Introducing Myself

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Blog entry by MikeB posted 08-27-2010 04:57 AM 1098 reads 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

First, thanks to all who made such nice comments before I ever made a post on LJ. Here is a belated introduction.

I somehow caught a DIY bug earlier this year. Don’t know why this happened. In 19 years of marriage and 15 years of homeownership, my work has consisted of precisely: hanging one store bought cabinet and putting up a few store bought shelves. That’s it.

When I was 16 years old, I spent six weeks of the summer as a carpenter’s helper at a 40 unit or so home development construction site. It was a lot of labor – carrying boards from here to there, sweeping up, digging holes, filling holes – but I learned a modest amount of basic carpentry. As an 19-year-old college drop out, I refinished my parents’ basement – no electric or plumbing.

33 years after that first experience, I started sawing and hammering and drilling again. I did a partial rebuild of the steps that lead from the back of the house to the patio. It was a hack job, replacing the old handrails and newels with 2×4 and replacing the treads and risers, but not the stringers. Still it got the juices flowing.

I then took a big chance and repaired the corner of the floor in my bathroom. Water damage had loosened the tiles and rotted the subfloor. I tore out a 2’ x 3’ section of the tile and rotted subfloor, dried everything out, repaired the subfloor, laid the tile, and grouted. It was a bit of an ordeal, especially when my wife burst into tears after coming home to see kneeling over a gaping hole in the floor. She was… pessimistic about the prospect of having a working bathroom anytime soon. But it worked out.

Then I built a new screen door for the back. It was my first experience with pocket hole joinery and the need to get cuts precisely square. It came out okay – kinda’ crappy, but it works. Just recently, after three days of pouring rain, the frame swelled and now doesn’t shut completely so I’ll have to plane it.

And my most recent project has been to replace the stairs that lead to our basement. Just the treads, but it’s much more demanding as the stairs make a 90 degree turn halfway down which requires miter cuts and such. As of this writing, I have one more angled step step to make, then I need to paint the risers and put a protective coating on the steps.

Despite my display of at least a modest level of handiness, my wife is still deeply skeptical. One apparently does not change two decades worth of opinion in 10 or 11 weeks. She seems to feel like I’m one hammer swing away from calamity.

But my wife’s apprehension is okay, because I have decided that most of DIY sucks. It’s a lot of sweat and sore muscles for only moderate satisfaction. I want to build furniture. Beautiful, stunning, Arts and Crafts furniture. Morris chairs, settles, chests of drawers, dining chairs, coffee tables, desks, bookcases. I want to use mortise and tenon, dovetail, and half lap joinery. I want to cut dados and rabbets. I want to do it all.

8 comments so far

View Moron's profile


5032 posts in 4135 days

#1 posted 08-27-2010 05:20 AM

good luck

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5623 posts in 3954 days

#2 posted 08-27-2010 05:26 AM

Sounds like you’ve taken the first couple of steps on what could be a very enjoyable journey. Fortunately you’ve got all these Lumberjocks to help you along the way….a belated Welcome to LJs!

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View HerbC's profile


1793 posts in 3101 days

#3 posted 08-27-2010 07:41 AM


Welcome to LJ. Your wife may think you’re headed around the bend but it sounds like you know where you want to go. Good luck on your journey and we’d love to share some of your adventures along the way.

There are a lot of great people here who can help you along your way, you just have to ask…

Welcome and don’t forget:

Be Careful!


-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!"

View GaryD's profile


623 posts in 3611 days

#4 posted 08-27-2010 03:40 PM

Dag, welcome to LJ’s. Just like it has been said, lumberjocks is full of answers if you ever need it. Just ask. Good Luck!!!!!

-- Gary, Little River,SC I've Learned that the Lord didn't do it all in one day and neither can I

View makedust's profile


53 posts in 3159 days

#5 posted 08-27-2010 04:23 PM

Welcome and good luck in your woodworking journey…you are certainly in the right place for friendly help and advice.

-- "Happiness is creating dust"

View Div's profile


1653 posts in 3182 days

#6 posted 08-27-2010 08:31 PM

Yeah, welcome to the journey! Remember, Persistence is the thing!

-- Div @ the bottom end of Africa. "A woodworker's sharpest tool should be his mind."

View Riz's profile


41 posts in 3073 days

#7 posted 08-27-2010 08:38 PM

Welcome from another newbie…me

-- Paul "Riz" Erie, PA "Share your wisdom, it is the way to achieve immortality"

View helluvawreck's profile


32086 posts in 3108 days

#8 posted 08-27-2010 08:49 PM

Well, it all sounds very interesting. I’ve been doing a lot of work on our house lately. I hadn’t figured out how to handle the wife yet about this sort of thing but I have found that it’s a good idea to get somebody to give you some quotes on what they would do it for and then you can just say well do you want to spend $1500 on it or pay me nothing to do it. That usually helps. Anyways, welcome to Lumberjocks; it’s a great place for woodworkers.

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

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