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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? - sroxberg - 04-06-2017

I was lucky and my neighbor was a retired High School woodworking teacher with only one child and she didn't have any interest in the hobby or the full shop of tools. He was amazing and I'm still fifty years later trying to live up to the quality that he produced with tools that are no where near as high quality as the ones I've collected.

Shows you that the Artist is more important than the tools sometimes.

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

I needed stuff around the house I couldn't afford to buy or it didn't fit. So I built it. And Norm.

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

Got Started; Grade school and Junior High wood shop and mechanical drawing classes. Also helping Dad as he worked various home remodel projects. Learned a lot about being the "helper" on the job and anticipating what would be needed at hand next.

Later on; Various remodel projects on my own houses, putting to work the things I learned from Dad, Norm and other TV tutors. Also began working with a couple of small general contractors where I picked up and honed more skills. 

Later still; Built a wood shop incorporating lots of Norm designed shop cabinets and tools. Then began putting all that to work building and honing more skills. And most recently I've gone to work full time at a local cabinet and millwork shop. More OJT....

Also, I've always subscribed to the usual suspect periodicals that fed 'the beast' and kept the interest fires stoked. 

And last, but not least;  WOODNET.NET.  A great community of saw-dusty people who provide feedback and inspiration along the trail.

All the Best,

RE: So How Did You Get Started Woodworking? - sawdust703 - 04-07-2017

I'm kind of a black sheep here. I got started about 25 years ago by my brides' & Sawbones push. I spent all my life in the trucking business. My Dad had trucks, my Grandfather too. From the time I was old enough to be around Dad & the trucks, that's what I learned. I've been around equipment & tools, mechanics & hard work my entire life. We done all our own tire work, engine, transmission, & rear end rebuilds. I learned to weld & use a torch. So using my hands & mind came second nature. By the time I was 14, Dad had me in a truck & on the road. My Father was no carpenter, by any means, nor did we have need for the equipment.

My Grandfather built the house my Mom now lives in. He was a pretty decent carpenter. But he passed away before I had a chance to get to know him.

My bride & Sawbones decided, like I said, 25 years ago, if I didn't quit eatin', sleepin', thinkin', & drinkin' trucks, they were going to drop me in a deep hole, & soon. So, she decided I needed a hobby. And woodworking was what she chose. I started reading, & reading, & checkin' books out from the library to take on the road with me to read about the equipment, wood, finishing, you name it.

Well, I came in off the road one week end & my bride had things set up for us to go look at some used wood tools. We came home with my first tablesaw, RAS, router & bits, scroll saw, & a few hand tools. She had a room cleaned out in the basement she told me was going to be my shop. So, between her & I & a friend, we moved our meager tools to the basement. By the time we were done, it was time to pack & leave again. At that time, I was out 7 - 10 days at a time. From the time I left til the time I got home, she kept telling me to remember, this is a stress reliever & a hobby, not a job. So, long story short, I'm self taught, too. I've built shelving, cedar chests, desks, cabinets, dressers, things like that.

In 2009, my health started goin' south, & I was drivin' for an outfit that kept me out 3 - 6 weeks at a time. My health kept goin' down hill, & in 2012 I finally had to give it up completely. I was 46 years old. Over 30 years on the road, & I was having to learn a new life. I dove into my woodworking, & have just kept learning. In the 25 years I've been wood working, I've also perfected the scroll saw. It has been my challenge. I sell some, give away more than I sell. I'm 51 now, had two major back surgeries, & by medical standards, considered handicapped. Unable to work any more, my shop, my wife & dogs are my life. I just do what my body & the good Lord tells me to, & just live life on my terms. My apologies for the long post. I've learned alot here. Thanks for allowin' me aboard!

RE: So How Did You Get Started Woodworking? - ianab - 04-07-2017

As a kid I had always thought that it would be cool to be able to start with a tree and make something useful, You know, a table, or a bed or... well other stuff you might want.

This takes a bit of an investment in equipment, so family and work commitments got in the way of doing this for many years. Eventually things worked out that I ended up single and was able to set up with some gear, Chainsaws, portable sawmill, and some basic workshop tools.

Now I have new and understanding wife, new family, my tools and some basic woodworking skills. So I'm now the "go to" guy for the family and kindergarten. Kids have new solid timber loft beds, We eat off a nice solid table made from a single cypress board, from a tree that I cut down myself. If I build something it stays built Big Grin   Still working to improve my skills and make some nicer looking stuff, it's a gradual process.

Heading down to the Kindy tomorrow to do some running repairs on the big plywood playground climbing boxes. A spare Port Orford Cedar board cut up to make some new corner braces / feet will have the gear good for a few more years, and save them a thousand or so $$. Naturally decay resistant species like the cedar means it will last a while, even sitting on the damp local ground, and avoids any fears of using treated timber around the kids. Not any sort of fine woodworking, but very practical.

My Father was also a "do anything" sort of guy, A Farmer in the traditional Kiwi "fix it with some #8 wire" sort of attitude. But he preferred to work with a welder, fixing his farm machinery. Never went down the metal working track, and ended up with electronics and woodworking as my field.

RE: So How Did You Get Started Woodworking? - museumguy - 04-07-2017

My Dad was always a "handyman". He could do almost anything, I saw it, Big Grin . I helped him occasionally. When I was about to graduate high school, I realized that I had no real skills or training. I bounced around from job to job, totally lost. I landed a job at a trailer park as a painter. I had some home improvement skills and soon started doing other projects at work. One day, we had a call for a busted sewer line. As I crawled under the trailer, I became covered in raw sewage. That night, I had an epiphany. Why not do something that I enjoy doing as my career. I started looking for a woodworking job. I found one in May of 1988 at a museum exhibit fabrication shop. Over the next 30 years, I worked in the museum industry and general millwork shops. I got lucky and had some of the best teachers guide me along. I learned so much in a short amount of time. As I look back over my career, I can honestly say that I am very proud of the projects that I got to work on around the world. All of this has spilled over into my time away from work. I have a fairly full shop, only problem is that I don't get to use it as much as I would like to. Hopefully in the near future, that will change.

My biggest influences as a youngster were my Dad number one and a neighbor across the street. He had the coolest woodworking shop. I wish that I had the chance to thank them both but unfortunately, I never did. Hopefully, both of them are looking down on me and smiling, knowing that they had a positive influence on  my career.

RE: So How Did You Get Started Woodworking? - Dave Diaman - 04-07-2017

I have been making things since I was old enough to hold a hammer. About 10 years ago I decided I wanted a piece of furniture and couldn't afford to buy it so I built it with the tools I had. After finishing it I decided I would try to sell it to buy some new tools and just build myself another one that would be better. I advertised it on Craigslist and within a day I sold it and had orders for two more. Fast forward to 2010 when my wife and I had our first child. We decided she would quit her job as a computer engineer and stay home with the kids as we had one more on the way at that point. That is when I became a lot more serious about actually making money with my hobby/job at the time. I already had a decent customer base and a good back log so we though we could make it work. It has been a lot of long hours in the shop over the last 7 years but I love what I do and am happy we decided that my wife would stay home with the kids. I may put in 80 hours a week plus time with the family but I honestly think my wife works harder than I do. Smile Here is the first piece which started it all outside my little two care garage shop that I worked out of at the time. 

 photo HighBoy017.jpg

RE: So How Did You Get Started Woodworking? - TGW - 04-08-2017

I don't know where and when the story starts but I know that sometimes around 1870 my great grandfather started out as joiner and carpenter. During his long carreer he worked both locally in Österbotten and at the imperial shipyard in St Petersburg and in Riga and in USA before he settled down as a tenant farmer and later bought the farm.
Out of his sons one became a joner and one (my grandfather) became a carpenter and boat builder in their home parish in Österbotten and one became a sawmill worker in Grays Harbour in USA and one became a logger in British Columbia.
My father used to help my grandfather on some carpentry jobs in his youth and though he went on to become an electrical engineer he has always done both carpentry and joinery for our own needs. When I was in my early teens we built a new garege and rebuilt the house entirely and did around 80% of the work ourselves.
My uncle also started out as a carpenter's helper but he went on to become a welder and machinist. Over he years he has built half a dozen wooden boats as a hobby and also built several tractor sheds and boatsheds and he also operated his own small scale sawmill as a side income for some years.
My aunt married a carpenter who later turned welder.

Coming from this family it is sort of impossible to not get into working either wood or metal or both. I don't know when I started working wood because I was too small to remember it and I have been doing it ever since. I got into metalworking after I learned some basic forging in school shop classes at age 14-15.

RE: So How Did You Get Started Woodworking? - daddo - 04-08-2017

It really Began I'm told when I was 4 or 5. I received a toy tool kit for my birthday which included a small metal hammer- back then, plastic wasn't always used for toys.
While my mother was outside hanging clothes on the line, I was inside banging on the furniture and broke two lamps. My first antiquing job! My mother must have liked my work because she said; "Just wait till your father gets home"- I'm sure she couldn't wait to show him my skills.

RE: So How Did You Get Started Woodworking? - Arlin Eastman - 04-08-2017

^^^^^ Now that was funny^^^^^