Woodworker Demographics

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Forum topic by patcollins posted 08-20-2010 02:08 AM 2649 views 1 time favorited 27 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1419 posts in 2284 days

08-20-2010 02:08 AM

Well I posted this in the wrong section earlier so here it goes again.

Not to long ago I saw where someone said woodworkers were a dying breed. I think woodworkers are a shrinking breed but never a dying breed. I can’t really call myself a woodworker yet since I haven’t made anything good yet but I plan on it.

Anyway I want to know who you are such as age, sex, education level, anything that you think might identify yourself with and why/who got you started in woodworking.

Me, age 36, single male, bachelors and masters degree, and I got into woodworking for a couple reasons namely I like to make things and my late father really liked it and I have started to want to make stuff from wood like he did. I also want to be self reliant in case of a drastic shift/breakdown in society ever occurs.

27 replies so far

View jusfine's profile


2405 posts in 2345 days

#1 posted 08-20-2010 02:48 AM

I’m not shrinking, thanks to my wife’s good cooking.

Age: 55
Sex: no! married (male)
Secondary education + “Paper trainied” carpenter by trade
Built wooden and metal graineries, garages, etc. with my Dad and little brother beginning at age 14 (we HAD to help).
They didn’t have shop class in my small town school
Never in my life thought I would be a carpenter.
Married a carpenter/farmer’s daughter, here I am.
Have a small shop in the loft of our barn.
Manage staff for construction company, manager of landscape division, HR, etc.
Raise horses… too much info?

-- Randy "You are judged as much by the questions you ask as the answers you give..."

View docholladay's profile


1287 posts in 2478 days

#2 posted 08-20-2010 03:49 AM

Age: 45 tomorrow
Sex: Whenever possible – Married
Education: Bachelors Degree and some post graduat work.
Ocupation: Corp Sales Rep for Sprint (I sell cell phones)
I took shop class in 8th grade where I learned the basics of many different handy skills but not a lot of woodworking.
As a kid, the guy that lived next to my Grandmother had a wood shop. I used to hang out in there and he would give me scraps to “create” with.
My father did a little bit of woodworking.
Then, I came into possession of a couple of old Stanley planes that belonged to my great uncle who had been a carpenter and cabinet maker back in the day. That kind of sealed the deal of getting me hooked on woodworking.
My shop is a 12×24 1 car garage.
I make lots of sawdust and firewood and on occasion, I actually complete a project worth posting.

-- Hey, woodworking ain't brain surgery. Just do something and keep trying till you get it. Doc

View Dark_Lightning's profile


2619 posts in 2528 days

#3 posted 08-20-2010 04:08 AM

If you really want to be self-reliant when it falls apart, buy land to grow your food, and a gun and lots of ammo. Also, buy the US Army survival manual, now, and study and follow it. If it gets that bad, lead will be the precious metal. I hope it never gets that bad, though. I likes my creature comforts.

Anyway, I’m male, 57, married for 29+ years. BSc in physics, with some post-grad work in physics and electrical engineering. I work as a mechanical engineer for a company that makes communications equipment. I worked construction for a few years in the early ‘90s and have built code-approved additions to my own homes. Somewhere between 1970 (graduated from high school, served 4 years in the US Navy) and graduating from college (1984), I got 10 years under my belt as a mechanic- everything from bicycles to semi tractors.

I took 4 years of wood shop and 3-1/2 years of machine shop on top of my college prep classes in high school. This involved a lot of summer school in a small town with a blue-ribbon school district. They were big enough to have it all. Very nice. In addition to my woodworking tools, I have a metal lathe and access to a milling machine.

If any of the British contingent would like to weigh in, I understand that woodcarving is a gentleman’s past time there. Any truth to that? Or was my friend feeding me a line?

-- Random Orbital Nailer

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 2494 days

#4 posted 08-20-2010 04:50 AM

I’m 58 and retired from a professional career as an actuary. My designation as a fellow of the Society of Actuaries (FSA) is considered by most, who are familiar with the designation, to be equivalent to a PhD.

I’m married (39 years) with 2 adult children.

I began my life as the son of a struggling farmer and his wife and I am incredibly grateful for the opportunities that have come my way. I’m financially self-sufficient and I view woodworking as something I do to “give something back”. Well over 50% of the woodworking that I do is for a charitable purpose and I enjoy it immensely.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View Russ's profile


356 posts in 2496 days

#5 posted 08-20-2010 07:00 AM

I’m 37, Married (7 Years this month) with 1 child. I got into wood working out of a desire to build something. My wife requested a bed for my son which I’m still building but near completion. The bed was way large and maybe a little out of my league but I’m doing it.

-- Russ

View Jesse 's profile


105 posts in 2281 days

#6 posted 08-20-2010 07:22 AM

I’m 30 yo married male who is the loving son of a jack of all trades craftsmen. I’m the loving husband to generously patient wife. I’m the tinker “da-da” to a beautiful 9 month old. The rest of the time I’m an air traffic controller at potomac tracon. Our facility handles the operations of every airport in the washington Dc. area including Dulles, Regan National, BWI, Adrews AFB, Richmond Int.

I just started into to wood working and I’m very excited about it. I finished two projects so far and have a few in the works. Until then, I’m thank for to have a site like this to inspire and guide me in something that is refreshingly slow paced and relaxing.

View Uamsclay's profile


29 posts in 2287 days

#7 posted 08-20-2010 07:37 AM

29 year old nuclear pharmacist, son of an agri teacher. Married with a 5 month old son. Helped make a crib for him and since then have added more cheap tool crap to my garage than you can think of. Built a workbench to work on, but then filled it up with drill press and bandsaw, so now I don’t have anywhere to work again…...starting with wooden tethers, toys, and bandsaw boxes.

-- Clay - I love free tools

View TJ65's profile


1358 posts in 2469 days

#8 posted 08-20-2010 11:13 AM

It looks so far as the age thing has quite a range, so even by the looks of this so far, it certainly isn’t a dying art.
I am ?- (do I really have to say) oh, Ok – 45
Married 20 years, have one daughter
Self employed and working part time in Aged care- time to spend in the workshop!!! YAY
Started woodworking early- dad was a carpenter, I helped!!! him sometimes. Made some interesting things at school and when my daughter was little picked it back up a little. Now I have more time on my hands I am really into it. Make nothing substantial like furniture, more interested in the small stuff.

-- Theresa,

View Eagle1's profile


2066 posts in 2484 days

#9 posted 08-20-2010 01:43 PM

I turned 51 last month. Married to a wonderful woman. We have 4 kids between us, none togther. I did a few things in highschool shop. I didn’t get back into it till I had to medically retire. I got tired of setting infront of my computer all day. I love working with my hands, and the smell of the saw dust. It really helps me get through the day, do to all of my health issues.

-- Tim, Missouri ....Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what the heck happened

View Eric_S's profile


1551 posts in 2614 days

#10 posted 08-20-2010 01:58 PM

28 and married for almost 2 years. Born and raised in Maryland, went to Indiana University for college, met my wife there, and have been here ever since (10 years). I have a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science degree. No kids yet, but I don’t think those are too far off, for now though our kid is just a 4 year old Chow Chow/Black lab mutt named Ninja. I’ve always been a crafty guy and took woodshop in highschool but I only really got into woodworking a year ago and I don’t think I’ll ever get bored of it.

-- - Eric Noblesville, IN

View helluvawreck's profile


22669 posts in 2286 days

#11 posted 08-20-2010 02:26 PM

I’m 60 going on 80 :-) and my first memory of working with tools was in the house I spent my early childhood in. There was a small basement and there was an old work table and a few simple carpentry tools and when I was around 10 I made some things like box traps for squirrels and rabbits and sling shots etc. – maybe even a soapbox derby car. In my early teens I had a close friend whose father owned a lumber yard and my friend usually had to go to work on Saturdays and I was allowed to tag along. His father was a mechanical engineer and had run the machinery with a steam engine which was still there but it had been replaced by large diesel engines. He had a small work shop at the lumber mill with a table saw, band saw, drill press, a jointer, and radial arm saw. He also had a small maintenance shop and a little blacksmith shop. I loved that place and loved to go there and help. It made a lasting impression on me in so many ways. My friend also worked on cars and hotrods so I helped him with that. Shortly thereafter my mother started an antique shop and I had a very small shop upstairs above the shop where I would do a little refinishing and small repairs. In my late teens my father started a table factory with some other men and I worked in it and learned a lot. I was married when I was 21 and during the first year of marriage I bought $1000 worth of tools from Woodcraft. I still have those original tools along with many others. Then I went to UGA for 2-1/2 years and transferred to GA Tech and went there for 2-1/2 years, dropped out after our 2nd child was born, and went to machinist school for 6 months and dropped out of that and have been working in furniture plants ever since. I’m now in business with my brother in an architectural moulding plant where we have five Weinig molders to keep running. I have mostly been in the engineering and maintenance end of the business and I have always done hobby woodworking on the side.

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View ShopDogs's profile


228 posts in 2776 days

#12 posted 08-20-2010 02:45 PM

I’m 53. I’ve been married occasionally, but finally got it right! Been married 3 years to Cynthia, and it is like a great date that never ends. I have a couple of undergraduate degrees in business and an engineering degree
post graduate. I owned a small oil company in Texas for almost 20 years. I sold it and did not do much that would be considered productive for a few years. I started Tulsawoodsmith last year and have been quite busy designing and building custom furniture and cabinets. I started woodworking almost 30 years ago as a vent for creativity and as a way to just relax in the evenings.

I still learn something about it everyday.

Michael Smith

-- ShopDogs, Tulsa, OK The tools aren't the problem-It's the organic interface!

View ClayandNancy's profile


511 posts in 2434 days

#13 posted 08-20-2010 03:02 PM

I’m 57, lost my dad when I was 5, so I had to learn most fatherly things on my own. Chrysler Master Technician for 36 years until the government got involve, now I play in the workshop and volunteer time at my church maintaining the building. Married 27 years to a saint, (Has to be to put up with me). Love to make anything out of wood and give away to someone. But life at our place ceases when my 3 year old grand daughter comes to visit, Lily what a trip. And I love checking out LJs.

View Pdub's profile


914 posts in 2599 days

#14 posted 08-20-2010 03:07 PM

I’m will be 44 this Sunday. Married to my wonderful wife Jacquie for 22yrs. and have two kids. I spent 22 years in the Air Force before retiring to work Civil Service at the same Base. I have a High school education and Technical school thru the AF.

I’m a self taught woodworker. Got into it, because my wife saw something she wanted and I said ” I can build that with the right tools”. That was 20 years ago and my poor wife still doesn’t have it, but I have the right tools now! I’m still learning and trying new things in hopes that one day I’ll be as talented as So many of the LJ’s on here.

-- Paul, North Dakota, USAF Ret.

View SnowyRiver's profile


51452 posts in 2899 days

#15 posted 08-20-2010 03:28 PM

I am 61, divorced, with two children. My daughter is 23 and my son is 27.

I am a program manager for a very large communications company, overseeing project managers putting in light fiber networks for large clients natiionwide. I am still single but have had a great and very supportive girl friend for several years now.

I always have loved to build things, and did take carpentry/cabinet making classes for a year after graduating from high school. My degree however is in electronics. I also love amateur radio, antique collecting, gardening, and guns/hunting.

Once the divorce occured years ago, I had the entire house to myself so I started to build the shop and have been after it ever since. One of my Grandfathers was a cabinet maker from Denmark. I also had a Great Grandfather that was a cabinet maker from Germany.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

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