How I Got Started Building Furniture.
People often ask me how I got started in woodworking; I think it has a lot to do with the environment I grew up in. As a kid, I lived in the perfect neighborhood to learn about woodworking. On the corner was Jeff, a custom cabinetmaker. Next door was Mark, who built beautiful clocks and anything else he could think of out of wood, and of course, my father, a carpenter by trade. They converted their garages or built shops in their backyards and worked from home, so I was never far from the woodworking action. They frequently went to talk shops and jokingly called themselves the “Neighborhood Inc.” It was always a learning experience on multiple levels when they got together to talk shop, and I always learned a lot from them. Much of my woodworking skillset and business sense came from my father, who instilled in me the philosophy that if you are not going to do something right and to the best of your ability, you should not do it at all.
As a kid, I was always more excited to hang out with my father and watch the woodworking shows on PBS than I was about watching Saturday morning cartoons. One of my favorite shows I learned a lot from was Roy Underhill’s “The Woodwright Shop”. Roy used all hand tools to build his projects, so I was able to relate to him since my father would not let me use his power tools at such a young age. After each show, I would go out to the garage, dig through my dad’s scrap pile of wood, dust off my small collection of hand tools, and go to work to try to recreate what I had seen on TV. Ironically enough, it wasn’t a power tool but a sharp chisel that landed me in the emergency room to get a few stitches. My mother was less than thrilled as the doctor interrogated her trying to figure out if this was child neglect for letting such a young boy play with sharp tools.
As I grew older, my skillset developed, and I started to pay attention to furniture design and study how things were constructed. Through this, I grew to admire the great furniture designers such as Greene & Greene, and Stickley, and as a result, I have become very familiar with the Shaker and Craftsmen style of furniture building. Now that I have developed my woodworking skills to where I am able to build my visions, it has really opened up my creativity to be able to design and build new ideas and develop my own style.
As I develop my style, I always look back at some of the furniture I have built. I still see the fun in building the piece, and I would enjoy building it all over again. When I look forward to my next project, I am excited to see my new ideas and creations come to life.
More on my custom-made furniture and craftsmanship.
Originally posted on my business website. You can find out more about me and my custom furniture.