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So How Did You Get Started Woodworking? - Printable Version

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So How Did You Get Started Woodworking? - gMike - 04-05-2017

I suspect that there may be a lot of common themes but it would be interesting to hear folks decided that woodworking was what they were going to do with their free time, or their work time for those who make their living this way.

In my case my Father always messed around with a little woodworking but he wasn't what I would call a serious hobbyist.  I was raised around tools and was always familiar with common tools.  I got into wrenching on cars which claimed my time for a number of years.  Once I got a little older I started messing around with small wood projects around the house - shelving, 2X4 workbench (which I still use on occasion), and a couple of lamps.  I added tools as I could afford them and got a little more ambitious with my projects.

I've done a little reading on the subject but am mostly self-taught, mostly by learning from my mistakes.  I've incorporated some other aspects of woodworking like a little free form carving/sculpting of projects most of which end up on LOML's Etsy site.  I enjoy the process of woodworking and the basement shop is kind of my relaxation now that I'm retired and have the time to spend puttering around.  It doesn't matter how long it takes and if I don't like how it's going it never sees the light of day.

What got you going?

RE: So How Did You Get Started Woodworking? - dg152 - 04-05-2017

At the time I was living in Des Moines. I had done some basic woodworking around the house but nothing serious. Then I became friends with one of the graphic artists at Woodsmith Magazine. He took me on a tour of the Woodsmith offices showing me all the furniture that had been made as part of their articles. I looked at those beautiful pieces and said "I want to do that." That was in the mid 80s. Since then I've collected tools as needed and made a number of projects from easy to complex. Woodworking is relaxing (okay, sometimes it's irritating when things don't go right) fun, and gratifying. It's something I'll do for the rest of my life.

RE: So How Did You Get Started Woodworking? - daddo - 04-05-2017

Started when I was 16. Actually it's a long story. You can read about it in my next book titled; "You should burn that!".

RE: So How Did You Get Started Woodworking? - wood2woodknot - 04-05-2017

Became interested in chip carving and other flat work years ago due to my FIL, but never time because of family and work. Retirement meant finding something to replace the creative aspects that were a major part of my job. Decided it was time to learn to use hand tools. Always loved the look and touch of wood. So woodworking would be a new challenge to keep my hands busy and my mind creative.

RE: So How Did You Get Started Woodworking? - zaret - 04-05-2017

great thread, thanks for starting it.

in my early 20s i bought an old two-flat in chicago - built in 1902.  started renovating it, with zero experience and even less confidence.  the downstairs unit had the original trim and built-ins from the 1900's, the upstairs had a fire in the 1950s that gutted the unit and it wasn't restored to original.  i remember seeing the old oak built-in downstairs and thinking "one day i have to replicate that upstairs."  started reading magazines, getting a few tools, playing around.... took 10+ years, but i finally made the upstairs built-in:


by the time i got around to making it, it was really quite an easy build relative to other things i've made.  but, the results are incredibly satisfying, given the drive that started my life woodworking.

--- dz

RE: So How Did You Get Started Woodworking? - goaliedad - 04-05-2017

I was raised in sawdust. My father had worked as a carpenter and I helped him build a 2 car garage when I was in first grade, then proceeded to remodel most of our house. When we go married we bought a fire damaged house and did a total gut rebuild. Over the years I have progressed to more "fine woodworking", but continue to try to get the fine part figured out. Luckily my wife supports my addiction to sawdust

RE: So How Did You Get Started Woodworking? - jppierson - 04-05-2017

Junior high woodshop, Boy Scouts carving and pioneering merit badges, followed by junior year woodshop, bought a house that had decent bones but poor decor. Finally retired, started buying old hand tools, renovating them and learning how to use them. The serene action of rejuvinating old rusty well worked tools, then making shavings is a great way to ease PTSD.

RE: So How Did You Get Started Woodworking? - AgGEM - 04-05-2017


RE: So How Did You Get Started Woodworking? - Paul K. Murphy - 04-05-2017

I built this at age seventeen.

RE: So How Did You Get Started Woodworking? - appletonrc - 04-05-2017

I took a wood class in middle school and built a desk. My interest went dormant until just after college when my girlfriend saw a crafty sign at a store and I said I could make that. I got a jig saw and a sander to make that sign. I then started getting tool after tool. Now with kids I don't get as much time in the shop as I used to but its still nice to get out there every now and again.