This interview with gfadvm is from the January 2013 issue of our LJ eMag.
1. How did you first get started working with wood?
I got started in WW because I needed a new indoor activity. I made bits and spurs for many years until the saddle shop where I sold them closed due to the death of the owner. I thought that I might enjoy WW even though I had zero experience and no WW tools.
2. Tell us a bit of history of your journey from that beginning to where you are today
I bought a Ryobi tablesaw and mitersaw and attacked some piles of scrap. I made some stuff for our house that my wife deemed acceptable. After my dad died I salvaged a bunch of lumber from his barn and made some tall folding chairs. They were a lot of fun and to my suprise, people wanted to buy them! I have always insisted that my hobbies pay their own way so this inspired me. I bought more/better tools as I sold more chairs and built jigs, router table, sleds, etc. I found Lj when looking for WW information and I’ve been hooked ever since. I am a total beginner and everything I know about woodworking, I learned on this site.
3. What inspires you regarding wood creations?
The projects posted inspire me to try to improve my skills. My greatest challenge has been trying to create quality
projects without having a lot of expensive tools. The solution seems to lie in setting up all my tools to maximize their accuracy (and practicing on a lot of scrap).
For some reason I really enjoy working with difficult or “flawed” woods. I try to let the wood dictate what it wants to be and have become addicted to building boxes. I can’t explain my fascination with boxes but I think it is because they are always an exercise in problem solving.
4. What is your favourite tool that you use for woodworking?
I honestly don’t have a favorite tool but I am definately a “power tool guy”.
5. What is the greatest reward that you have received from woodworking?
There is something very satisfying about starting with a log and ending up with a decent project.
6. What is your favourite creation in/for your woodworking?
I have a real fascination with wooden hinges and live edges thanks to all the help and inspiration I have received from my fellow LJs.
7. What tips would you give to someone just starting out or currently struggling with woodworking?
As far as advice for newbies to WW, I am hardly qualified but I would say don’t be afraid to try new things and ask advice from others. I bred, raised, trained, and showed reining horses for many years and I find a lot of parallels with WW: If you are going to better yourself you have to constantly challenge yourself and not be afraid to make mistakes and accept help from other people who are successful.
Thanks to Andy for taking the time to do this interview and for sharing his story with us!
-- ~ Debbie, Canada (http://www.execulink.com/~yohan)