undertake a new project, you learn something new and become a more well-rounded man. That’s why projects and hobbies like the ones listed above can help bring out your inner manliness.
Photo provided by the author.