Woodworking in Afghanistan

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Blog entry by hunter71 posted 10-19-2011 07:58 AM 4657 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Fortunately I was able to retire, once, for awhile anyway. As with many of us though investments went bad and we had to re-think our “retirement” for me that was going back into the workforce at 59 years old. An old electrical contractor is not a prize that is high on anyone’s list. Reality was to look at overseas work. I first came to Afghanistan in May 2010. Woodworking was not something that was done and I had to make my own way. As a superintendent I have my own living quarters so then it was just a matter of acquiring some tools, wood, and everything else, then keeping it clean. At first I tried some wood models but was not fulfilled with them. I even bought the high dollar Dumas models, which are great, but. I create things, not just build them. I found a company called Proxxon that caters to modelers with top quality tools. Dremel also had tools that would fit my needs and I slowly began to build my middle east wood working shop. Wood was and is a big problem also. I got a hold of some wood cigar boxes and packing crates from around the embassy. I even joined the Cigar club [I don’t smoke] just to get more cigar boxes. When I went home on R&R I would plane down wood and pack Flat Rate shipping boxes full and mail them to myself. A lathe seems out of the question so I get my son to help out with special needed pieces. Take time? sure does, but then I have a lot of it.
I am not one to watch TV and my few spare hours are spent making small saw dust in my hooch. Just last month I sacrificed space for a 9” band saw. ships to my APO so now I have the ability to cut bigger pieces. I ordered a few blades so I can rip, as well as cut the traditional cuts using it. So from my 24”X 4” bench, here comes Woodworking from Afghanistan, by Doug Perkins
P.S. I like mail!

-- A childs smile is payment enough.

7 comments so far

View RGtools's profile


3372 posts in 2679 days

#1 posted 10-19-2011 03:10 PM

This is a really interesting challenge. I would love to see more. Are there decent local trees out there? What to people tend to build with?

-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan

View Bob Kollman's profile

Bob Kollman

1798 posts in 3216 days

#2 posted 10-19-2011 05:21 PM

Hello Doug, we were worried about you. No word from you in over a year. Glad to see you are well!!! Wood working from Afghanistan, sounds like a bad PBS special. But I look forward to be able to see
what you can create out of bones and sticks in the middle of the wilderness. As it is hard to get materials
and you mentioned you like to create things maybe you should try your hand at carving. Sounds like you
have the time to try your hand at that. I look forward to seeing some pictures and projects of what you
are doing. Really happy to hear from you.

-- Bob Kenosha Wi.

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3328 days

#3 posted 10-19-2011 05:36 PM

hello there doug, grizzman here, so glad to hear from you, im glad your being creative and doing your best to wood work in such trying places…i didnt see any type of address to maybe send some things…do you know how expensive it is to mail thing to you, let me know if you would…really glad to hear from you,,,all is going well here in bama, cool weather has arrived and im looking forward to this years fall and winter…got my wood stores up for the wood stove, and of coarse i have tons of wood here to work with…i would love to share , but it depends on cost…take care of yourself and know your being thought of…grizz

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3140 days

#4 posted 10-19-2011 06:52 PM

hello Doug
there was another L J that serve time over there and he posted a lathe he made
with an electric handrill as motor but the framework in wood was basicly more or less
the same as a pole-lathe and a treade-lathe

the proxxon tools is great to use and they are made for industriel use even the hobbyist tools
that has always been the thoughts behind them before
I have a few myself and is very pleased with them

look forward to see what you come up with

take care

View marter1229's profile


437 posts in 3535 days

#5 posted 10-19-2011 07:04 PM

Stay creative and be safe!

-- It's all fun, Terry******N. Idaho

View cajunpen's profile


14575 posts in 4091 days

#6 posted 01-20-2012 04:49 AM

Sorry about you having to go back to the work force. I’ve been retired for about a year and a half, and I would sure hate to get back into the work force, heck I don’t even think my gun belt would fit anymore :-). Keep woodworking and posting, I enjoy your work.

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

View NormG's profile


6138 posts in 3029 days

#7 posted 01-20-2012 04:56 AM

I can’t wait, this is going to be exciting

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

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