What...was your first woodworking project?

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Forum topic by Dadoo posted 02-05-2008 08:00 PM 21544 views 0 times favorited 81 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1789 posts in 3953 days

02-05-2008 08:00 PM

Topic tags/keywords: humor

You young guys won’t have any problem with this but us older guys…?

I’m not sure, but I think my first real project was building a new breakfast nook table for a (real pretty) neighbor lady back when I was 15. That’s 35 years ago boys (and girls). I made it out of 3/4” plywood with a laminated top and edgeing, one leg and a French cleat to attach it to a wall. I remember using a 3lb coffee can to draw the corner radius’ and cutting the whole thing with dad’s jigsaw. It turned out real good and was strong too.

And then, my mother (still) has a simple ski rack I made around the same time that was maybe 3’ of 3/4” pine with 8, 3/4” dowel pegs drilled into it to hold the skis. There was a routed edge on this one, so I had to have made it in high school shop. Yep…It was where I learned the name “Roman Ogee”. Ha! A little reminiscing here!

Do you remember your first? (Oh…In case you’re wondering, the neighbor lady paid me $20.00 for the job. Hell. I was 15, she was real pretty, husband was a 250lb drunk. She could’ve kept that $20…I wouldn’t have cared less!) (And her name was Marty!) HA! It’s a swiss cheese memory, but it’s all there.

-- Bob Vila would be so proud of you!

81 replies so far

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4123 days

#1 posted 02-05-2008 08:22 PM

(interesting that your remember her name!) :)

well.. let’s see.. my first ever woodworking project that I did by myself, (not counting some pyrography)
oooooh think,, think.. what was it.. oh yes, let’s just go back and look at my project listings!!
There it is: the first woodworking project by MsDebbieP. built 393 days ago.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View Brad_Nailor's profile


2539 posts in 3920 days

#2 posted 02-05-2008 08:26 PM

8th grade woodshop, a cribbage board made out of red oak. First time I used a router, table saw and drill press. I covered the neighbors cribbage board with craft paper and marked the holes and then use that for a template to drill the holes. It was originally supposed to have turned legs but one of my glue ups exploded on the lathe…either I pushed too hard with the tool or banged the set piece in too hard..or did a crappy glue up. All I know is I got hit with a couple pieces of fast moving oak and ended up in the nurses room! Needless to say the cribbage board ended up being a table top model! man, that was…..34 years ago…and I still don’t like to turn!


View CharlieM1958's profile


16274 posts in 4181 days

#3 posted 02-05-2008 08:28 PM

Sounds like she made quite an impression on you. I’m glad you spared us the more intimate details. ROTFL!

I guess my first WW project would have been my pinewood derby car when I was in Cub Scouts. (You and I are about the same age, Dadoo, so that was 40+ years ago).

Of course I had a little help and instruction from my dad, especially with the finish. He was into making gunstock lamps at the time, and my car ended up with a french polish finish that put the other kids’ painted wrecks to shame!

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 3951 days

#4 posted 02-05-2008 09:08 PM

Jr. high wood shop. A wooden spoon, then a chessboard. Then nothing for years after.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View JonJ's profile


163 posts in 3803 days

#5 posted 02-05-2008 09:23 PM

When I was around 10, I got interested in old sailing ships for some reason, and started carving little models out of oak limbs that fell in the yard. I think the first one I made was the USS CONSTITUTION- that was my favorite.

-- Jon

View Greg3G's profile


815 posts in 4048 days

#6 posted 02-05-2008 09:29 PM

I think I was about 7 or 8…my Grandfather set me up with an old table pedestal. I cut circles out for the top (2) the bottom (2) and small ones (4) that I used for pad feet. I stained and varnished myself. I think my dad still has it today.

My first school woodshop project was a small box. I still have that box on a shelf in my office.

-- Greg - Charles Town, WV

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 3837 days

#7 posted 02-05-2008 10:44 PM

Cribbage board. Very uneven drilling, I might add.

View FrankA's profile


139 posts in 3742 days

#8 posted 02-05-2008 10:56 PM

It is rough trying to remember almost 40 yrs ago but I think my first was a pinewood derby car while in cub scouts. I junior high shopclass I made a book stand that a cookbook sits on, for my mother.

-- Frank Auge---Nichols NY----"My opinion is neither copyrighted nor trademarked, but it is price competitive."

View Karson's profile


35111 posts in 4363 days

#9 posted 02-05-2008 11:01 PM

My first was a bookcase that I made in High school shop. My mother had it in the house. and when my parents passed away, my sisters got rid of it I guess. I’ve never seen it in years. It was built with Red Oak.

The second was a stereo cabinet with speakers. It might have even be just a Hi-Fi because stereo was just coming out at the time. It was built with Walnut.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View matter's profile


210 posts in 3732 days

#10 posted 02-06-2008 01:01 AM

I think the first thing that I ever made was a board- nailed to the hardwood floor when I was about four. My Dad didn’t think a four year old could pound a nail through oak…

After that, The first thing that I remember building was a rocking cradle for my little sister’s Cabbage Patch Kid with my Dad. Then a medicine cabinet, also with Dad, then a fishing rod rack (still right behind me) also with Dad…

Now I’m on my own, and still building most stuff with Dad’s tools.

-- The only easy wood project is a fire

View gizmodyne's profile


1776 posts in 4053 days

#11 posted 02-06-2008 01:07 AM

Pinewood derby of course. Then a pair of skim boards in middle school. California.

-- -John "Do I have to keep typing a smiley? Just assume it's a joke."

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

4023 posts in 4026 days

#12 posted 02-06-2008 05:10 AM

Stacking circles puzzle, junior high school shop. Pine and orange shellac, from the nearly perpetually open gummed up jug of community shellac. Gawd awful workmanship and an even worse finish. It took forty years and dewaxed blonde Zinnser Seal-coat to erase the hatred of the nasty gloopy stuff.

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over a decade.

View SST's profile


790 posts in 4158 days

#13 posted 02-06-2008 05:43 AM

Not my very first, but my first furniture project from 8th grade shop class(about 1959 or 1960).It’s made of cherry and was gifted to my older sister & brother-in-law back then for their first house. I received it back recently when they downsized to a condo. It’s been in the basement collecting dust and needs a re-finishing. Maybe it’s time to do that and give it to one of my kids. -SSTPhotobucket

-- Accuracy is not in your power tool, it's in you

View RAH's profile


414 posts in 3840 days

#14 posted 02-06-2008 06:33 AM

I was about twelve, 4H project, a rabbit cage with help from my dad.

-- Ron Central, CA

View Les Hastings's profile

Les Hastings

1305 posts in 3736 days

#15 posted 02-06-2008 06:37 AM

First piece of furniture was a lathe turned walnut bar stool in seven grade shop class. It had dissapeared for years, didn’t know where it went. Two years ago I found it while getting my parents estate sale ready to go. I found it in pieces in my dad’s old shop. Soon as I get it back together and re-finished I’ll get it on here.

-- Les, Wichita, Ks. (I'd rather be covered in saw dust!)

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