Young family in need of assistance

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Forum topic by woodworker59 posted 09-01-2013 01:27 AM 1874 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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560 posts in 2227 days

09-01-2013 01:27 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question chisel miter saw blade clamp plane

Hey everybody, I just met a young father of three boys. His name is Frank. He is wanting to provide for his family and his boys, but is unable to afford to buy what they need. He has decided to build what they need, Bunk beds, tables and chairs to do school work at, etc… Here is the rub, he has very few tools and even less money, I set him up with a tool box, a #3, #4, #5 plane and a couple block planes.. there was a half a dozen assorted chisels and a couple saws, a draw knife and a spoke shave. plus some other things I had around, squares and such.. If anyone out there has anything hand tool wise that they would like to donate to a great cause, I will have his name and address if your interested. Keep in mind, that he and I both live in CT. So there will be some shipping costs involved. I just met Frank, and I find him to be honest and sincere in wanting to help out his family. I have offered to mentor him in his woodworking and will help him all that I can.,. So hey.. iffin you feel generous, and you got stuff ya aint used in a coons age… here is a great place to see it put back into use.. Okay that enough of me hanging the guilt trip on ya… give it a thought, and let me know if you can help..
thanks.. Papa…

-- Papa...

8 replies so far

View BentheViking's profile


1782 posts in 2590 days

#1 posted 09-02-2013 01:26 PM

i am all for people attempting to build furniture for themselves and if you have the knowledge and tools already it may work out well for you. but if you don’t have those and then have to figure in the cost of lumber (both what you use for the project, and the pieces you wreck trying to figure it all out) its not a cheap and easy task.

If I was your friend I would suggest hitting up thrift stores, craigslist (both for sale or free), curbside garbage piles, and most importantly the website freecycle. I think with those places he could get a lot of nice pieces for free/cheap and certainly a lot quicker than he’ll be able to build everything.

-- It's made of wood. Real sturdy.--Chubbs Peterson

View woodworker59's profile


560 posts in 2227 days

#2 posted 09-02-2013 05:31 PM

appreciate the kind suggestion, glad when I started building furniture, I didn’t have someone trying to talk me out of it from the start. I am quite sure Frank has done all of those things and more to make ends meet. I have offered to help him in any way that I can,, if that means teaching him how things are made than that’s what we will do. If ya don’t want to contribute, that’s fine, I have no problem with that at all… we can only do what we can do… but don’t discourage someone who just wants to make things better for his family. I just find it somewhat humorous that someone called Bentheviking would not be more supportive, had the vikings just sat back and said, “someone else can discover the world, I don’t know how” Where would we be now? Just saying..Papa

-- Papa...

View Puzzleman's profile


417 posts in 2970 days

#3 posted 09-10-2013 02:16 AM

I agree with Ben. If he wants to get his family setup quick, go the low buck route. The hours spent learning how to create furniture might be more productive in endeavors that actually make money. With the extra income he would be able to afford better items for his family. Once he is secure with his family’s situation, and he has the free time, then he can learn to build furniture.

When I was having financial difficulties, I worked three jobs to get ends to meet. My woodworking was put on the back burner for a while till I got myself out the hole. Then I got back into wood. Now I do woodworking full time.

-- Jim Beachler, Chief Puzzler,

View James 's profile


138 posts in 2952 days

#4 posted 09-10-2013 02:30 AM

I will look around my shop and see what I have that I might be able to send him.

View Randy_ATX's profile


879 posts in 2468 days

#5 posted 09-10-2013 02:42 AM

I agree with Ben and also Jim nailed it on the head.

-- Randy -- Austin, TX by way of Northwest (Woodville), OH

View woodworker59's profile


560 posts in 2227 days

#6 posted 09-10-2013 02:55 AM

thanks to all, I am just glad that when I decided to start building furniture, and only had the bare bones necessities available to me, that I was not told to give up and not bother.. I started for the exact same reason.. I needed and couldn’t afford.. so I made.. still using some of those early pieces right here in the house..
I for one, would rather encourage then discourage someone from doing anything they want.. Many thanks to Jmaichel… I really didn’t expect a lot of people to contribute, its costly, most live far away and would need to cover the cost of shipping as well as the expense of whatever tool was donated.. but I did not expect to hear people trying to discourage someone from the trade.. I really expected to hear uplifting suggestions of where there are tools available for a reasonable cost, alternative methods of construction etc.. guess I live in a dream world…. if so, I hope no one ever wakes me… Papa

-- Papa...

View Tim's profile


3812 posts in 1987 days

#7 posted 09-17-2013 01:19 AM

Papa, sorry people rained on your parade. What you’re doing to help and mentoring is a really nice thing. That said, it may or may not be the best thing for this guy to spend his time learning to build furniture right now. Definitely some plus sides to what you’re doing, the whole confidence and self reliance angle, and all the things that we like about woodworking, but there’s something to what these other guys are saying, and they’re not just saying it to be mean. In the short term, the guy’s time is probably better spent on figuring out how to produce more income, and in the meantime figure out how to get what he needs creatively. Still, people need a little relaxation, so you could help the guy learn a little and at the same time encourage him to figure out the income angle. There’s plenty of time for hobbies once the most critical stuff is covered. There’s no rush to learn furniture building. It’s not about discouraging the guy, it’s about encouraging him to do what will help him the most. Being an adult is sometimes about doing what you don’t want to do.

All that said, a guy/gal still needs some tools for lots of things and if I can scare up any extras I’ll let you know. I tend to buy the minimum of things so I’m not sure I’ll find much.

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 3611 days

#8 posted 09-20-2013 06:56 PM

No sorry I don’t believe in begging letters each should act accordingly as their conscience allows but I have been stung too many times by these claims and asks.I nowadays give only when not asked for to frinds and neighbours I am very generous by nature but asking for free tools is a big no no in my book.It usually ends in tears and you discover nthese people could work and buy their tools just like the rest of us had to.Do as you please everyone else but I personally find these begging bowl letters a big turn off.NO thank you. and not as much as a screw from me if I have extra then I give to my own three sons.Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

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