Well, here’s to my first “blog” entry! My name is Chet, and I’m what most people would consider a pretty fair sawdust maker. I grew up on a farm in southwestern Wisconsin, Crawford County was “home” to me. I learned basic carpentry from my dad, and from my dads’ dad. Grandpa never really got into doing much for woodworking until he retired from farming, and him and grandma moved to Prairie du Chien. Shortly after that, he bought a new Wood-Mizer band saw that he kept back on the home farm (I think so that he could escape spending time with Grandma!), and started making various items in the garage from wood he had milled and dried himself. He started out with little knick-knacks, then moved on to making stuff for each of his 4 kids, and growing number of grandkids.
Inside his garage suddenly got to be “where to be” when visiting. It was calming, educational, and always a place to improve young skills. His skills got better with each project, as well. My parents still have a toilet paper holder and a bookshelf that were crafted near the beginning, and his last project hangs proudly in my bathroom. The difference is astounding. My dad hasn’t followed quite the same path as far as staying with woodworking, but he still does a lot of rough construction.
I chose a life 200 miles away, building high end windows. And acting as a hobbyist woodworker. One of the gentlemen I went to church with encouraged me to pursue this hobby a bit more, and we spent many days talking projects, or smelling the richness of skill that only sawdust can yield. Sadly, Don passed away in March of 2009, the victim of brain cancer. Before he headed to a “better woodshop”, as he’d call it, he and his wife dropped a bomb on me. They wanted to give me all of Don’s equipment, after his kids got what they wanted. Although it has been years now, I still feel his presence whenever I fire up the table saw, and I here his laughter every single time I goof on a dovetail. “Someday”, he’d say.
Since his passing, I’ve developed some decent skills, enough to make me proud, and as I’ve often heard from my mentors, I’m the only one I need to impress. I’ve done lots of boxes (all lacking dovetails!), signs, plaques, a single clock, shelves, and tons of shop items.
That’s all for now, Thanks for reading!
-- Proudly creating designer firewood since 2010!