My Story

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.

 

13 thoughts on “My Story

  1. I recently began a blog, the information you provide on this website has helped me tremendously. Thanks for your whole time & work.

    • Robert Tutsky

      You are welcome. This blog is just starting and I hope to add more good information that may help fellow woodworkers.

  2. I’m impressed! You’ve managed the almost ipmoissble.

    • Robert Tutsky

      Thanks Krisalyn
      I’ve managed to take the good with the difficult in stride. I am grateful for what I have accomplished. I think that having a positive outlook on things help to make life easier to take.

  3. Matt

    My dad can make anything from dining room tables to harp dollies! So many skills and talents! Best of luck to your new website!

  4. Carol

    Robert Tutsky is my brother and the most talented person I’ve ever known. Some of his woodworking pieces (not pictured) are very complex. He’s made most of his own furniture which looks like Ethan Allen. But, what I think is his most creative work would be his paintings, several of which have taken awards. Please take time to check them out at http://www.roberttutsky.com/fine art. For over 20 years he’s made his career in graphic design….and had many well-known clients (Black & Decker being just one). He still makes his living doing work in that venue. Check out his accomplishments at http://www.roberttutskygraphicdesign.com. In graphic design, he’s had clients from all over the world!!!

    He’s also a great guy personally.

    • Robert Tutsky

      Thanks Sis for the plug. I am honored and frankly humbled by your comment. Now I have to make sure I can keep up with everything you mentioned.

  5. Dan

    Robert: I stumbled onto your site because I was getting desperate to finally spend money on a band saw. Your info helped me make my decision. I plan on getting it today and will let you know how it goes if you like. Your website looks great and just makes me want to see more of your work. Maybe you don’t like to brag but if you have pics of your furniture or other things I think it would go a long way to help people know how much you enjoy what you do. My story is that I lost my job and re-thinking my career direction as I passed my first 50 years I look at what to do in the next 50. I am total novice but people are noticing me and want me to do odd jobs that are fun (and not profitable – yet). I have your website and will keep watching for new stuff. Thanks again. Dan – Phoenix, AZ

    • Robert Tutsky

      Hi Dan, It’s nice to see that you are interested in getting into woodworking, I am sure that you will find it a rewarding and fun endeavor as I have. Like I mentioned in my “Story” I once had a shop that was complete with all the tools necessary for building anything out of wood (and in some cases, metal) but had to give it all up due to unfortunate circumstances. Because of my love for making things I decided to start over, albeit on a smaller scale.

      If you are looking to buy a band saw you should think of what you plan on using one for. I purchased the Craftsman 10 inch saw because it was a small tool, as band saws go, but was capable to do what I needed a saw to do. If you are planning on re-sawing logs of any considerable size, this isn’t the saw to choose. In my other shop I had the JET 14″ saw with the riser block installed and found it capable of cutting logs 14″ in diameter with no problem. I would love to have that saw again but living in a small apartment it just wouldn’t fit in. Anyway, it really doesn’t matter as I don’t build large size things anymore.

      Thanks for keeping tabs on what I am up to and I will be posting projects along the way as I complete them, especially now that my shop is pretty much complete with what I need to actually complete a project.

  6. Very nice site, funny our stories are very similar. I’ve gone from a large shop to a very small space myself. And 25yrs before the big D. Keep up the good work. I want to incorporate projects into my site as well.

    • Robert Tutsky

      Hi Mark,
      I would think that there would be quite a few woodworkers out there that for one reason or another found a reason to downsize their shops. For me, I actually like the small shop I have now… tools are closer in proximity to each other so they’re more easily reached!

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