This interview with RobS is from the August, 2010 issue of our LJ eMag.
1. How did you find LumberJocks and what keeps you coming back?
ScottB, my brother-in-law told me to check it out, he was one of the first here and I wasn’t too far behind.I come back mainly to check out the projects and blogs for something new and unique. First thing I do every time I log in is go to “my buddies” page and see what they have been doing. Then I try to glance through the items that have been added since my last visit. With the sites exponential growth, that becomes a more difficult. It is impressive that even though we are beyond 20000 jocks, it still has a close nit community feeling.
2. Tell us a bit of your woodworking history
While I’ve had several woodworking influences in my life, my older brother and my father stick out in my mind as the most important. My brother did some amazing work in high school and our school shop, near Cleveland, was fairly well set up and well instructed. I tried to follow his lead and I’m sure my very first project in shop was a cutting board that may still be at my grandparents’ house somewhere. My father is more of a lumberjack – outdoorsy type person, thus feeding my interest in many of my more natural and free form projects.
3. I’m always interested in “inspiration” – what inspires your work and your style of work? (And, you seem to do a lot of work with “found lumber” – I love it! How did that start?)
Unique and useful, those are inspiring words for me and my woodworking. I like to make interesting items that I haven’t seen before and yet still serve a purpose. I also prefer to recycle and/or repurpose the wood for my projects or I gather wood from the area around my home. I get some inspiration for what I “see” or envision in the piece at hand. I can collect wood on a beach and, depending on my finds, by the end of my walk will pretty much know what I am going to build, even before I’ve cleaned and evaluated the reclaimed resource. It’s really satisfying to discover diamonds in discarded.
4. What is your favourite tool and why?
My favorite tools are my two micro-plane rasps, one I made a handle for and posted here, another is a smaller one that came with a handle. They can be as aggressive or as gentle as you like when it comes to removing material and are always at the ready, no batteries required.
5. what is your favourite project that you’ve created?
Very tough question; I’d have to say my favorite hasn’t been created yet, it’s still in my mind somewhere waiting for the right opportunity to present itself. I do like gifting my projects and can’t remember them all. I made a small osage orange lamp for my brother and a river birch floor lamp for my father, ironically neither posted here. I am proud of both not for their quality but just by knowing they are appreciated. If I were forced to pick one, I’d go with the TV Stand posted here, as I’m always telling my wife not to buy something because, “I could make that” and on this project I actually followed through.
6. What is the most challenging part of woodworking for you?
At the moment I’d say time and possibly my lack of willingness to attempt a new technique; which I should do more often as I am usually happy with the outcome.
7 What is the most rewarding part of woodworking for you?
Giving, no doubt! Giving reclaiming materials new life and giving my projects as gifts and seeing people enjoy them.
8. What is the best piece of wisdom you can pass on to woodworkers?
Me? Pass on wisdom? Ha! Maybe that’s just it. Have a sense of humor and enjoy what you do.
9. Anything else you would like to say?
When did you say I get the check? Just kidding. I am honored that I was selected for an interview and would like to thank Lumberjocks for giving me a place to share and most importantly a place to learn from woodworkers around the world.
Thanks to RobS for taking the time for this interview and for sharing his wisdom with us!
(The check is in the mail.)
-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)