This interview with dbhost is from the October 2012 issue of our Lj eMag.
Q:) 1. How did you first get started working with wood?
A:) While I came back to woodworking in my late 30s, I have been working with wood since I was about 5 years old when my grandpa gave me a Cub Scout knife for Christmas. I took immediately to carving rockets, bugs, faces and other items into small bits of wood, limb pieces that came off the trees on our property etc… I loved wood shop class in Jr. High and High School.
Q:) 2. What was it about woodworking that initially caught your interest, enticing you to get into it at the level you are now?
A:) My dad is a woodworker, my grandpa, my great uncles on back as many generations back as family records go. I guess you could say it is genetic. I was raised to believe it is better to build than buy if you have the capacity.
Q:) 3. Tell us a bit of history of your journey from that beginning to where you are today
A:) From the beginning carving with that old Cub Scout knife, which I still happen to have by the way, until now, my woodworking has grown in fits and starts. I was very active in woodworking, and wood shop until I got out of high school, and then a 20 year dry spell until I actually married my lovely wife in 2007. The interest never left, but she is very supportive, and actually likes what comes out of the shop. She has helped me hunt for the bargains, put up with the wood chips in my pockets, and even given me ideas for projects. I have a long way to go still, but sometimes, it’s not the destination that is the whole point, but rather the journey itself right?
Q:) 4. What inspires you regarding wood creations?
A:) In college I studied art, and engineering, I am a devout Christian, that has lived in Texas and Arizona for the last quarter century. I take my influences from classical arts, architecture, industrial design, religious themes, and of course Southwestern / Mexican Rustic themes. Aside from that the online communities I am involved in such as Lumberjocks have given me great inspirations, and helped me to set some pretty lofty goals!
Q:) 5. What are the greatest challenges that you have met along the way? (and how did you overcome them)
A:) Working in a garage based workshop in a suburban setting in Texas means that I am within close proximity to my neighbors bedroom walls, and it is HOT. I have been running air conditioning as long as I can to cool the shop down, and THEN run the power tools for as short of a period as I can. I use hand tools to the best of my ability. So much so that my jointer is getting lonely… My current project is wiring a sub panel and circuits in the shop, and insulating the walls. That has been years in the making and I am excited about getting it finished.
Q:) 6. What is the greatest reward that you have received from woodworking? (personal or tangible)
Q:) 7. What is your favourite tool that you use for woodworking?
A:) I tend to get a little grief because I have a shop full of cheap tools, but I have to say that the title of favorite tool is a toss up between my Ryobi BT3100-1 table saw setup, and my Central Machinery 12×36 cast iron lathe… The lathe is more fun to use, but the table saw is really the heart of my shop…. It’s so hard to pick a winner between those two!
Q:) 8. What is your favourite creation in/for your woodworking?
A:) I have to say still, the simple Cross Mantle Clock that I made as an anniversary gift for my wife. It’s pretty straight forward construction, but it is so beautiful to look at, and I really put my heart into every single piece I make for her…
Q:) 9. What tips would you give to someone just starting out or currently struggling with woodworking?
A:) I would contradict the guys that have dropped a ton of money into top dollar iron and tell them don’t worry about having the biggest or fanciest tools. Use what works best for you, and enjoy the process. Now mind you, my advice is pointless for a pro, but for a hobby woodworker, this is supposed to be fun right? Get advice on what you are doing, and don’t rush the project. Rush jobs come out bad and are no fun. You don’t see guys going out to go fly fishing and try to rush to catch a couple of fish so they can go right back to work do you? Enjoy it, and if you can, enjoy the process with a friend or family member…
Q:) 10. How did you find LumberJocks and what is it that keeps you coming back?
A:) I stumbled on here during a visit to The Wood Whisperer site. I keep coming back because of the people, and the projects I see completed here. This site has about the busiest completed projects section of any woodworking site I know of…
Thanks to dbhost for taking the time out of his busy schedule to do this interview. (Good luck with the re-doing of your shop!)
-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)