I started my woodworking adventures in 1985 when I lived in an apartment in New Haven, CT and quickly found that I enjoyed the craft immensely, planning project after project in my mind. Starting out with only a few tools, a circular saw, router, jigsaw, 3/8″ drill and a small assortment of hand tools, my first project was a much needed coffee table to take up the empty space in front of the sofa.
With no plans other than my thoughts of what I wanted it to look like I went at it in a real hurry. It was a design and build as you go with mistake after mistake but after a few weeks I had it finished. I was really happy with my first big woodworking project. I was hooked on this woodworking thing! Soon I found myself puttering with project after project slowly purchasing more tools as I went along.
In 1990 we moved into our first house. It was a modest home that needed repairs and some remodeling here and there. I felt confident that I could handle most anything now, especially using the woodworking knowledge I had acquired from the years before. The house had a semi-finished basement and I soon took it over, humbly beginning putting together a workshop. That’s when I purchased my first table saw, an inexpensive benchtop model.
That saw was the main machine that enabled me to make furniture and some accessories for the home. I was having so much fun with making things!
A few years later we were able to sell that house at a 100% profit and move into a newer home with a large basement just begging to be turned into another workshop. At the time I got a substantial promotion in my daytime job which enabled me to purchase more sophisticated tools.
At the height of my woodworking venture I had everything I needed and more, where I could build anything out of wood. Cabinet saw, 2 bandsaws, joiner, planer, lathe, 4 routers (one installed in a closed cabinet), variable speed drill press, oscillating and belt sanders, grinders, lots of different measuring tools and tons of clamps of all kinds and more. I also enjoyed hand tools and had quite a collection, many antiques, including Stanley handplanes nos. 3 through 8 (all users and the irons as sharp as can be), chisels (flat and carving). Some of the hand tools and jigs I made myself and everything worked or I spent the time to make sure they would work. And to top it all off I had piles of stickered lumber (maple, walnut, cherry and exotics (many pieces figured)). All of this stuff just waiting for the inspiration to start a new project.
Unfortunately after many years of woodworking bliss everything came to a halt and went downhill very quickly. It started out with my divorce (after 22 years of marriage) then soon after my job (after 21 years with the same company) went south. Hanging in there at my house, the inevitable took place and I lost my house to foreclosure. Finally moving back to my hometown to be closer to my family and that’s where I’m at now.
It’s been a while now since I’ve been able to work with wood but I feel as though I’d like to start woodworking again, most likely on a much smaller scale. My start? I have a circular saw, drill and a bunch of hand tools and a bit of determination.
This blog will be my unstructured musings about my new humble woodworking journey and whatever I come across that I find interesting in the benchtop woodworking world.