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View EarlS's profile

What's your day job?

by EarlS
posted 02-13-2018 06:35 PM


40 replies so far

View LittleShaver's profile

LittleShaver

346 posts in 702 days


#1 posted 02-13-2018 07:11 PM

I’m an emergency planner.
My Dad was a woodworker among other things. I got into woodworking to make the things we couldn’t afford about 40 years ago. My wife has very high standards of quality, much beyond our reach if I don’t build things. She also loves that I made her a simple stool that looked exactly like the one in Architectural Digest that was listed for $1015.00

-- Sawdust Maker

View Ron Aylor's profile

Ron Aylor

2649 posts in 730 days


#2 posted 02-13-2018 07:17 PM

Although just recently retired, I’m a funeral director and embalmer. Growing up in Virginia, being surrounded by our colonial history is what got me into woodworking. Being enamored with the 18th century is what keeps me woodworking unplugged!

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

2799 posts in 3520 days


#3 posted 02-13-2018 07:25 PM

Retired now but I did 30+ years a a junior high science teacher and about 5 years as a computer integrator. We were the first state to give all students an Apple laptop. Sort of wild west at the time but most places have copied it today. Apple wined and dined us. I’m probably the first teacher to know what it’s like to experience corporate compared to the public experience.
I began woodworking after getting a degree in guitar making in Camden Maine. From there I branched off to do other things. I’ve stopped making guitars for quite awhile now but may again someday. I actually have some 40 year old rosewood guitar sets stashed away. Illegal to sell them now without certified verification.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View bonesbr549's profile

bonesbr549

1569 posts in 3149 days


#4 posted 02-13-2018 07:47 PM

Me, I’ve loved woodworking since my high school shop class Guss Santolla. Still think of him often. My dad and his 10 brothers, built most of the houses in our town, so it’s in the blood. My parents home that he built had oak 2×4 stud walls. Really kinda funny trying to nail a dry wall nail into that….

Me, I’m in IT leadership with a fortune 50 pharmaceutical manufacturer. I’ve got two years to go till retirement. Started as a programmer out of college. I will miss the rewarding work and money, but not the other BS that goes with corporate america.

I have plans to open a commercial shop when I retire. I’ll be 57, but figure why not. Cheers

-- Sooner or later Liberals run out of other people's money.

View bonesbr549's profile

bonesbr549

1569 posts in 3149 days


#5 posted 02-13-2018 07:47 PM

Me, I’ve loved woodworking since my high school shop class Guss Santolla. Still think of him often. My dad and his 10 brothers, built most of the houses in our town, so it’s in the blood. My parents home that he built had oak 2×4 stud walls. Really kinda funny trying to nail a dry wall nail into that….

Me, I’m in IT leadership with a fortune 50 pharmaceutical manufacturer. I’ve got two years to go till retirement. Started as a programmer out of college. I will miss the rewarding work and money, but not the other BS that goes with corporate america.

I have plans to open a commercial shop when I retire. I’ll be 57, but figure why not. Cheers

-- Sooner or later Liberals run out of other people's money.

View pottz's profile

pottz

2862 posts in 1067 days


#6 posted 02-13-2018 08:04 PM

well i sell construction hardware at a large production lumber company in the los angeles area.my grandfather and my dad were both very skilled wood workers and builders so i got my start around the age of 6 or 7 and my interest has just grown over the years.as much time as i spend here many probably think im retired,got about 5-7 years too go.luckily its always on my screen at work so i can pop in and out,and save my time for making dust!

-- sawdust the bigger the pile the bigger my smile-larry,so cal.

View papared's profile

papared

4 posts in 189 days


#7 posted 02-13-2018 08:24 PM

I was a custom furniture maker for years, moved south and worked in a NASCAR cup series garage. I am now in the process of building a new house with a large detached workshop to start making furniture again.

I started woodworking after taking woodshop in high school later turning my hobby into a business. The high school part was a long time ago! Looking forward to making all kinds of pieces for my clients.

Red

-- Papa Red

View diverlloyd's profile

diverlloyd

2931 posts in 1940 days


#8 posted 02-13-2018 08:32 PM

Commercial diver/ under water welder doing saturation dives with hyperbaric welding. Then a union sheet metal worker building distillation equipment and being a copper smith.

I just like building stuff and when I feel well enough the shop is a short distance from my house.

View caboxmaker's profile

caboxmaker

281 posts in 470 days


#9 posted 02-13-2018 08:45 PM

I’m retired but my part time job is trying to figure out where all the LJ members went.

View Ron Aylor's profile

Ron Aylor

2649 posts in 730 days


#10 posted 02-13-2018 08:49 PM



I m retired but my part time job is trying to figure out where all the LJ members went.

- caboxmaker

Too funny … at least you know where .02% of them are!

View chrisstef's profile

chrisstef

17561 posts in 3089 days


#11 posted 02-13-2018 08:54 PM

Commercial demolition estimator and project manager.

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View JADobson's profile

JADobson

1129 posts in 2193 days


#12 posted 02-13-2018 09:08 PM

Program admin at a University. Started woodworking because I don’t make anything at my job. Was going crazy. Needed something to do with my hands. Started with model planes … got bored … woodworking offered a lot more opportunities for creativity.

-- No craft is very far from the line beyond which is magic. -- Lord Dunsany — Instagram @grailwoodworks

View Ick's profile

Ick

34 posts in 3623 days


#13 posted 02-13-2018 09:23 PM

Retired computer programmer that worked in oil & gas industry. Now, I’m the construction supervisor for our local Habitat for Humanity chapter.

Got a suggestion award at work and bought a ShopSmith in 1978. I’ve upgraded to various tools since, but still keep the Mark V around.

-- Craig, Oklahoma

View Rich's profile (online now)

Rich

3340 posts in 672 days


#14 posted 02-13-2018 10:44 PM

I’m a retired scuba diver for Roto Rooter.

I was fortunate that my dad was a serious woodworker and so I had access to a fully equipped shop, and a knowledgable teacher, as far back as the 1950s. I am also fortunate not to have been part of the generation raised by helicopter parents, and so was allowed to use those tools at what today might seem like a shockingly young age (<10)

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View OSU55's profile

OSU55

1787 posts in 2072 days


#15 posted 02-13-2018 10:49 PM

Apparently one of the few in America involved in manufacturing. 34 yrs and counting all in engineering – R&D, testing, relability, design, quality, process, maintenance. Currently directing engineering in 5 plants in NA, 4 in the US. Been making HVAC compressors for my last 27 yrs.

While my high school had shop class, I focused on college prep courses and sports. I started refinishing/refurbishing furniture many years ago. As my son went through shop class in jr hi and high school I decided to start making furniture vs fixing and refinishing. Then I thought I would try turning. I’ve always preferred to do most of my own craftsman work, be it cars, motorcycles, guns, or woodworking. Along with learning and perfecting woodworking skills and processes, I like having start to finish control of all aspects, unlike the day job of playing the hand I was dealt (‘course I never deal myself a bad hand… yea right).

View pottz's profile

pottz

2862 posts in 1067 days


#16 posted 02-13-2018 11:25 PM



I m a retired scuba diver for Roto Rooter.

I was fortunate that my dad was a serious woodworker and so I had access to a fully equipped shop, and a knowledgable teacher, as far back as the 1950s. I am also fortunate not to have been part of the generation raised by helicopter parents, and so was allowed to use those tools at what today might seem like a shockingly young age (<10>

same here rich i was using a table saw and ras when i was about 12 with little supervison.today its called child endangerment!how did we ever make it huh?

-- sawdust the bigger the pile the bigger my smile-larry,so cal.

View darinS's profile

darinS

712 posts in 2950 days


#17 posted 02-13-2018 11:37 PM

Civil Engineer.

Enjoyed shop class in junior high, but never really did anything until I bought a house and had to fix things up. Figured it was cheaper to do it myself than pay someone to do it for me. Don’t get a lot of shop time because of different things going on, but do enjoy the time I get.

-- They say many people die because of alcohol. They never realized how many of them are born because of it.

View Kaleb the Swede's profile

Kaleb the Swede

1843 posts in 2052 days


#18 posted 02-13-2018 11:37 PM

Guitar and orchestra high school teacher during the school year. Commercial fisherman during the summer.

Never had any interest in woodworking until I was 30 years old and needed a bookshelf in me and my wife’s house 6 years ago. Now I can’t do it enough

-- Just trying to build something beautiful

View TheFridge's profile

TheFridge

9856 posts in 1568 days


#19 posted 02-14-2018 12:03 AM

Electrician and stuff for 18 years. Taco Bell for 1 year before that.

I like making nice things. Or as nice as I can make them.

And trying new techniques.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View John's profile

John

245 posts in 1664 days


#20 posted 02-14-2018 12:16 AM

Commercial carpenter. Everything from metal studs and drywall all the way to the millwork and trim. Perhaps this is why i really gravitate to hand tools.

Took shop as much as possible in high school, and always wanted my own shop. After we bought the house, my wife wanted a stand for the christmas tree. After damn near cutting my hand off in a fridgid cold detached garage lit by only the garage door opener, i bought a shop light, shortly after i finally decided that i needed a real workspace. 8 years later, i have a fully outfitted shop, and she complains that she cant always get her car in.

-- I measured once, cut twice, and its still too short...

View TheFramerChris's profile

TheFramerChris

11 posts in 194 days


#21 posted 02-14-2018 12:32 AM

I’m a service sales rep for a fire protection company in Baltimore, Maryland.

View Redoak49's profile

Redoak49

3397 posts in 2071 days


#22 posted 02-14-2018 12:44 AM

I am a Metallurgical Engineer in steelmaking.

My dad had a workshop and I started early making sawdust.

View TungOil's profile

TungOil

991 posts in 577 days


#23 posted 02-14-2018 12:51 AM

Great topic Earl.

I’m a mechanical engineer with a MBA. Started my career as a process engineer for a small plastics extruder, moved on to project engineering and engineering management for a few firms that designed and manufactured custom machinery and material handling equipment for the food, beverage and pharmaceutical industries. I was drafted by one of the major pharma companies in 1998 to design and develop the primary product contact components and equipment for a (then very novel) oral vaccine. I moved into strategic sourcing for a while and recently took a new role in the central utilities group of our largest manufacturing facility to drive efficiency and continuous improvement activities and manage the budget.

I was fortunate to grow up with a father who was in the Woodworking industry- my dad owned a 10 man custom cabinet and furniture shop. Like some of the other posters, I was working in the shop at a very early age starting when I was about 8. I spent my summers working on the shop floor supporting production or out helping install kitchens and other custom items. One of my first jobs was to run the thickness planer- we would get a tractor trailer load of white pine every week, all rough milled. It would take me most of the week to get through surfacing all of that material, just in time for the next load! We always had a full shop at home as well, which came in handy in college as I was able to pay my tuition filling commissions for custom furniture on the weekends. I continued to do some commission work even after starting my career but eventually had to stop due to busy work and travel schedule. I may start doing commission work again after I retire, but for now I’m building just for myself.

Having grown up in a professional cabinet shop environment I tend to have a production mindset when I work in the shop. I always look for the way to make things the safest and most accurate way possible. I will fall back on hand tools usually as a last resort. I have great respect for those that can skillfully use hand tools, but I am not one of them. I learned Woodworking using power tools and am far more skilled with that equipment than I will ever be with hand tools.

-- The optimist says "the glass is half full". The pessimist says "the glass is half empty". The engineer says "the glass is twice as big as it needs to be"

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

10710 posts in 3511 days


#24 posted 02-14-2018 12:56 AM

20 years retired speech and language therapist. Started woodworking in college because we had no furniture. Soon found it was fun. At age 76, it’s still fun.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View JayT's profile

JayT

5759 posts in 2293 days


#25 posted 02-14-2018 01:36 AM

District manager for a chain of hardware stores.

Dad was a do-it-yourselfer and I learned a lot just tagging along with him growing up. Lucky for me, he was one of those dads that would allow his boys to “help” with projects, even though it made them take longer. Once I got to middle school, had to choose between Home Ec and Wood Shop for vocational. Choice was obvious and I had some success, so haven’t looked back.

-- In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. Thomas Jefferson

View adr906's profile

adr906

10 posts in 184 days


#26 posted 02-14-2018 01:56 AM

Mechanical Engineer, designing crushing and screening plants mostly for the aggregate industry.

I started woodworking shortly after buying a house (I’d rather fix and build things myself than pay someone else.)

View Snowbeast's profile

Snowbeast

84 posts in 1421 days


#27 posted 02-14-2018 01:58 AM

Dual retired – U.S. Army aviation officer and municipal police Lt.

Got started in high school shop class and had an off and on interest over the years. Got serious again when I was able to acquire a Shopsmith about 11 years ago and have been happily making sawdust and noise ever since. Was fortunate enough to land a gig with a trophy shop that lets me pay for my playing.

View jbay's profile

jbay

2488 posts in 982 days


#28 posted 02-14-2018 02:05 AM

I’m just a cabinet maker…

View TungOil's profile

TungOil

991 posts in 577 days


#29 posted 02-14-2018 02:14 AM



I m just a cabinet maker…

- jbay


Darn good one too, from what I’ve seen.

-- The optimist says "the glass is half full". The pessimist says "the glass is half empty". The engineer says "the glass is twice as big as it needs to be"

View marc_rosen's profile

marc_rosen

143 posts in 3263 days


#30 posted 02-14-2018 02:44 AM

I castrate mice for a living.

Seriously, I need castrated mice to mimic androgen deprived men who are experiencing castrate resistant prostate cancer so we can see what therapies may help them beat the disease. Also I do a lot other drug development and pharmacokinetic studies with mass spectrometers. And, I drink a lot of coffee.

I got started in woodworking when we were building our house (1988-89) and I thought I could build better kitchen cabinets than what we had budgeted in our contract. A few Craftsman tools; table saw – fitted with a Delta Unifence – router, table top router table, and a single pass half blind dovetail jig was all we could afford. I bought a lot of S4S (Red OAK) lumber and was given hundreds of feet of Red Oak flooring, variable widths and made some very nice cabinets which we still have.
I became a “Born Again” woodworker when I got my first Unisaw in 2006, along with a jointer and planer. Since then it’s been such a rewarding pastime that I can’t wait until I retire and give those mice a break.
My wife gets so much pleasure from all of the stuff I made for her and the house. I’m very happy that she supports all of my urges to buy the tools I need/want and the lumber I use.

And maybe some day I’ll get more of my projects up here. I enjoy reading from you guys and gals; Lumberjocks is a great place to relax each day. Marc

-- Windsurfing, Woodworking, Weaving, and Woodducks. "Most woodworkers are usually boring holes"

View jbay's profile

jbay

2488 posts in 982 days


#31 posted 02-14-2018 02:54 AM


Great topic Earl. Started my career as a process engineer for a small plastics extruder,

- TungOil

Thanks for the kuddo’s

About 2 years into my cabinet making career, I was offered a head position to run the plastic department for a gaming manufacturer, which included the operation of an injection molding machine.
They manufactured dice and gaming chips as well as other gaming equipment.

(I should have went through that door)

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

4269 posts in 2391 days


#32 posted 02-14-2018 03:06 AM



I m a retired scuba diver for Roto Rooter.

I was fortunate that my dad was a serious woodworker and so I had access to a fully equipped shop, and a knowledgable teacher, as far back as the 1950s. I am also fortunate not to have been part of the generation raised by helicopter parents, and so was allowed to use those tools at what today might seem like a shockingly young age (<10>

Hey Rich, did you ever run into “caboxmaker” when you were Roto Rottering around?

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View WhattheChuck's profile

WhattheChuck

329 posts in 3643 days


#33 posted 02-14-2018 03:25 AM

I’m a professor of engineering design. Got started as consolation for not being able to live in the back of my truck and go kayaking every weekend. Now I write about why people do what they do. Makes me creepy at parties cuz I’m almost always right. Which is probably why I never get invited any more to parties.

-- Chuck, Pullman, WA

View firefighterontheside's profile

firefighterontheside

18662 posts in 1939 days


#34 posted 02-14-2018 03:35 AM

I’ve been a fulltime firefighter for 21 years. 26 years Total with volunteer time.

My dad was a finish carpenter and sometimes woodworker, but he did it with carpenter tools. Eventually though, he became a fulltime paid Fire Chief. Now he comes to my WW shop to do things.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

View tacky68's profile

tacky68

78 posts in 1509 days


#35 posted 02-14-2018 04:49 AM

Always struggled in school-SERIOUS ADHD. Had shop class in middle school, never thought anything about it. No
shop Class in H.S. Did not know what I was doing in college-did not finish. Have had many jobs, always got bored.
One Saturday in my mid twenties, I was flipping through channels, and landed on Norm, and was instantly interested.
Started working in the trades, and found my way to the electrical part-loved it. Then the recession hit. Now I work in a huge auto parts warehouse. Got away from WW’ing in the early 2000’s. Rediscovered it while working on my
1930 house. I now spend all of my free time in the shop-LOVE IT.

View woodbutcherbynight's profile

woodbutcherbynight

5488 posts in 2491 days


#36 posted 02-14-2018 05:32 AM

USMC medically retired, last 27 years as a Auto Mechanic, 3 in Iraq as Hazmat Specialist / Security Contractor. My Grandfather was a carpenter, Dad did some woodworking when I was a kid. Always enjoyed and still enjoy making my own stuff for the house and shop.

Okay so alot of stuff is made for the shop to make more stuff…. for the shop.

LOL

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View olegrump's profile

olegrump

53 posts in 305 days


#37 posted 02-14-2018 01:07 PM

Hey Ron, I KNEW I liked you ! I was also a mortician until an auto accident broke several bones and prevented me from doing all the standing, walking and heavy lifting required. The funeral home where I worked handled over 700 cases a year. Y’all can’t believe the amount of prolonged standing the job requires ! BTW, one of the trades our modern day funeral services descends from is cabinetmaking. (Even Pop-pop made a few caskets one the side in his day…..) Nowadays, I’m a “pencil pusher” in middle management for a commercial, retail and residential property owning corporation. Nowhere near as interesting as the “good old days”.....
I used to repair some of the wooden items around the funeral home. When I was young, I spent a couple of days assembling a modular work station from a kit for the funeral home’s hot secretary.. Virtue was not it’s only reward in this case. LOL
Anyway, grew up in a woodworking family. Many of you have read references to Pop-pop’s cabinet making shop. After Dad “retired”, he was asked to take the job of teaching woodshop at a private school. ( A temporary job that lasted 20 years…)
Been making sawdust and shaving since I can remember. Both my brothers and I each have our own hobbyist woodshop. BTW, I’m busy “working” right now. I call it “Research”....

View Ron Aylor's profile

Ron Aylor

2649 posts in 730 days


#38 posted 02-14-2018 01:23 PM

Hey Ron, I KNEW I liked you ! I was also a mortician until an auto accident broke several bones and prevented me from doing all the standing, walking and heavy lifting required … BTW, one of the trades our modern day funeral services descends from is cabinetmaking …

- olegrump

That’s just too cool … a fellow undertaker … who would have thought! Sorry about your accident. That’s right about the funeral service descending from the cabinetmakers. I’m not sure what came first my desire to be a mortician or my love of woodworking!

View 489tad's profile

489tad

3388 posts in 3094 days


#39 posted 02-16-2018 10:21 PM

Tool and die maker. Currently working for a company that makes the things that make computer chip s flat. I always made things out of wood as a kid. Go carts, tree forts, anything. I didn’t start paying attention to the skill set end until I started my apprenticeship. Home improvement projects. I’ll do my best to over complicate a project and have a blast.

-- Dan, Naperville IL, I.G.N.

View moke's profile

moke

1212 posts in 2859 days


#40 posted 02-17-2018 04:41 PM

All I ever wanted to do was to be a Professional Photographer. I went to a Photo Institute, then got recruited for baseball by a University. I went to work at a Studio and six months later I was approached by the owner to buy him out some day. I got a job and a Policeman working nights so I could save the money to buy my Studio. I intended to work until I could afford the Studio. After Ten Years I bought it, and was asked to stay on part time as a Policeman worked two or three shifts a week. I told them I would stay a year or two more. Last year I retired from LE after 38 years on the street. I still have my Studio, I have been here 41 years. We have grown in some ways and changed dramatically in others. We used to have a Camera Store, Camera Repair, and Studio and 16 employees. I only have the Studio now and 5 employees. My life is so much better. I am off the “Merry-go-round”. I even stopped doing weddings! ( well mostly)

I started Woodworking soon after I bought a house in 1987. I started with poor to average tools and have replaced them all along the way. Having two jobs, I always had more money than time, so rather than build a lot of things, I bought them. In the last few years I have began to build more jigs, shop cabinets, and tool modifications. Since retiring from LE I now have most evenings to “play”. I like to turn, both metal and wood. My father was a machinist, and I have most of his tools and since his passing an explainable desire to learn metal turning. I intend to operate my studio for 2 to 4 more years then “putz” full-time. Between LJ and Youtube I have learned so much and my abilties, have been taken up a few notches. ( I hope that doesn’t sound arrogant)
Thanks to everybody for helping me!

-- Mike

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