I was doing my typical free-time perusal of wood working blogs and sites when I came across the announcement that Sam Maloof had passed away on Thursday, May 21, 2009.After a genuinely stunned and heart felt moment of silence I began to reflect on...
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Location: Verona, Kentucky
I bought my first wood working tool when I was 12 by saving up my allowance. A craftsman scroll/jig saw, I think it was less than $20. I remember when I got home with it and got it out of the box, my father gave my mother one of those "why did you let her buy that?" looks. After convincing him I could use it without severing any appendages, I made a replica of a fort for my 6th grade history project.
I won't say how many decades later, I'm still using it to make things out of wood. I prefer my bandsaw but every once and awhile you just need to use a jig saw to cut something out. I don't make replica's of forts anymore, but I think I have made a few projects with other future 6th graders in the family. The latest being whirligigs with my nephew.
About 5 years ago I was just finishing up the remodel of the house across the street. I had finally talked my father into retiring and coming out to live in the country. I'm not so sure moving him into the house across the street was such a good idea - but that's an issue that has nothing to do with woodworking. Unless. . . , I could build a wooden casket and then figure out how to talk him into trying it out and. . . :)
Anyway, about 5 years ago I decided it was time to take my carpentry skills to the level of furniture maker. I started to put together a shop by reading the magazines and figuring out what I needed vs what would be cool to have. So, about 4.5 years ago I'm standing in the middle of a shop with a cabinet table saw with a router table extension, a 20" planer, 8" jointer, 14" bandsaw (w/a riser block), a delta mortiser, a mini lathe and a dust collection system thinking "Now I need to learn the best way to use all of this stuff." And that's when I signed up for my very first wood working class - "Sculpted Rocking Chair" at the Marc Adam's School of Woodworking. Those of you who are familiar with this class will appreciate the statement that this was like "diving into deep, deep water miles from shore and the only swim stroke you know is the dog paddle." But, thanks to being fortunate enough to start out taking classes at a great school with awesome people, I not only survived - a few months after the class, I finished my chair.
Four years and about a dozen week long wood working classes later I can say to just about any project and mean it, "I can make that." Now the task is to develop the skills to make anything I want to make and make it beautiful! Wish me luck.
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