How did you come to be in woodworking?

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On Sun, 18 Jan 2004 13:55:20 +0000, mel wrote:

Dad was a general contractor, and from an early age I was with him to many of his jobsites, and when in my teens I worked full time in the summers.
Also took all the middle and high school shop classes - mechanical drawing, metal shop and wood shop.
First year of marriage, SWMBO bought me a RAS for Christmas. Still using it today after 33 years.
Added a bedroom and two bath addition on to our first house doing all the work ourselves. Later on, we built a 3000 square foot tri-level home. I also built some of our furniture along the way.
-Doug
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High school shop class. I got strait "As" If I had got the the same in math, I might have become a nuclura scientist.
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not to mention spelling...<g>
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I got into woodworking via marriage. My wife, though I haven't been able to document it, must've been related to Sarah Winchester, the sole heir to the Winchester Arms fortune.
That needs some explaning for the rest of this to make sense. Sarah was a superstitious lady who was convinced that the souls of all the people killed by the Winchester rifles were out to get her. A psychic told her that as long as she kept building onto her house they'd never find her. And that's what she did. Must've been a contractor's nightmare because she had them build stairs that end at the ceiling, closets that are 3 inches deep, beautiful stain glass windows with another wall a foot from their outside faces, columns installed upside down and a third floor door that opens into a light well.
If you ever get to San Jose, CA go see The Winchester Mystery House, just for the woodwork - lots of nice stuff.
So back to the woodworking topic. Wifey, apparent heir to Sarah, was also an Interior Designer (not decorator) After purchasing our first house my woodworking (and plumbing, electrical, stucco etc.) avocation began.
"Let's move the kitchen over there and make this room into a dining room. And see that window, make it a large sliding door. And that door, make it a window and put the sink in front of it. And since you're moving the kitchen over there, take that washer and drier and put them over here, behind the wall you're going to build. Oh and there should be louvered bifolding doors to hide them. Now this wall between the new dining room and the living room - open that up for six foot bifolding doors as well. And when you're done with that how about converting what's left of the one car attached garage into my spinning and weaving room?
Note that bearing walls, iron vent pipes, copper pipes and wiring are never a consideration in any Interior Design class. "Just cut a big hole, trim it out and put in the doors/cabinets/windows etc.."
And that's how I got my first power tools - a good Sears drill and a Skil worm drive circular saw. They came in handy when I got to convert half of a four car detached garage to a jewelry shop. Water, gas electricity, sewer line, insulated walls and ceiling and painted sheet rock - with carpeting of course.
Many years later, and another wife and a few "significant others", I got the entire four car garage to play/work in. Conveniently, I also FOUND NORM and was reborn!
Not long after that I found this group and what a blessing that was. There was a whole world beyond Norm and the later discovered Roy. Krenov and Nakashima and Maloof, Stickley and Morris and tools that didn't require electricity. DeCristaforo and all those joints, shellac!
And that's how I got on the slippery slope.
charlie b
ps - I think guys are either genetically programmed or are trained to solve rather than just describe problems. Woodworking fills a basic need for males - an infinite number of problems to solve - forever.
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mel wrote:

I like making useful stuff. I especially like making useful things from other peoples' castoffs. <g>
A goal I have is to be able to prototype anything I can think of (hopefully for profit <g>.) I bought a tap and die set to put an aftermarket fence on my contractor saw and the metalworking bug bit me. Today I found affordable welding classes in my area. ;-)
Plastics and ceramics are sure to follow. I alreadly know quite a bit about TTL and LRC circuits.
"From Ideas To Devices!"
-- Mark
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