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8 posts in 373 days
Location: Bedford, Texas
I have been in the construction industry all my life. Currently, I sell industrial and commercial insulation products. I grew up in the hot and mosquito infested swamp they call Houston, Texas. My first brush with cabinetmaking was the discovery of an old woodworking shop on Buffalo Bayou when I was a kid throwing newspapers. It was a center line shaft shop, with belts turning the various tools and their Coke machine was six cents. You'd insert a nickle and a penny, turn the crank and the small bottle dropped to the hole. The bottle opener made a swishing noise and the first sip was always so very good. I remember Albert the most, a big burly man with a full beard and always sweaty. His leather apron was dark and worn like an old bomber jacket. They used hide glue and it smelled terrible. They said it was made from old horses hoofs. They made beautiful furniture and allowed us to watch occasionally.
My father was a mechanical engineer and my mother an artist and they had a large family. I enjoyed spending time with my mother learning to paint, sculpt and do gardening and learned about man things from my father, from fixing things around the house and learning to fish and hunt. I began working in a restaurant when I was in the sixth grade and mowed yards on Saturdays. I had saved $3,000 by the eighth grade. But the life changer was 1969 when after eighth grade, I went to California for the summer and worked in my grandfather's furniture shop (my mother's father). There I learned about building oak frames, tying springs and upholstering furniture. To this day, I think of him every time I hold one of his tools, my favorite being the Stanley 101 trim plane that rides in my apron pocket.
Beginning in the 1970's I served apprenticeships first as a frame carpenter, then a finish carpenter and learned from old school ways as our specialty was restoration of Victorian style homes. I actively traded in antique builder hardware, lumber and eventually commercial advertising, such as signs, brewery items and some antique tools. We built a cabinet shop and made trims and items such as beaded ceiling, which was not available. I understood what it was like to plane wood until your arms turned to jelly, use handsaws, miiterboxes, hammers, Yankee screwdrivers and folding rules. My skills transcended to cabinetmaker later and power tools.
I specialized in commercial furniture, fixtures and trade show exhibits and had my own business; later selling it for personal reasons in the middle eighties just prior to the real estate crash in Texas and the end of the oil boom. It would have wiped me out if I had stayed in business back then. I spent the next few decades raising three children as a building engineer and then later in my current role as a sales and now district manager.
Now, later in life, I have a hobby of woodworking and antique level and wooden plane restorations. I list items on e-bay and enjoy the friendships I have made there as well as with other woodworkers. I have a small shop and spend a lot of my time getting back in touch with using hand tools. I am also a freelance writer.
-- A craftsman is not judged by the tools they have, but rather by what they can do with what they have..
|commented on||Level Vial Boxes From Recycled Wood Levels||299 days ago|
|added project||Level Vial Boxes From Recycled Wood Levels||299 days ago|
|commented on||Don W's Workshop||299 days ago|
|commented on||Roubo Workbench||365 days ago|
|commented on||Levelonlevel's Workshop||366 days ago|
|added project||A Display Shelf Made From Two Antique Levels||372 days ago|
|commented on||Bench||372 days ago|
|commented on||Hand Tool Journey #10: Stanley SW #3C Rehab.. Done!||372 days ago|
|added workshop||Levelonlevel's Workshop||372 days ago|
|signed up||Levelonlevel's Profile||373 days ago|