Ramblings of how I got started

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Blog entry by AngieO posted 08-26-2012 03:17 AM 1664 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Back in 1997 (maybe earlier) I got the bug for woodworking. My husband even bought “us” a scroll saw. Why we started with that? I don’t know. We took it home and we played around with it and the most I ever made was some sawdust and a little craft apple and sign to hang on the wall. I didn’t go very far with that saw or any woodworking. He was going to buy a ShopSmith Pro (I think that’s what it was called, one of those all in one tools). But… considering the one project that I made and his zero projects… he didn’t think we were woodworkers.

So that was way back then. Part of the reason I did not get into it was because I didn’t know what to do and I had nobody to learn from. What tools would I need? What wood do I use? How do I use the tools one I get them and the wood? What would I make??

Then in 2006 I met a friend that had quite the set up. He had every tool I can think of. It is a pretty impressive shop. He liked to drink a bit… well… a lot… so I never got to work in the shop because it seemed that every time we were there he’d been drinking and it wasn’t safe to operate the equipment. He did make me a really nice shelf though. He had made it and I was admiring it and I think he felt bad that I showed such an interest and he never showed me anything. So he gave it to me… and everyone was very jealous. LO! I’m not really around him anymore so that’s not really an option.

So now it’s 2012. I have other hobbies. I’m a sccrapbooker/rubber stamper. I love paper crafts. I also have dabbled in making some quilts. Smaller projects when sewing are more my thing. But I’ve never really lost my desire for woodworking. I guess I’m not your average girl. I LOVE going to Lowe’s. And when I walk by the tool department I always have to go in and check things out. It just draws me in.

I’m not sure what happened. My sister has been living with her boyfriend for about 7 years now. He’s a woodworker. I’ve always known this and have been to their house several times and drooled over his shop and his tools. But that’s all it ever was. I was excited and I knew I wanted to do something… I just never did. I think that the catalyst that really changed things was Pinterest. Funny right? I thought so. My friend introduced me to it and I just went nuts. Of course I was all about the papercrafts and recipes and such. Not sure where it came from but I ran across some items made with pallets. That’s what got me moving.

What was I thinking? In no time I had a stack of wood pallets in my back yard and my husband thought I was insane. (I’ve been divorced so my new hubby had no idea I was ever into woodworking at all). I started tearing these pallets up. I had no idea what I was going to do with them once I dismantled them. I just knew there was a lot of cool stuff that people were making out of them. So then… I called my sisters boyfriend and told him what I was doing. He invited me up to their house and showed me some things. He gets all kinds of pallet wood all the time. And this is nice stuff that’s never been sitting outside somewhere. He also told me that he had a few tools that he had duplicates (or triplicates) of and that he’d be willing to sell them to me. He gave me a great deal. The first day I came home with a miter saw and a ROS. I was thrilled. Actually… that’s an understatement. I was ecstatic.

Eventually I added a few more items. I found a circular saw and a router at the ReStore. ($20 & $25). Then I added a scroll saw (older one), a new router and router table and finally a table saw. Plus I got a workmate table. My sisters boyfriend got me everything but the new router and the stuff from the ReStore. He’s helped me a lot. I’ve been up there a couple of times and he’s shown me quite a bit. I’m very thankful to him.

You can see from my projects the things that I’ve made. I started out with a frame, then a box. Then I got real excited and made a workbench. I was so happy with how it turned out. Since then I’ve made more boxes, more frames and a few jigs. Right now I’m working on a french cleat system. I’ve got the cleats made, just need to make the things I’m hanging on them. I’m making a two shelf cabinet and a small lumber storage shelf.

I’m so glad that I finally pursued my desires to get involved in woodworking. Of course… as many of you know… it’s totally addicting. I’ve been sucked in and I will never escape now. LOL… but why would I want to?

Thank you to all of you for sharing your skills, your ideas and your projects and helping people like me, and many others, move forward with their woodworking dreams.

Yes…. I get quite wordy and ramble on. But I am truly thankful for the members on LJ’s and those who share through blogs and youtube.

5 comments so far

View lanwater's profile


3111 posts in 2957 days

#1 posted 08-26-2012 04:51 AM

Have you checked to see if any adult school in your area offers woodworking classes?

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

View HalDougherty's profile


1820 posts in 3260 days

#2 posted 08-26-2012 11:31 AM

You might also check this website: there may be someone near you with a good source for cheap wood in addition to your pallet wood. I’d give you some slabs and other lumber to get a good start on building things but the freight would be expensive. My storage space is more limited than my wood supply, so every few weeks I take a small trailer of wood to the woodworking shop at my local senior citizens center. I’ve got some cherry boards that are pretty, but they are the outside boards on a small log and they have a lot of sapwood and bark edges. I’m going to take them tomorrow and donate them.

-- Hal, Tennessee

View AngieO's profile


1267 posts in 2170 days

#3 posted 08-26-2012 03:39 PM

Hal… I hope that someday I could have more wood than space. It’s nice of you to donate your extra wood. I will definitley look into that link.

Lanwater… There doesn’t seem to be any local classes. Everything is at least an hour away. It makes it hard to get to. But I will eventually go to a few.

View Campfool's profile


2 posts in 2124 days

#4 posted 08-26-2012 06:29 PM

Great story, thanks for sharing! I just recently, six months ago recent, began woodworking myself. I had wanted to get some tools together and see if I had any talent for woodworking for some time, but there was always this, that or the other odd thing that kept me from it. Like you, Pinterest played a role in getting me started when I did. But what really did it for me was finding myself unemployed, bored and, after nine months of being turned down for employment, becoming depressed. Normally I would have gone camping for a week, or on a road-trip somewhere, but there wasn’t any way I could justify that sort of expense. Then one day, after having aimlessly wandered around Home Depot for five hours with a tube of shower sealant in my hand, I impulse purchased a scroll saw. A few days later a table saw, and so on. Eventually I ran out of money and my family, bless them, ran out of patience. I am no longer allowed in Home Depot alone, and when I am allowed it is only to browse the scrap-wood bin!

Well, I went on for far to long, sorry about that! Good luck!

-- chopping wood & carrying water since 1964

View AngieO's profile


1267 posts in 2170 days

#5 posted 08-26-2012 07:37 PM

Campfool… Thanks for sharing your story. I enjoyed reading it. We don’t have a Home Depot but we have a Lowe’s. It’s getting to the point where the hubby doesn’t want me going there. It’s a bit backwards compared to most my friends. But I can definitely relate. I’ve had a couple of job interviews this week and all I can think is “how long will it take me to get a new table saw?”
Good luck to you as well. And have fun.

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