I know, when it comes down to it, you never really stop learning in this, or
any other game, but I am curious as to the backgrounds of the woodworkers
here. Where did your learn your trade/hobby? Passed down thru the family?
trade school? your own?
Also, if you could pass on one line of advice to the next generation of
possible woodworkers, what would that one line be?
reading, hanging out on the Wreck (believe it or not! :) )
and just "going for it". Like I said before, it isn't
rocket science, but there is a LOT to learn. The FIRST
thing to learn in my opinion is how to work SAFELY!
In school, I took the mechanical drawing, woodshop & metal shop classes.
Pop was a general contractor and I worked for him in the summertime.
Had to drop out of college when I was 20 and went to work for IBM. The
computer biz was it for the next 38 years, but I always had a small shop
in the garage. Built an addition on my first house and built my second
house - a 3000 sq. ft. tri-level. Added a 2nd 2 car garage & shop to my
thrd house. Just got the shop the way I wanted and moved :-(
Involuntarily retired but had the foresight to invest for 4 decades, so
retirement is starting to grow on me :-)
Invest 10% of everything you earn and don't touch it for anything but
"A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always
depend on the support of Paul." - George Bernard Shaw
Apparently genetically from both grandfathers and my father ... all
self-sufficient, problem solving men to the core, who believed in doing for
themselves, and who were all inately convinced that it there was anything
one individual could do, they could accomplish also.
BTW, this has been asked, and replied to, before:
Also see my "A Gloat of Magical Proportions" post a year or so ago:
Start young. I still have the hand saw with which my grandfather taught me
how to start a cut on a board some 55 years ago ... I can still feel that
big hand over mine showing me how to use my thumb as a guide.
My father was always an avid WWer, and he learned from his very skilled
grandfather. We've got a number of pieces that "Dado" (my
great-grandfather) created. While some of them reflect Depression-era
scrounging, the craftsmanship is impeccable.
Be safer than we were. ;-)
Seriously, learn to take safety seriously. And by "seriously", I don't
mean relying on stock guards. Examine the procedures, and decide
whether the stock guard *really* makes a cut safer. Don't forget that
the manufacturer's lawyers really don't care if you're mangled, just
that they're relatively immune from liability if you remove a poorly
designed guard to make a simple cut.
Kevin's right about the safety. The best advice is to think it ALL the way
through, and look for where something could go wrong. The only problems
I've ever had woodworking (or elsewhere, really) were when I ignored that
By the way, the genetic response is probably environmental ;-) Problem
solvers, 'do-ers', builders, artists, helpers, teachers, etc. all bring a
host of followers along with them, as they porceed through their lives.
And we are all blessed because of it.
My dad doesn't understand much of what I do for a living, but he knows very
well why I'm successful at it, because he and Mom, and those before them,
were living examples of those principles.
The first 100 editions of a magazine Woodsmith.
Better yet, first 70 editions.
If they ever made a Coffee Table book of them,
it would be a great book to put on a new coffee table.
Seems to me, you already understand the most important lesson.
Working wood is an infinite phenomenon, the apprenticeship lifelong.
I learned my trade on paper first, as an architectural designer for a
third-generation store fixture manufacturer. It is easy to own the
tools, but knowing what to build is damn hard. Pencil and paper may
be the most valuable tools in your shop.
A world renowned architect, Charles Gwathney, told Charlie Rose that
to acheive quality of design, you have to assimilate with the eye and
articulate with the hand...what could be a better description of man
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.