The entire time I was reading this story, I was smiling from ear to ear.
I want to share it with all of you now.
What is your inspiration story?
Who did you watch, what was their hobby, and how did you get involved?
As a young boy I worked with my father and grandfather learning any and everything they would show me. My dad was brilliant with his hands and could fix almost anything. My grandfather used only hand tools and would get materials from his land. Everything including the house my Aunt lives in now was cut and milled on the ground it was grown on. As I grew I started working with a restoration company restoring old homes.
Some of the homes we worked on, we would live in for months in while rebuilding and replacing the architecture that was in the original home. This allowed me to save money and go to college. After leaving college and working in a different carrier I have found myself wanting to get back to the old methods of woodworking. Now I have the time to do it for fun and not money.
Power or hand tools? Why?
This is an argument that can run very deep. It is the same as asking do you cut tails or pins first. Please keep in mind these are my beliefs. I do own power tools I just don’t use them much. I do not have any problems with those who use power tools. They are great and fun to. Here is my reasoning.
First, the toolset is so much smaller. You do not need as many tools to produce the same project.
Second, simply its cheaper. A piece of quarter round takes a saw and two hand planes. If you do it with power, you will need a table saw, joiner, router table and a sander.
Third, I get to know the wood. I learn the woods grain structure. The way it is split, cut and prepared makes it stronger.
Fourth, it is faster. If I need to make 2 drawer fronts I can have them cut and planed before most have their table saw and router table are set correctly.
With that said hand tools are easier and faster for one project. Production work is for power, to me hand tools are for the soul. Look at the centuries of fine furniture that have been made by hand tools and sit in museums and homes today. Not one electron was killed.
What advice would you give to someone just getting started in woodworking?
Find your path. Read, research and investigate all methods. There are many ways to reach the same goal. Which one fits you? Ask questions. You will find the average woodworker is happy to help and share with you. The communities local and online are every where and most of it only costs your time.
If you could build one thing, what would it be? What is your dream woodworking project?
A chest of drawers done in a traditional Japanese method. I would want to use their materials and joinery methods with only hand tools. I would love to learn to do blind mitered box joints, just to name one. This would be only with a few years of instruction from a master. There is a reason there temples have stood for over a thousand years. Japan has a lot of earthquakes to test this.
How did you come up with your nickname?
Do you remember Super Dave Osborne the stunt man? As most of his endeavours would not come out the way he planned. And I loved the humor he portrayed. That is the way a lot of things work out for me. Funny and messed up.
What inspires you regarding woodworking?
Learning the next step in the preparation of my project. There is always something new to learn. Half the fun to me is finding that technique that may not be written down anywhere. So much was passed by word of mouth from master to apprentice. A lot has been forgotten and only with looking at the tools and the furniture they made are we able to unwind these mysteries.The other half is reading and learning from people such as you. Also uncovering the beauty under the bark. I love to see what the grain looks like with a good finish on it. Then to see the faces of the people that take possession of the project.
What are the greatest challenges that you have met in your woodworking journey?
Doing the wood justice in my humble attempts at a project.I am my own worst critic. The project is never good enough. So after it is completed I don’t want it to leave my possession because I know every flaw in it.
I am a novice and know so little.
And, how did you deal with such challenges?
The internet of course is a wealth of information. One of favorite ways is to post here on Lumberjocks and other websites my problem or question. The help you can find or get is great. Most will give you reference to their thoughts and ideas. I do believe there is more than one way to skin a cat. And with that in mind you will have a few ways to approach the issue. The other is to search locally for groups and people that know the trade. This is a bit harder to find but they are out there.
What is the greatest reward that you have received from woodworking?
Making heirloom pieces that my grandchildren will pass down to their kids. I try not to use mechanical fasteners of any kind. Wood is a moving substance that will never stay where you put it.
What is your favorite creation you’ve made in your woodworking?
I did a set of Music Books that are little boxes that were carved to look like books. I had some of the materials obtained through two LJ’s. That and the fact I made them for my wife make them very special.
How did you find LumberJocks and what is it that keeps you coming back?
I had known of this site’s existence for a few years before joining. I found the need to interact so became a member. I have since made dozens of true friends her. Some have past on and I reflect on their wisdom and knowledge. That which I would not have learned unless I met them here. To me a woodworkers heart is big, kind, giving and friendly by nature. They want others to pass on what they know.
So teach a child something today so they will have skill tomorrow.
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