I’ve always been “handy.” My dad is extremely “handy.” He was an electrician, working on commercial buildings in Chicago when he was younger. Then he restored 356 registry Porsches in our garage. Despite being a full-time tax lawyer, my dad never paid someone to do something he knew how to do himself. As a result, we’ve done our own drywall, electrical, plumbing, deck-building, renovations, etc. for ever. And being the only son, I was the “helper,” although a pretty crappy one—I wish now that I had paid a LOT more attention. But since I got married and had a daughter, I’m in the same position: I can’t (and won’t) pay someone to do things I can do myself. As a result, I had a fair collection of basic tools. But I was a “handy man,” not a woodworker.
My daughter, “Destructor,”
thought that one of our kitchen drawers was really an undiscovered jungle gym, put there for her entertainment and mild exercise. My wife calls her “Hannah,” which is what we named her—I think it’s unfair that you have to pick a name out before you know enough about their personality to pick an appropriate name—hence I call her “Destructor.” Anyway, being the crappy 1/2” melamine that our cabinet drawers are, the score after one inning was Destructor: 1, Melamine: 0. Our cabinets are a strange mix of crappy and nice. The drawer fronts are solid maple; the door fronts are solid maple frames with maple plywood panels. But the boxes are crappy melamine. A neighbor buddy had recently sold his house and gave me all of the scrap wood in his garage, which included some simple pine furniture and shelves that I broke down into boards. And my brother-in-law had recently hipped me to the Kreg pocket hole system. Because the drawer front was in good shape, I had 3/4” pine and 1/4” hardboard to work with, and armed with a cordless drill and a Kreg K4, I thought . . . I can make a new drawer! And I did.
And I was hooked.
-- "Sometimes the creative process requires foul language." -- Charles Neil.