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So How Did You Get Started Woodworking? - Printable Version

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RE: So How Did You Get Started Woodworking? - Bill Holt - 04-06-2017

My dad could do anything, almost.  So I credit him for giving me a similar attitude.  1978 I designed and built (without nail or screw) a 14' workbench with drawers, doors, and lighting.  No time for anytime until 1990 when I sold my very small business.  For almost three years I helped a friend and learned finish trim out.  1999 we bought a house and I spent 6 months remodeling half of it before moving in.  Three yrs. later I remodeled the master suite.  We wanted a new bed and night stands and found something we really liked but it did not feel like real wood.  It was called "French Oak" and was $5000.  I told Susan I could do "something" for a lot less.  I spent many nights drawing and finally came up with a plan.  Again my goal was no metal fasteners. That Mahogany headboard took a long time but I was hooked.  Since then I think I have designed and built some sixty pieces for churches, family, and friends.

Every bit of advice I ever needed and received came from WoodNet. I lurked for years before joining.  Thank you to all.  Two people who made specific impact are John Fry who told me "go for it" on a particular table design; and Carolyn (Ms. Norman) who shared her specific steps for inlay.


RE: So How Did You Get Started Woodworking? - CLETUS - 04-06-2017

Woodshop and watching Norm when I was in highschool got me hooked. Then I didn't do anything for 8-10 years after high school. Then I got into rehabbing dumps into rentals. Then I got married, bought a house and gutted it (almost got divorced in the process). A couple years later our first was on the way so I decided to build a cradle. That's when I found WN. Everything I've done since has been because I wanted a challenge. Complete the challenge and move onto the next. Just looking for the next high...

I haven't done much the last couple years, between being a school board member, a coach and trying to make sure my kids turn out as decent human beings I haven't had much free time. I go out to the shop, have a couple beers and just look at my stuff.


RE: So How Did You Get Started Woodworking? - jteneyck - 04-06-2017

Good reading, with so many different paths to a hobby or job we all share in in its many various forms.  For me, I started woodworking/carpentry seriously around age 25 because my wife and I couldn't afford to buy the furniture we liked nor hire contractors to do the remodeling we wanted to do.  Even when I could afford contractors my experience with them was almost always (and continues to be) poor.  I took a couple of shop courses in junior high, but by no means did I know anything about wood working.  Like many, I learned by reading and failing and persevering.  I'm still reading and failing and learning; hopefully, failing less and learning more.  But always reading.  So I'm self taught but much of it comes from reading and studying what others have learned over the centuries.  There are so many great woodworkers from the past; I'm in awe of what they did with the tools available to them at the time. 

Now that I have some level of competence I'm drawn to projects that offer a new challenge; the arched French door project was a recent example.  Projects that present a problem to solve or require me to learn a new skill are ones I'm most interested in.  Of course, I still have to fit in projects on the home front, too, to keep the peace. 

When I was working I fit my woodworking in on nights and weekends.  Projects often took a really long time when I'd have to leave to go off to Europe or Asia for a couple of weeks.  Now that I'm retired from the demands of corporate life I can devote as much time as I want to woodworking and for the past 7 or 8 years it's been my new "job".  So far it's been the best job ever.  

John


RE: So How Did You Get Started Woodworking? - GeorgeV - 04-06-2017

Working with my father as a child, he encouraged me and allowed me access to his tools as I learned to use them with his guidance.

We had hand tools and small power tools (drill, sander, jig saw). No stationary power tools. We built items needed in the home and did house maintenance.

I have his picture in my wood shop looking over my shoulder as I work at my bench. While I have added a TS, BS, DP, lathe, etc. to my arsenal. I still prefer the satisfaction of working with hand tools and am most thankful for his instruction and patience.

I cherish his hand tools and use them with respect and fond memories.


RE: So How Did You Get Started Woodworking? - Arlin Eastman - 04-06-2017

It was two years after I was in the bombing in the middle east and had a lot of depression problems.  My VA Dr. told me a hobby would be best for me and my wife agreed.  I seen a magazine called Woodsmith and my wife bought it and that is how I found my way here.

I was the last the VA could buy tools for which Obama stopped after that and they bought me all Grizzly cabinet TS, 15" carbide insert planer, 6" carbide insert jointer, and a big 5hp 17" cut bandsaw.

Everyones advise was to take up carving and being very dumb I thought it was a sissy thing to do (I now want to learn and seen the error of my ways) but really loved to try Turning.

My wife went to the local library and picked up the Dale Stubbs DVD on turning and I loved how his joy of turning and just working with wood over joyed him.

And that is the story of now I teach other vets how to turn and wanting to get a non profit and a building so they do not have to wait for me to get well or out of the hospital to turn.


RE: So How Did You Get Started Woodworking? - Arlin Eastman - 04-06-2017

(04-05-2017, 09:36 PM)Paul K. Murphy Wrote: I built this at age seventeen.

Either that is your dad or you do not age very well. Laugh Laugh Laugh


RE: So How Did You Get Started Woodworking? - Herb G - 04-06-2017

Simple. 8th grade shop classes. I made a bowl & a cutting board.
Moved on to bigger & better things in high school.


RE: So How Did You Get Started Woodworking? - EP - 04-06-2017

Dad didn't know the working end of a screwdriver, but my maternal grandfather was a big time DIYer.  Back in the 50s he introduced me to a lot of stuff including power equipment, couldn't use it but knew what it was.    Had WW in 7th grade shop and caught the bug.   Have been in and out  but mostly in for the last 30 years  (am I that old????).   Norm helped pushed me to step up.  I am looking forward to retirement soon and will make WW a much bigger part of my life.   Love making stuff to give away,  people are thrilled to get something handmade.


RE: So How Did You Get Started Woodworking? - Bill Wilson - 04-06-2017

My Dad worked in the building trades all his life and was a consummate DIY'er.  I was exposed to tools early & often.  When I was old enough I helped Dad on side jobs and worked with him during the summers, through high school.  Dad did mostly electrical, HVAC & plumbing, but I had opportunities to do some masonry, roofing and carpentry as well.  After high school, I got married and moved away.  Found a job as a carpenter for a small contracting crew, primarily building new homes for 2 years.   I really enjoyed it (mostly) until the bottom fell out of the housing market in 1980.  I had more of an affinity for making sawdust than the other aspects of construction, but I learned enough to build my own house in the early 80's.

Woodworking sort of evolved naturally out of the carpentry experience and my preference for sawdust.  I just gradually refined my projects a bit beyond 2x4's and 16d spikes.  After almost 40 years, I'm proud to say I've attained the level of a marginally competent hack.  I've made some furniture for my kids and grandkids, so that they have something to remember me by when I'm gone.  Some time ago, I picked up scrolling.  I started out making Christmas ornaments for my school age kids to give to all their various teachers/instructors.  Now I'm actively trying to fill their houses with decorative fretwork of dubious practicality.

While I'm not married to woodworking, it is my only real hobby.  I don't drink, smoke, drive fast cars or chase fast women.  I'm pretty boring, actually.  Woodworking keeps me out of trouble, serves a practical purpose and helps make a few people happy from time to time.


RE: So How Did You Get Started Woodworking? - oakey - 04-06-2017

pretty much the same story as some others i became a wood worker out of necessity not enough money to buy things my wife and i liked so i read a lot picked my really handy dads brain, read magazines, and now use the internet
learned as i went and i am still learning
started with craftsman tools and a small area in my basement built my second home and have built all off my household furnishings with the exception of stuffed furniture
over the years collected some real tools more than i really need and now have a very nice pole barn workshop to work in
lost my wife several years back and now spend a lot of time in my shop making stuff for my kids and friends just to stay busy i have no TV so i entertain my self working with my hands
three years ago i decided to move and bought an unfinished home [a shell ] no interior no kitchen ,flooring .trim , bath ETC
it has taken me almost the whole three years to Finish the home and i just now have completed the kitchen cabinets so now i am wondering what ill do next to stay busy
i am 75 years old and know my old body will not be able to do heavy work much longer maybe have to switch over to making toys but i love to be able to do things RE work with my hands