Jack I’ll never forget the first day we got him ….. such a tiny thing. He was barely 8 weeks old and cute as a bug. He fell asleep in my arms on the way home so I laid down on the couch with him lying on my chest. He snuggled up ...
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858 posts in 1271 days
Location: Grayslake, IL.
At 14 yrs old, I began my apprenticeship with master carpenter, Alan Melhiser during the summers in Austin Texas. I learned how to build cabinets on the jobsite, conventional stick framing and custom trim work. He patiently showed me by example and with a kind voice how to have a strong work ethic.
Back then, we used a Stanley back saw miter box (no cord) and eventually, upgraded to a PC miter box with a sacrificial wooden table. We had a 9" Rockwell table saw with a tilt top, aluminum PC #315 skill saws - no carbide blades yet, Yankee ratchet screwdrivers, Stanley 9 1/2 and 60 1/2 block planes and plumb bobs, Velander wood levels,, Disston hand saws (6 and 12 pt.) and Blue Grass wood handled hammers with bees wax in a hole in the end for the 6 and 8 penny common trim nails - so the trim wouldn't split from nailing it by hand.
Woodworking came naturally to me. I was a student shop teacher and I went to a Cabinet and Mill-work trade school during High school.
My Grandfather was an inventor and opened my eyes to what you can do with the right tools and a great idea. My mother is an artist and was very inspirational. I remember working on many projects and in the garden together.
1980 - After a tour in the Navy on the aircraft carrier, Enterprise, I moved to Lake Forest Illinois, met a girl, got married and started a remodeling business:
Reed Builders, inc.
I went to the Lake County college at night to study Architecture, Construction Tech., Microsoft Office and QuickBooks pro, Real Estate Practice and Small Business Management.
In the early years I also followed opportunity to work with prominent north shore contractors such as Traditional Concepts, Page Builders and Chicago's oldest union cabinet shop, Dettmers.
They offered a way for me to work on larger projects and learn many things about the Union way, high end project management and office politics.
But I always maintained my remodeling/cabinetry business which kept me busy on weekends and during slow times, like we have now.
We avoided huge overhead costs with our in home office and small cabinet shop. We never borrowed money and stayed manageable with only 4 - 8 men. The rest of the crew are sub contractors, some we've known for over 26 years.
I have been fortunate to work mostly in Lake Forest and Lake bluff IL, one of the wealthiest towns in America. The people here are very nice and appreciate good quality work. Most of my clients know each other. I prefer to work with references only but enjoy meeting new people to see if we are a good fit.
We are mostly a kitchen and bath remodeler these days. We handle everything including design service and 3D drawings. We provide and install Plato Cabinetry or we can build custom built ins such as: paneled libraries, mantles, home theaters, wine rooms, organizer closets and pantries for clients and Architects.
We also do complete house gut and remodels, historic restorations, timber frame additions, furniture repairs, Halloween props, shade arbors and decks.
I believe we should pay it forward.
Our immortality lies in the knowledge we leave behind.
Our mark in the world lives on in the things we create.
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|commented on||Jack||77 days ago|
|added blog entry||Jack||78 days ago|
|added blog entry||My Daily Users||80 days ago|
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|added project||My Best Helper||94 days ago|
|commented on||LJ Challenge: FREE Hendrik DVD Set Drawing (Deadline April 22, 2014)||100 days ago|
|commented on||Recreation Room Remodeling Project||102 days ago|
|added project||Recreation Room Remodeling Project||102 days ago|
|commented on||LJ Challenge: FREE Hendrik DVD Set Drawing (Deadline April 22, 2014)||103 days ago|
|replied on||Refurbers is back.||104 days ago|
|commented on||Good Therapy||108 days ago|
|replied on||The Story of the Bedrock #601 Hand Plane||110 days ago|
|started topic||The Story of the Bedrock #601 Hand Plane||111 days ago|
|commented on||Support you local woodworking shops, or lose them||119 days ago|
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Dear Festool, I love to buy tools at Christmas. Every year, I try to upgrade a few power tools and then hand down the old tools, if they’re still in good shape to a young deserving apprentice. When I go to Woodcraft, I always stop and ...