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9 posts in 337 days
Location: Birch Bay, WA
My name is Jeff Lindeman and I live in an unincorporated community called Birch Bay, about 20 miles north of Bellingham, Washington. I'm literally just about as far north and west as you can be and still be in the continental United States. I'm a Seattle ex-patriot and commercial photographer by trade - "commercial" meaning I don't really do many wedding or portraits, but specialize in shooting products and what is known as "lifestyle" for the advertising industry. However, when the economy tanked in 2008, the commercial photography industry was hit pretty hard as companies tightened their belts and/or went out-of-biz, so I knew I had to diversify to survive, so now I do a little of everything, from weddings to corporate brochures, senior pictures etc, My love still lies with food, health products and the like, and you can see some of all these categories on my website listed above.
So what does all this have to do with woodworking you may ask? Patience Grasshopper, patience - think of it as akin to a cutting or parts list: you must get to know the wood before you mangle it into sawdust! hehheh To continue, one of the things I realized in trying to diversify my biz, was being an obsessive shooter that carries a camera at all times, I had a wealth of what could be construed as Fine Art Photographs, which I began grooming (Photoshop veteran since v1) and printing on a hi-end pro-series Epson printer. This led to teaching myself the proper ways to mount, cut mats and frame. Enter woodworking...
It all started about 2 years ago as a purely economical solution for increasing profit share by building my own picture frames. I had a 30 year old Craftsman miter saw, given to me by friend 20 years prior as I was building a studio next to my house. I had no experience to speak of - the saw kinda scared me if you want to know the truth - but I've never been one to let ignorance, fear or the, "you can't do that," catcalls of the army of doomsayers out there, stop me. So with a heart full of can-do and a close eye on my ten fingers, I waded in.
Fast forward 2 years and rewind back to the first sentence of that last paragraph and shake your head with a knowing smirk on your lips! Big mistake! Being an artistic type, easily seduced by passionate endeavors, I should of seen the inevitable outcome. As Homer Simpson might say, "Doh!" I fell in love with the wood and the working.
The "love" didn't come right away however, as love is want to do. At first it was very frustrating. I fought sawtooth and nail with that old saw as it would just not stay adjusted. I read about stop-blocks, but it had no provision for an extension, so I made one, though the sliding adjustment continued to dog me. I finally broke down on spent $150 on a fairly decent Ridgid and $60 on a Costco stand. Results got better, but... and note here the (I'm sure familiar to many of you) "thought process of demise" here... but... I sure would like a table saw. So just before Christmas 2010, on sale for $109, I bought the crappiest little finger-chopper-waitin-to-happen Skilsaw 3310 with it's #$%!% non-standard miter slots and impossibly inaccurate fence. I'd read the reviews, but you know how reviews are; one says, "save your money," and two say, "hey, works fine for me." Times were tight and I needed something, anything. I had to follow where The Muse led; it’s who I am; I’ve always felt that creativity, though it seems to strike randomly is really a linear kind of progression that leads you on the path; ignore it and you risk losing your way. I bought the saw, and all it’s headaches, and from it I learned to build the jigs to overcome it’s inadequacies. A couple months later, it was router-lust, a table and another half-dozen jigs.
Then in March of this year, I had a couple good gigs and of course living 20 miles north of Bellingham, Washington means I also live 20 miles north of Grizzly Headquarters. Now I’ve read, within these very Lumberjock pages, some that say, “Grizzly’s just a cheap China company.” To that all I can say is, tell that to this guy: http://www.grizzly.com/catalog/2012/Main/56 and check out what he’s making in his 100% Grizzly shop http://www.alanrosenfurniture.com/ I rest my case. Again money was tight ( but not quite so) and I stepped up to the plate and bought the G0715P http://www.grizzly.com/catalog/2012/Main/16 . Best move I ever made! Out of the box, I slapped the extensions and rail system on and micrometer’d that puppy to death and didn’t have to adjust anything – dead flat and square. Had to rebuild most of my jigs and now it’s smooth sailing.
So fast forward to now (June 2012). A couple days ago I succumbed to band saw lust and I’d been looking at the Grizzly G0555 for $525 but figured I’d have to go with the G0580 for $425 and then I dicovered that Grizzly had come out with a new model. The G0555LX, which is the 555 upgraded to the cast iron wheels among other things and currently (thru September 2012) is on sale with and Introductory Price of $445. $20 more than the bottom of the line 580 and $80 cheaper than it’s aluminum-wheeled twin, the G0555. So I’m currently setting it up, between forays at writing this About Me.
That’s about it. An “economical solution for increasing profit”? Ahh, no. Is the habit paying for itself? Kinda. ;-) Oh, and than there’s those two hand planes I bought last month and learned how to lap and sharpen them from a buddy – hand tools seem to be not only quite alluring, but extremely handy fine tuning during dry assembly So I’ go for while and working on several ideas, but I can plainly see the need for a planer, oh, and a jointer, a small lathe might be interesting and... Oh yeah, increased profits for sure! Weeeee!
-- --Jeff - Whenever my dad would catch me wishin' instead of doin', he'd say, "Why don't you wish in one hand and *hit in the other and see which you get the most in!"
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