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Forum topic by a1Jim posted 01-24-2010 08:04 PM 2176 views 0 times favorited 60 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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117265 posts in 3747 days

01-24-2010 08:04 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

As I’ve spent a little time here on Ljs I keep finding new ways to do things, new things to make ,people who are super stars in the woodworking scene and just great folks. I thought it would be fun to find out how many years , months or days all our members have under there belt and what they have to say about woodworking.
I’ll start, I started woodworking 20+ years ago and still learn something everyday either from the good folks here or in my shop. I feel what you learn doesn’t always have to be the perfect technique but it can also be what not to do. Even though this type of education can be frustrating an irritating it still is a learning process . So when your trying to make something and it just doesn’t come together don’t give up just realize this is the path to becoming a better woodworker and give another try and or ask all the good folks here on LJs. Most importantly enjoy what your doing.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

60 replies so far

View papadan's profile


3584 posts in 3538 days

#1 posted 01-24-2010 08:15 PM

My first woodworking was back in the 70s and 80s, but not officially. In 2001, I bought a wood lathe and that started my official hobby of woodworking. Never had anyone to help or teach me, so some of my technics are not what they should be. I only make what I want to, and give it to who wants it. Flat work kind of took over my time, but I still love turning. Have not done much in a while now because of health issues, but I’m tryin to get back to it.

View GMman's profile


3902 posts in 3867 days

#2 posted 01-24-2010 08:16 PM

That should be a good topic Jim.
I started 10 years ago with just a few tools and I still take it as a hobby, doing it because I just love wood working.
I was on another site in Canada which was not doing well so buddy Canadianwoodchuck told me about LJ and I now I am getting close to two years.
To me this is the best site, I have learnt so much here.
Made a lot of very good buddies too.

View fineamerican's profile


150 posts in 3284 days

#3 posted 01-24-2010 08:20 PM

This a good idea Jim. I started woodworking while I was still in high school, but not from shop class. My mom sold plywood for a company here in Greenville, SC, and knew of a mantle shop. They offered me a job as a cut out out guy at 18 years old. That was 1994. From there I went on to building mantles, but that got really old fast. I went on to various cabinet shops, some door shops(horrible places to work), and finally while going through the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy, and gave up for about a year. I started buying some tools while working my native Greenville County as Deputy. Before I knew I was fully involved in building cabinets, entertainment centers for my Sgts, Lts, and Capts. My beat partner asked me to fix his broken humidor, and wala my box making passion was born. Now woodworking mostly boxes is out main source of income. No longer a cop, still married, and at home each night with my kids, instead of jumping fences, shooting pit bulls and fighting crack heads! Woodworking is much easier on me and the family. Not sure if that was what you were looking for but thats my take on it. I apply the same principals of being alert to details I learned on the streets to what the wood tells me in my shop.

-- John A. Thomas, South Carolina,

View cstrang's profile


1832 posts in 3338 days

#4 posted 01-24-2010 08:43 PM

My father is from a small town of about 900 people, I didn’t grow up there but I visit a lot, my uncle is the “jack of all trades” of that town and ever since I was old enough to walk whenever I went out to visit him I was known as his shadow. Funny enough his name is actually Jack, so I would follow my Uncle Jack helping him with framing houses, roofing (he would only let me on the roof when I was older… probably for the best haha) plumbing and just about everything that needed to be done, I don’t think there is a single house in that town that Uncle Jack didn’t have some part in. I always had a little workbench and a hammer in the garage of our house but I really started to establish my shop when I was in grade nine, I bought a small table saw, a drill, miter saw and picked up everything else along the way. Even though I grew up doing rough construction with my uncle fine woodworking is by far what I enjoy the most. Now I have a nice shop in the basement of my parents house (thankfully they let me take up most of their basement), I am taking a cabinetmaking course and after a few years of working with someone else I hope to have my own commercial shop. Oh yeah, I still go out to that small town and “shadow” my Uncle Jack whenever I can, although people can’t call me his “little helper” anymore… I am 6’2” haha.

-- A hammer dangling from a wall will bang and sound like work when the wind blows the right way.

View john's profile


2376 posts in 4551 days

#5 posted 01-24-2010 08:50 PM

I have been around woodworking all my life but i never did it full time until i was 15 years old .
So this is my 30 th year woodworking and eating sawdust :)

-- John in Belgrave (Website) ,

View hObOmOnk's profile


1381 posts in 4297 days

#6 posted 01-24-2010 09:05 PM


-- 温故知新

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3473 days

#7 posted 01-24-2010 09:05 PM

i got serious about woodworking in 1994..Ive always loved nature and the woods and making things…so when i moved to Alabama i built my shop, and have been a hobbyist since then, i am proud to say that most of the furniture in the house i made and will hand it on down to sons or grandchildren..which will please me..there doesn’t seem to be an end of how different woods look and how they work together to make something beautiful..Ive been slowed by health problems, but ill always love it and try to make something when i can.

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

View okwoodshop's profile


448 posts in 3344 days

#8 posted 01-24-2010 09:25 PM

Jim, I thought this was a good idea till I started figuring up all the years. Now I just feel old,LOL. I worked at a sawmill/pallet mill when I was 16, The owner would let me have lumber for free to make crafts and things.That was 36 years ago, My wife has a small jewelry box made from curly cherry that was made from some of the pallet boards that I saved for 15 years and dried in her dads basement before building the box for her,I will have to post it on a project page(can’t figure out how to put pictures up here??? The only JOB$$, I ever had that involved woodworking was making walnut trim for custom conversion vans(Chattanooga Choo-Choo). Everything else has been FUN,FUN,FUN, I got paid for some things but mostly just for family and friends. This site is so great,especially for a beginner, I wish I had found it a long time ago. I have made a lot of friends/buddies and hope to make more. WORKING wood doesn’t sound right in my case, it has all been enjoyment.

View GMman's profile


3902 posts in 3867 days

#9 posted 01-24-2010 09:36 PM

okwoodshop you post here the same way you posted you Gallery of 20 pictures.

View a1Jim's profile


117265 posts in 3747 days

#10 posted 01-24-2010 09:36 PM

Very interesting guys Love-in every word.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Dez's profile


1166 posts in 4247 days

#11 posted 01-24-2010 09:43 PM

I was born into captivity in 1953, in Burns, OR.
I started working with wood on the ranch as early as 1960! (also learned to drive tractor, hay truck etc, about then.
If you wanted to be part of the family you did whatever work was needed).
The family moved from Oregon in 1955 to Idaho, then to Washington in 1967.
Dad took up carpentry again and my interest in woodworking was locked in.
Jobs I have held that were working with wood include carpentry, cabinetry, and early on a short stint in a lumber mill stacking for the kiln.
My dads’ last words were basically “you are a better woodworker than I ever was”.
Even when you are over 40 your parents can say things that really hit you hard!
I hope to die working (playing) and spending time with my progeny!
As long as I can keep learning I figure it is still a good life.

-- Folly ever comes cloaked in opportunity!

View Ger21's profile


1075 posts in 3301 days

#12 posted 01-24-2010 09:50 PM

About 20 years ago, I was 25, and wanted to buy guitars I couldn’t afford. I’ve always liked building things, since I was a kid, so I figured I’d build my own. A friends dad worked at Sears, so got a table saw and a combination 6×48 belt/disc sander, and built a few guitars. That led to building some furniture and cabinets. My dad had a friend who had a cabinet shop, which led to a new career. After 15 years of working there, that shop just closed due to the economy in Michigan. They had been in business over 50 years. Fortunately, I’ve been able to move to another shop. I no longer work in the shop, as I now program CNC machinery and handle a lot of the project management, but I’ve always had a fairly well equipped garage shop. Some day when I retire from the day job, I’ll have a much larger home shop. I’m 45 now, and have 20+ years in woodworking.

-- Gerry,

View stefang's profile


16053 posts in 3504 days

#13 posted 01-24-2010 09:51 PM

Great Idea Jim. My very first step towards woodworking was when I bought a Sjøberg work bench in1980 and made some furniture for my then 15 year old son’s room, and that was it until 1996 when I retired. That was when I bought a cheap Chinese lathe on sale. I took it home, unpacked it and looked it over more carefully. I didn’t really know anything much about machines, but even I could see that this machine would never be able to do much. So I took it back and exchanged it for a Record 1/2 hp lathe with 3 speeds. I bought and read a lot of turning books and joined the AAW. In spite of it’s obvious drawbacks the Record turned out to be a very good lathe and I have it to this day. We have been through a lot together so we are not about to part company.

After a short while I found out it would be a lot easier prepare workpieces for the lathe with a bandsaw. I got a 12” Delta on sale. It’s only got a 6” height capacity, but here again it has served me well and won’t be replaced. Having a bandsaw got me doing a lot of non-turning projects and this led to all the other machines I now have. So I have been working at my woodworking hobby reading all the books and magazines I could get hold of to learn new skills and improve the others.

To be honest I find it hard to define exactly why I like woodworking so much. I guess it is the history, the joy of making things from scratch, the opportunity to learn new things every day, the progress achieved, the time spent with my grandkids in the shop, the making of special things for special people, the whole culture of woodworking, and last but certainly not least the LJ experience making friends and sharing the hobby with like minded folks, some new at it, others with more or less experience and then of course the people who inspire us with the kind of woodworking we all dream about being capable of. I also think it is a fine thing that we can forget all the controversial areas of life and just zero in on a subject that we are all interested in and enjoy each others company in a positive way.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View johnnymo's profile


309 posts in 3375 days

#14 posted 01-24-2010 10:10 PM

Good forum Jim. I really didn’t get into woodworking until about three or four years ago. Everything I know about woodworking I learned from books, internet, or just going out and trying it! I have to admit that there is still a lot of stuff I need to learn. For right now I just go into my shop and start building projects. If there is something I don’t understand I head for my laptop and start researching.
Most of my projects I have done are for things needed around the house, or for family members in which I thought it would be nice to give them as a gift. I have made a garden bench for an auction at my youngest daughter’s school. That was a great feeling to give a project away to help the school raise money.
Right now my weekend woodworking is a hobby that I hope, one day, will turn into something more.

-- John in Arizona (but it's a dry heat!)

View lew's profile


12376 posts in 3925 days

#15 posted 01-24-2010 10:22 PM

All started in Building Construction in a Vocational High School in 1960!

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

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