I am new to your neck of the woods but have been making sawdust, firewood and various useful objects from wood for some time. My grandfather was a sawyer, millwright, carpenter, general builder and stone mason and I learned much of what I know from him. I worked for him in the summer and after school for three years when I was in high school and much of what he taught me stuck in ways I never understood when I was a kid. I have a cherry table leg that is about three quarters turned. It was in Grandpa’s lathe when dad cleaned his shop out after he died. There is a prominent spot on the wall of my new shop for that leg when I get to it. I am now in my mid fifties and hope to pass on the love for trees and what can be made of them.
My shop occupies 1/2 of a 24 by 48 metal pole barn. The shop half is insulated and has a wood stove in it. I live in Wabash, Indiana and it can get cold in the winter time. However a wood stove in a 24×24 ft room can make things pretty toasty if your walls have six inches of insulation and the ceiling twelve or more. I am partial to the craftsman and mission styles of furniture with out being a slave to any design. and most of my projects come out being influenced by those styles.
For my daily bread I write programs for a local company that manufactures brass fittings for water distribution systems. it is very useful to take your morning coffee break with a master toolmaker with a full machine shop and foundry and sit around and talk with a bunch of mnaufacturing engineers. We can also use the tool room’s machine shop in off hours :)
When not in my shop I am a musician and an actor. I play bass in a country gospel band, sing bass in the church choir and act in the local community theater group whenever they have a role for a fat old guy with a deep voice. I have made many props and sets for theater productions. Creating illusion is a wonderful thing and can test your ingenuity. It is amazing how much you can do with 1 by white wood, luan, styrofoam and a little bit of paint. That kind of project is very different from the normal shop project that you want perfect. Theater work only has to look perfect. However, it does have to be finished on time!
My current project is to build in cabinets for the lanudry space. However, the lady of my life has informed me that I have to get the plumbing done and the dry wall finished before I could go “play” in the shop building cabinets. I hope to chronicle the cabinets after I get the walls prepared to recieve them. This project is close to the end of a four years and counting remodelling project that I hope to complete before I die. I do believe that I live in a cathedral: a building project that is never finished.
-- My mother named me Hamilton, I have been trying to earn my nickname ever since.