Okay, so technically, I’m not a true beginner. However, all the knowledge I have on woodworking and carpentry is based off of the hodge podge of information that I gathered from my father as we built my parents house during the entirety of my young life and teen years. Not to mention the tons of books and internet sites that I have read or browsed through in the last few years. That being said, it can easily be understood that a lot of the information I have was either wrong from the beginning or is now wrong because it was too long ago to remember. Step one is admitting I have a problem.
Now, with some space to call a workshop and an understanding wife, I feel like I can finally push myself out there and live up to what I have been telling friends and family all my life: I can build anything. Obviously I’m in over my head already, but I love a challenge.
My Brief Background:
Not to give you a full autobiography, but here is where I’m coming from. I was born and raised in Northeast Oklahoma near the Osage Hills. My father was about as handy of a guy as anyone knew which surprised most everyone seeing as his day job was one of three pharmacists in a small town. My mother was crafty with fabrics and decorating and seemed to know just what to do for any situation which served her well as a nurse in that same town. (No, I didn’t go into medicine, but I did take a first aid class once.)
During my childhood, my father decided that we were not going to be the rednecks living in a trailer forever and decided to build an entire house piece by piece over the course of about twenty years. Early on I was the hammer holder or the re-measure boy and eventually was promoted to fellow designer and “hey, build me a wall while I’m at work,” guy to my dad. I learned a little about everything you can imagine in carpentry and house building. Framing, roofing, plumbing, wiring, tile laying, installing cabinets… You name it. On top of that, my father made sure that his son knew enough about a car to be able to fix it on the side of the road if the case may be, so I learned quite a bit on automotive repair as well.
My mother drug my father, my sister, and I around the country side during the colder months to go to craft fares and antique malls. I’ve seen more history than I can recall rusting on a shelf with a half price sticker and seen some of the most beautiful items created out of wood or other scrap items laying around the house. I grew up appreciating what a craftsman was and knowing that all people had the ability to create given the right tools.
With this background I found myself in college being the only guy in the dorms with a complete kit of do-it-yourself hand tools. As cool as that sounded I was mostly leaned upon to fix random furniture and do the occasional car diagnosis but never really seemed to get much respect for my abilities. College itself wasn’t the best environment for me anyway and I was horrible at booking it on things that didn’t really spark my interests. Five years and a low GPA degree later I finally made myself in the adult world and got what amounts to a real job.
As an insurance agent, my experience with cars and carpentry helps a bit. Mostly, though, I find myself using handyman skills to fix the copy machine and answer the random question about someone’s heating system. Now you’re reading this and thinking I’m unhappy. Actually, I like my job. It’s challenging and I get to help people on a daily basis. But, its not where my mind is.
So, over the last few years that I have been living here in Kansas City, I have slowly been building up a tool kit the I feel I could actually do some work with that I could consider worth while. The good news is I finally found the time and space just recently to put a serious shot at it. Now, this decision was based off of the assumption that I needed certain things (tablesaw for instance) in order to actually get started. The more I look into I’m realizing I could have been doing this in the little apartment that I had before I was married. Oh, well.
So that is basically where I’m coming from. I’ll post more about myself later (probably today since I’m new hear and I have a lot on my mind now). Stay tuned and make sure you give me some advice along the way. It takes a village to raise an idiot like me… (Wow, that was a lot funnier in my head.)
-- He said wood...http://hickbyassociation.blogspot.com/