In 2008 My Grandfathers health took a turn for the worse and the doctors told him he was no longer able to spend time in the shop. He had a well-stocked wood shop with over 50 years of collecting tools and building projects. We also found out that he had collected some tools from his grandfather who happened to own a furniture factory in Eastern Pa. (Still trying to track that information down)
I was fortunate enough to collect a good deal of his tools and start my own basement workshop in the townhouse we rent. I wish I had more knowledge at the time or could have taken more of the tools, but with very little knowledge and even less space, I didn’t know what I would need or want. My main focus at the time was to pick up his lathe. (Craftsmen 1948 103.23070 with a 9” swing and 30” between centers) Grandpa was not much of a turner, but towards his later years I hung out with him and made some oak drum sticks. Not the best wood to make the sticks out of, but they worked!
Some time passed and I turned a pen and pencil set for him for Christmas. Even though they were terrible, I believe that was the only time I had ever seen the old man tear up that didn’t involve whiskey and a John Wayne movie.
Grandpa passed away on Sunday, June 21, 2009. One of the greatest men I ever knew. He was an Army vet, wood worker, steamfitter, John Wayne aficionado, and all around an awesome grandfather. I am convinced that his passing had a good deal to do with not being able to work in the woodshop anymore.
To any wood worker, I would say the greatest thing any of you can do is to share your hobby / craft with any of your children, grandchildren or great grandchildren. Grandpa had a huge impact on my life and the fondest memories of him that I have of him always involved him teaching me something or sharing the things he loved. From fishing trips on his boat, John Wayne marathons that grandma was none too fond of, to woodworking, and even trips to the hospital usually related to mishaps in his shop.
Let’s Get Woodworking and I would encourage you to bring along someone who you think might enjoy the hobby, or someone that might just want to spend a little time with you. It is never too early to start some woodworking memories. If they are not old enough to work the machines, you can always hand them a sanding block.
-- MolokMot, Rocker, Woodworker, Geek