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Forum topic by lumberjoe posted 07-30-2012 12:00 PM 1786 views 1 time favorited 46 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View lumberjoe's profile


2899 posts in 2243 days

07-30-2012 12:00 PM

My wife is pretty crafty, but has never taken an interest in woodworking. She does like to refinish old furniture, but is very intimidated by the techniques and most of all, the power tools involved in creating something from scratch. That was up until this weekend! We went shopping a few weeks ago and in browsing around Williams and Sonoma, she mentioned how much she liked their cutting boards and wanted to buy one. I told here there was no way in hell I was paying 120$ for a maple long grain cutting board when I could make one for about 15$.

Saturday AM she sends me to the mill with instructions to “stop telling me you can make a cutting board and just do it”. I came back with some maple and cherry. After I had it planed and jointed, she came out to the garage. Once I started cutting it into strips, she started arranging them into patterns she thought were interesting. I told her it would go a lot quicker if she would glue them up while I cut. I showed her how and she did. Long story short, she got very into it. by 11am she had made a decision to send our daughter to the grandparents for a much welcomed visit so we could finish. We ended up making 6 cutting boards. She even sent me out to get some “interesting” wood, so I picked up some walnut and purple heart.

She is still afraid to use the table saw with her hands/push stick, but she is ok with the cross cut sled.She really got into the whole process and was asking a lot of questions about “why are you doing that first”, and “how do you make this straight/flat” etc. I got her to use the router table as well to round over the edges, and she even sent a few through the planer herself.

Best quotes:

“That sled thing is amazing, how do people cut a bunch of stuff the same size without this” (after giving me hell for ”wasting money on all that stupid Incra hardware I don’t need”)

We should get a better planer, this one takes forever”

“You need another work bench, there isn’t enough room for me to sand this while you are cutting and the other ones are gluing”

“I thought you had more clamps than this?”

Today she wants to start making a few end grain ones when she gets home from work. She has also started browsing the projects here quite a bit looking for ideas.


46 replies so far

View b2rtch's profile


4861 posts in 3043 days

#1 posted 07-30-2012 12:24 PM

You are in trouble, soon she will kick you out of your shop.
You can plan on moving in her sawing room ( if the has one)

-- Bert

View helluvawreck's profile


31030 posts in 2861 days

#2 posted 07-30-2012 12:34 PM

Joe, are you going to give her your shop and build you a new one or the other way around? Man and wife in the same shop – I suppose it’s possible. Who’s going to be the boss? Ya’ll might be able to write a book about this before it’s over with. We’ll all stay tuned in. ;-|


-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View b2rtch's profile


4861 posts in 3043 days

#3 posted 07-30-2012 12:56 PM

I think that helluvawreck has good point.
Let your wife take this shop over and build a brand new one for yourself.

-- Bert

View doughan's profile


96 posts in 2585 days

#4 posted 07-30-2012 12:56 PM

lol “i thought you had more clamps then this”........quick ,while she is still interested, make her help you shop for more tools…this opportunity could be over soon if she gets bored with it!!!

View nwbusa's profile


1021 posts in 2280 days

#5 posted 07-30-2012 01:00 PM

Great story, the quotes are hilarious… fun times!

-- John, BC, Canada

View Fishinbo's profile


11362 posts in 2170 days

#6 posted 07-30-2012 01:18 PM

Indeed, you have to be careful with her from now on. You are now a power couple in woodworking.

View waho6o9's profile


8187 posts in 2571 days

#7 posted 07-30-2012 01:19 PM

That’s awesome LumberJoe, there’s nothing like team work.
Keep us posted, I see a new workbench in your future with Benchcrafted

View Alexandre's profile


1417 posts in 2185 days

#8 posted 07-30-2012 01:27 PM

Give here your old shop, And get yourself that DREAM SHOP you wanted…
She can’t complain, as she KICKED you out….

-- My terrible signature...

View lumberjoe's profile


2899 posts in 2243 days

#9 posted 07-30-2012 01:36 PM

I think the best thing that came out of this are:

1 – I will definitely have more leeway with tools and lumber. She spent the evening online looking at different exotic woods she wants to make things out of.
2 – Even though we only spent about 16 hours out there this weekend, she is really starting to grasp the process, and more so she is getting an understanding of wood in general. She always has me stain things awful colors, if you look though my projects you can see me complain. With cutting boards you can’t use stain. She did an excellent job and matching up grain patterns and is very into grain arrangement and natural wood colors now. The minwax can finally go in the trash!

You can see what she did here. The two pieces of cherry came out really nice together:

Here is what it looks like on the top, also the spalted maple is two pieces. She matched them up nicely:


View derosa's profile


1577 posts in 2830 days

#10 posted 07-30-2012 01:46 PM

Talk her into a sawstop and show her how it works, she’ll be even more confident about using the saw.

-- --Rev. Russ in NY-- A posse ad esse

View Tennessee's profile


2872 posts in 2509 days

#11 posted 07-30-2012 01:53 PM

The bright side:
1. Your best friend is now a woodworker.
2. New and exciting tools are on the horizon.
3. Exotic woods you never hoped to buy will be flowing through your table and band saw.
4. Never work with dark and blotchy stains again!
5. Someone to do all that boring sanding you hate so much.

The dark side:
1. You will have to slow down to teach her many, many things, some of which will make no sense to her.
2. Bumping into another person all the time in your shop, previously your “mancave”.
3. Fruitless explanations on why this Powermatic/Grizzly/Laguna/Festool/Frued is better than the Harbor Freight/Craftsman/Ryobi/(Put your favorite junk tool name here).
4. Soon, your project list will actually be her project list.
5. There is a chance she will end up a better woodworker than you, and learn more techniques.

Updates will be appreciated. For now, I like it when my wife comes down and says, “Do you need anything?”, and I say, “No, I’m fine, Baby.” And she leaves after telling me how beautiful whatever I am working on looks. Close enough for me!

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View lumberjoe's profile


2899 posts in 2243 days

#12 posted 07-30-2012 02:09 PM

Ha! that’s funny Paul. She is actually more of a brand snob than I am. You should see her sewing equipment. Even “Singer” is a dirty word. “Made in the USA” isn’t good enough for her. If it isn’t Swiss or German, she doesn’t buy it. She even asked me multiple times why I ”bought such a piece of crap planer” She is really starting to see the value in good tools and how buying cheap tools ends up costing you twice. I will probably have a DW735x before the week is out as she wants to make 12 more long grain boards at request of her coworkers.

My project list is already her project list. The only thing I made that I actually wanted to make was all of my jigs.

Also, that is not my mancave. She already as her area and spends quite a bit of time out there with me. She loves to restore old furniture. She never really paid attention to what I was doing until now. I did get a LOT of “why do you have to…” questions, but showing her why is easier than explaining it.

My mancave is upstairs. I love music, and have a very nice room with great acoustics, a beautiful set of bowers and wilkens speakers fed by a McIntosh tube amp, a single, comfy leather chair, some woodworking books and not much else.


View b2rtch's profile


4861 posts in 3043 days

#13 posted 07-30-2012 02:18 PM

” McIntosh tube amp” these things still exist?
They were ancient when I was young. I know that some people love them for their sound.
A long time ago, 50 years, I use to have a Blaupunk stereo with tubes the sound was excellent

-- Bert

View lumberjoe's profile


2899 posts in 2243 days

#14 posted 07-30-2012 02:22 PM

Yes, Mcintosh still makes them, along with a few other brands. They are absurdly expensive though, but in my opinion 100% worth it.


View b2rtch's profile


4861 posts in 3043 days

#15 posted 07-30-2012 02:22 PM

question: ‘I’ve created a monster”
So, who is the monster?

-- Bert

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