How did you come to be in woodworking?

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mel wrote:

My father was a carpenter and I pretty much picked up the love for woodworking from him. Grandfather was an iron worker.
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My father while never a career carpenter learned everything he knew from his father who was. All through my childhood my dad was fixing or building on to the house or cottage. He was never a "woodworker" just liked to build and fix things.
A couple of years ago at age 21 with the help of my father I bought my first house in October. He came to visit in December and while he was visiting we decided to build a room in the basement for me to live in. (lived with my sister at the time and I let her have the master bedroom and the room accross the hall was to be set up for her unborn child) Everyday when I got home from work I would head down to the basement and work on it with him. We never got completly finished while he was here but it was habitable. The unfortunaly 3 months later he passed away. While at the funural everyone that I had talked to had said when he returned from the trip all he talked about was how much he enjoyed building with me and being able to pass on his knowledge.
It was from that point I decied to give carpentry and woodworking a go. Turns out I really enoyed it and was hooked. When my nephew was born I decieded that he needed a place to store his toys, and maybe a place to sit. So I decied to build him a bench and toy box. Being my first real woodworking project I was really proud of it even though it could see the obvious flaws.
Now a year later with her out of the house I have decided that it is time to buy a table saw and start on the list of projects for around the house.
Being only 22 and willing to try my hand at new projects I figure I have many years of sucess and failure ahead of me.
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get
A common one - sick to death of dealing with Technology and a strong desire to build something tangible.
Grandpa putter'd in his basement woodshop. Don't think he was a craftsman by any stretch. I do have one amusing/fond memory of his work, tho'.
He was fond of making "Seasonal Yard Art" - plywood Santa's, Angels, Pumpkin's, Easter Bunny's, ad naseum. One year, I guess he was struggling for an idea to celebrate Spring. I must've been early teens, it must have been late 1960's...
Well - God Bless this man, because Grandpa's judgment may have been a little off that year. He decided to do a big plywood cutout of a African American boy. Sitting, legs crossed - you guessed it - black-face and eating a large slice of watermelon.
(Not a racist bone in this man - in fact, his father's place was a stop on the Underground Railroad in S. Illinois and Grandpa used to tell me stories about helping people make it North.)
Must've been only out there for a few hours - as all I had to do was point it out to Grandma, who *fixed* the situation right quick! :)
Our time together was shorted by Alzheimer's. Love you Grandpa - and I do miss you, very much!
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mttt wrote:

Hey, this stuff *is* technology. Before woodworking, we were living in caves.
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On Mon, 19 Jan 2004 19:15:29 -0500, Silvan

A wooddorking shop is merely a larger, less-smoky, more well-lit cave, sir. <grunt>
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Larry Jaques wrote:


My point exactly! Silvan this is why I tell you not to round off your mallets all the way, they're just genteel clubs. %-) Besides sometimes int's nice to have a flat side to strike with. Dave in Fairfax
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Larry Jaques wrote:

Fewer cave bears and saber tooth tigers too, fortunately.
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Silvan wrote:

But I MISS the taste of bear, that's what the big mallets are for. <G> Dave in Fairfax
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On Tue, 20 Jan 2004 22:43:41 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@fairfax.com wrote:

A few years ago I spent a summer at Denali Park in Alaska. The grizzly bears I saw, luckily from far, far away, probably miss the taste of you! <G>
I swear some of those things are 12 feet tall.
Barry
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"B a r r y B u r k e J r ." wrote:

Hey, I'm crazy not stupid, I try to fight in my own weight class. That's why God made black bears, burger size. Dave in Fairfax
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On Tue, 20 Jan 2004 17:14:18 -0500, Silvan

On the wrong day a cabinet saw or a shaper could be either of those animals! <G>
Barry
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B a r r y B u r k e J r . wrote:

Granted, but at least they don't poop.
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On Tue, 20 Jan 2004 21:15:27 -0500, Silvan

Perhaps not, but YOU DO when they turn on you and show their teeth.
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25+ years in software... Some days I'd give anything for a cave and a fire.
This man's my new hero: Ned Ludd born c.1790
Born in Anstey, he lent his name to the legendary General Ned Ludd and the Luddite movement which was partly inspired by the French Revolution and the writings of Thomas Paine. For a time the Luddites enjoyed great power through sabotage and machine breaking across the country. There was, however, little bloodshed and they seemed to enjoy popular support. Their cause was acceptable working conditions and the restoration of reasonable compensation for loss of work. The movement ended when over a thousand Luddites attacked a mill in Lancashire in April 1812 and were repulsed by troops. Little is known about Ned, though his name carried the weight of armies.
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Let me drop some line too about my history. My last name is woodworker(nadjari), does it mean anything? yes, this was may grand grand father's job. My two brothers are woodworker too. But this not the reason why I got to woodworking. about 10 years ago I migrated to US and one day I stopped in a furniture store with my wife, she was going to buy a side table for $300, which was a lot of money for me. I told her give me $50 and I build it for you, I got the money and bought some wood and built a table. it came out very bad :-( then tried the next and the next one. Now I have all kitchen, many tables, cabinets, entertainment center and keep it short a 30X40 garage shop and also I built my garage myself. so happy now and I enjoy a lot just like all of you. Thanks Maxen
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On Sun, 18 Jan 2004 13:55:20 +0000, mel wrote:

I had a girlfriend once and, after a few beers, she asked to see my tool. I showed her my garage and shop, and that made all the difference in the world.
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wrote:
What's your story?
Growing up my family had a picnic table that my grandfather built. It was made of cedar and treated with that red "stain". Don't remember what the stain was called. Anyway, the table was about 20 years old when I was 12 and one of the supports for the legs fell off, rotted. I called Mom at work and asked her to bring home a piece of wood so I could fix Grandpa's table. Over the next few years more pieces were found rotten and replaced. Finally, as with all things, it had to go. When I was 21 I built Mom a new picnic table. I did save one piece of Grandpa's table to use in the new one. Grandpa's table lasted 29 years. Mine has been sitting under Mom's tree for 13 now. Hope mine lasts like Grandpa's.
Now I enjoy woodworking with my sons. Joshua, 5 and Adam, 3. This spring we are tearing down the old playhouse from the previous owners of our house and building a new 2 building, 2 level fortress complete with rock wall, slide, rope swing, bridge, and a nice water canon feature for those really hot days.
But mostly I, like others, will not pay others to do something I can do myself.
Nick
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My story begins the same. My grandfather was a cabinet maker and my father worked in his shop all through high school and college. My grandfather died at an age of 62 from lung cancer and my father kept most of his old equipment. Dad went to college and became a math teacher but always stayed in cabinet building, whether it was for family or the church, etc, never really for profit though. I started getting into it shortly after high school and have been learning from him ever since. Now all the equipment is in a shop that I built because there's more room and it's heated. A couple of month's ago I started a custom cabinet building business as a part-time job and it's keeping me busy as I want to be at it. So far it's been dressers, vanities and entertainment centers but now I have my first order for a complete kitchen.
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Sounds like most of us had pretty similar starts into our addiction.
My grandfather owned a truck stop. Not the new-fangled, Flying J type, but the old school, classic road house type. By default, my father ended up working there, since he had always hung out there as a child and that's just what you did back then...help out with the family business when your old enough to do so. Changing split ring truck tires, being a diesel mechanic, welding, and all other things associated with keeping a truck stop in business is what kept my father occupied for most of his early life. To say that he was (is) mechanically inclined would be an understatement. He went on to be a towboat chief engineer and is now, on the threshold of retirement, working as an engineering rep for a petro-chem shipping company.
Woodworking is a bit different than metalworking, even given their similarities. Dad made things and did repairs around the house out of necessity. Pride and a lack of money kept him from hiring a carpenter, plumber, electrician, etc. At work, Dad had access to all the proper tools needed and they were mostly of the best quality. At home, however, the tool selection was scanty and of the lowest quality (cheapest) that could be had at the time. Our projects were pretty rough, given the lack of always having the proper tool for the job, but I didn't know any better as a child. I was just thrilled to be hanging out and "helping" Dad with his list of honey-dos.
I picked up the beginnings of my mechanical and woodworking ability by wanting to be like Dad. It wasn't long before I was tearing apart and rebuilding the lawnmower (not that it needed it), building pretty elaborate tree forts out of scrap lumber, and tinkering with just about anything that could be tinkered. I know now how valuable it was to learn how to "make do" with what I had available tool and material wise. It taught me to think, improvise, and do the best I could with what I had. I'm actually amazed at some of the things I was able to accomplish.
As a teen, I worked as a fiberglass fabricator and learned more about power tools. I had access to various quality tools; including a RAS, table saw, bandsaw, and pneumatic tools, which were new to me. After work and on off days, I was able to experiment and build as I pleased. That is how I learned...either OJT or trial and error. Respect for equipment and attention to detail were picked up during this phase and applied to other facets of life as well. Time spent in that shop groomed ideals that I still follow today.
Since then, I've done just about everything from rough remodeling work to building some nice furniture. I now support my income and tool acquisitions habit with carpentry work and a little furniture building from time to time. Plus, I can't imagine anything more therapeutic than the smells and sounds of woodworking. OK...maybe a grill, hammock, and margarita, but not much else!
C Ya, Mikey
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    Greetings and salutations.     I came to it through the painful necessity of living in a 50 year old house, owned by a university professor (my father). Since there was not much cash to spare, we did a lot of rebuilding on our own, so my carpentry skills got built up pretty quickly.     I am also, by nature, a problem solver and "fixer", so, repairing furniture and building stuff to make life easier was a natural step.     Now, I do it to stay saner after having to wrestle with the complexities of keeping computer systems and networks up, and, creating web pages and such.     Shop time is good time.     Regards     Dave Mundt
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