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WoodChick #4: Some History and Things I Hope to Accomplish

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Blog entry by sfhipchick posted 07-19-2017 06:15 PM 513 reads 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: Pen #2 Explodes on the Lathe! Part 4 of WoodChick series Part 5: Lathe Projects = A Deeper Involvement in Pen Turning--Stabilization and Casting »

My Amazing Dad and His Workshop

When I was a little girl, I loved to spend time with my father in his garage workshop. I would climb up onto one of our tall stools and watch him in rapt fascination while he repaired things around the house or built something new. I loved looking at all of his neatly organized shelves full of Gerber baby food jars and cans of Gerber formula, each re-purposed for screws, nails and a myriad of unidentifiable do-dads. Dad would ask me to get various materials for him and it was always fun to have the excuse to open up the containers, the slightly oily smell filling my nose as I pulled out what was requested. Looking up at the ceiling, my eyes would run along the lumber he stored there…plywood and 2×4’s, pipes and tubes, and many other things I was clueless about.

Dad would tell me what he was doing while he worked, and showed me how to use a hammer and screwdriver. He explained how a soldering iron worked and let me help solder wires with him. It was fascinating to see beautiful pool of melted silvery metal and the wisp of smoke drifting up, though my nose wrinkled at the strange smell. He taught me about electricity and how wiring works. He also told me the danger of power tools and kept me away from the table saw when it was on. One of my favorite things to do was to organize his box of cutoffs into sizes from big to small and of course I loved to play with the sawdust!

To my young eyes, my dad was the most amazing person in the world! He could make anything and fix anything and I loved to tell my friends at school that my father could even fix WATCHES! :)

All Grown Up

My interest waned as I grew older and as an adult, I stayed away from workshops though they still fascinated me. I met my husband and was delighted to learn that he loved making, inventing and repairing things in his workshop. Watching him work was a lot of fun, and after we moved in together we bought a lathe to play with. I enjoyed learning how to turn pens and Steve and I took a segmented bowl class together which was fun and challenging for me.

When we moved to southern Oregon, he filled the shop with every toy we could afford and turned it into a paradise for anyone who enjoys working with wood or metal. A wildfire a couple of years ago reduced all of it to ashes. It took a while but now we have a new shop and have most of the important tools in place again.

Saying Goodbye to My Hero

A few months ago, my dad died at the age of 87. He left his appointed workshop to my oldest brother who has always come over to use it for his myriad of wood and metal projects. I spent a lot of time thinking about my time with dad in his shop. He was always pleased when I did anything with workworking, and when I presented him with an ash pen I turned years ago he kept it in his breast pocket and used it whenever he could. It tickled me that he loved it so much.

To Honor My Father
It was always in my plans to do more in the workshop but something always took my attention away. Then, when our shop burned down and we made plans to rebuild it, my interest in woodworking and workshop projects was suddenly rekindled. It’s really too bad that my dad passed away before I could show him the finished projects I’d be working on, but I can honor his memory by making good on these plans.

My Overall Goal
I want to work on a wide variety of projects and learn to build furniture and useful stuff around the shop. I would like to learn how to use tools I’m unfamiliar with and build my confidence with tools that scare me and are dangerous if improperly used. At this point, my husband does most of the work, but he understands what my plans are and is teaching me as we go. Ultimately, I would like to get to the point where I am able to do a woodworking project from start to finish by myself.

I have a lot of interest in traditional woodworking projects but also a huge interest in turning pens on our lathe, along with everything associated in that arena. So my goals are split into two sections: Woodworking Projects and Lathe Projects, the subject of another post. :)

-- Move out of your comfort zone. You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new. ~ Brian Tracy



10 comments so far

View BigAl98's profile

BigAl98

158 posts in 2755 days


#1 posted 07-19-2017 11:17 PM

I wish you luck on the journey…be slow enough to see the sights along the way,but quick enough to always have tomorrow to look forward to. I think your dad must be smiling as you go along.

-- Al,New Jersey -To thine own self be true

View NormG's profile

NormG

5786 posts in 2720 days


#2 posted 07-20-2017 12:28 AM

Moving forward is always a good thing

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

View sfhipchick's profile

sfhipchick

55 posts in 33 days


#3 posted 07-20-2017 04:12 AM



I wish you luck on the journey…be slow enough to see the sights along the way,but quick enough to always have tomorrow to look forward to. I think your dad must be smiling as you go along.

- BigAl98


Thanks so much for your warm comment. I am happily past the “gotta do it all see it all yesterday” stage and now comfortable taking my time and enjoying the ride. :) I do hope that my father is smiling at our new projects and my learning as we go along! :)

-- Move out of your comfort zone. You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new. ~ Brian Tracy

View sfhipchick's profile

sfhipchick

55 posts in 33 days


#4 posted 07-20-2017 04:12 AM



Moving forward is always a good thing

- NormG

You couldn’t be more right! :) And thank you for your comment! :)

-- Move out of your comfort zone. You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new. ~ Brian Tracy

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

25247 posts in 2054 days


#5 posted 07-20-2017 04:31 AM

Welcome to Lumberjocks. Ask any questions you have and we wish you the best on your endeavors.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View sfhipchick's profile

sfhipchick

55 posts in 33 days


#6 posted 07-20-2017 04:38 AM



Welcome to Lumberjocks. Ask any questions you have and we wish you the best on your endeavors.

- Monte Pittman


Thank you so much, Monte! :) It is fun to chronicle my adventures here and meet new people who are interested in the same sorts of things that I am! :)

-- Move out of your comfort zone. You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new. ~ Brian Tracy

View handsawgeek's profile

handsawgeek

623 posts in 1112 days


#7 posted 07-21-2017 06:10 PM

Great story! It is wonderful that you had a father that would take the time to teach and mentor you, and provide you with encouragement to take interest in doing things by hand. Not near enough of that around in this modern age of technology. It’s also great that your life partner is of the same ilk.
I had to smile at the Gerber baby food thing. Check out my ‘Gerber Hardware System’ series of posts on my LJs blog….

-- Ed

View sfhipchick's profile

sfhipchick

55 posts in 33 days


#8 posted 07-21-2017 06:17 PM



Great story! It is wonderful that you had a father that would take the time to teach and mentor you, and provide you with encouragement to take interest in doing things by hand. Not near enough of that around in this modern age of technology. It s also great that your life partner is of the same ilk.
I had to smile at the Gerber baby food thing. Check out my Gerber Hardware System series of posts on my LJs blog….

- handsawgeek

Hi Ed! So nice to meet you! :) I’m delighted that you enjoyed my post and a bit of history about me and my dad. :) I will certainly look at your specialty hardware system, I’m sure it’s state of the art! :D Stay tuned for my comments there! :)

Thanks so much for your comments, and again, nice to meet you! :)

-- Move out of your comfort zone. You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new. ~ Brian Tracy

View GR8HUNTER's profile

GR8HUNTER

2432 posts in 428 days


#9 posted 07-22-2017 03:07 AM

Hi Tracy …I have enjoyed your story very much ….my hero was my Grandpa ….sounded same as your father ..I to would make him stuff …ugly stuff but he liked it ….also just a word about being safe in shop ….it is not a bad thing to have a little fear and respect for your power tools ..that keeps me on my game …so Welcome 2 LJ’s there is a wealth of info here …if your needing help just ask …the only stupid question is the 1 is never asked :<))

-- Tony Reinholds,Pa. REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN

View sfhipchick's profile

sfhipchick

55 posts in 33 days


#10 posted 07-22-2017 07:49 AM



I have enjoyed your story very much ….my hero was my Grandpa ….sounded same as your father ..I to would make him stuff …ugly stuff but he liked it ….also just a word about being safe in shop ….it is not a bad thing to have a little fear and respect for your power tools ..that keeps me on my game …so Welcome 2 LJ s there is a wealth of info here …if your needing help just ask …the only stupid question is the 1 is never asked :<))

- GR8HUNTER


Wow Tony, what super story about your grandpa…isn’t that cool…I love the picture you created of giving him things to ooh and ahh over. I love that. I used to bring anything artistic to my mom who would do that for me, what a great feeling because your grandpa and my mom, they really loved what we made, even if it might not have been the greatest thing in the world—they didn’t care because we MADE IT! :) Dad and my grandparents loved anything I made too, but my mom WAS and artist and so it meant just that much more to me :)

And thank you too, for your sagely advice regarding power tools. I have to say that one can be TOO nervous about such things though, and that can also be a bad thing. Basically I am just getting used to being around the miter saw and the table saw, and I’ve used the miter saw a few times now. I’ve used a table saw too, but Steve is not comfortable with me using it yet. I think he wants to make sure I’m confident enough that I can be safe. It’s hard not to see images of SO MANY who’ve lost digits or more due to mistakes, accidents or oversight. Anyway, thanks for your words, I will certainly keep them in mind! And finally, I use your last sentiment with others all the time because people should feel comfortable asking questions! :)

-- Move out of your comfort zone. You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new. ~ Brian Tracy

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