Today my father-in-law, Doug passed away. Doug was an amazing man who was full of compassion and love of life. He was an inspiration and mentor to me in so many ways, one of those was was his passion for woodworking.
One day, shortly after Shari and I got married 28 years ago, we were visiting and I went to see what Doug was up to in his workshop. As usual he was working away on yet another project and welcomed me in. He asked me if I ever tried woodworking. I explained that my only experience was in high school woodworking class where my teacher said I was useless and agreed to pass me on the understanding that I never touch another woodworking tool as long as I live. Doug said, “Well lets put an end to that nonsense right now!” with that he put a hand plane in my hands. Putting his hands on mine he guided me in some slow passes over the piece of maple he was working. As I pushed the plane, I was fascinated as the thin shavings of maple effortlessly curled up from the freshly honed blade. The spark was lit that day.
Shortly after that day, I started my first project which was an oak coffee table with shaped cabriolet legs, quite a substantial project for a total newbie with Doug always at hand to help as I worked. He gave me guidance each step of the way but made sure I was the one doing all the actual work. I worked away on the table in my garage knowing that Doug was a phone call away if I ran into difficulty. The table was beautiful and ended up featured in Canadian Home Workshop magazine later that same year.
Over the past 28 years and countless projects, I always looked forward to having Doug come over to see and critique my latest projects. He was always a source of encouragement and was my mentor in so many ways. Sadly Doug is no longer here but I will remember him fondly every time I pick up a tool in my workshop, especially as I watch the curls of wood from my freshly honed hand plane!
I will miss you Doug!!!
-- Jim in Langley BC Canada --- www.sollows.ca