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8 posts in 2850 days

Location: Bedford, Texas

I have been in the construction industry all my life. Currently, I sell industrial and commercial insulation products. I grew up in the hot and mosquito infested swamp they call Houston, Texas. My first brush with cabinetmaking was the discovery of an old woodworking shop on Buffalo Bayou when I was a kid throwing newspapers. It was a center line shaft shop, with belts turning the various tools and their Coke machine was six cents. You'd insert a nickle and a penny, turn the crank and the small bottle dropped to the hole. The bottle opener made a swishing noise and the first sip was always so very good. I remember Albert the most, a big burly man with a full beard and always sweaty. His leather apron was dark and worn like an old bomber jacket. They used hide glue and it smelled terrible. They said it was made from old horses hoofs. They made beautiful furniture and allowed us to watch occasionally.

My father was a mechanical engineer and my mother an artist and they had a large family. I enjoyed spending time with my mother learning to paint, sculpt and do gardening and learned about man things from my father, from fixing things around the house and learning to fish and hunt. I began working in a restaurant when I was in the sixth grade and mowed yards on Saturdays. I had saved $3,000 by the eighth grade. But the life changer was 1969 when after eighth grade, I went to California for the summer and worked in my grandfather's furniture shop (my mother's father). There I learned about building oak frames, tying springs and upholstering furniture. To this day, I think of him every time I hold one of his tools, my favorite being the Stanley 101 trim plane that rides in my apron pocket.

Beginning in the 1970's I served apprenticeships first as a frame carpenter, then a finish carpenter and learned from old school ways as our specialty was restoration of Victorian style homes. I actively traded in antique builder hardware, lumber and eventually commercial advertising, such as signs, brewery items and some antique tools. We built a cabinet shop and made trims and items such as beaded ceiling, which was not available. I understood what it was like to plane wood until your arms turned to jelly, use handsaws, miiterboxes, hammers, Yankee screwdrivers and folding rules. My skills transcended to cabinetmaker later and power tools.

I specialized in commercial furniture, fixtures and trade show exhibits and had my own business; later selling it for personal reasons in the middle eighties just prior to the real estate crash in Texas and the end of the oil boom. It would have wiped me out if I had stayed in business back then. I spent the next few decades raising three children as a building engineer and then later in my current role as a sales and now district manager.

Now, later in life, I have a hobby of woodworking and antique level and wooden plane restorations. I list items on e-bay and enjoy the friendships I have made there as well as with other woodworkers. I have a small shop and spend a lot of my time getting back in touch with using hand tools. I am also a freelance writer.

-- A craftsman is not judged by the tools they have, but rather by what they can do with what they have..

Latest Activity

commented on Level Vial Boxes From Recycled Wood Levels 06-21-2013 02:35 AM
added project Level Vial Boxes From Recycled Wood Levels 06-21-2013 02:18 AM
commented on Don W's Workshop 06-21-2013 01:40 AM
commented on Roubo Workbench 04-15-2013 06:24 PM
commented on Levelonlevel's Workshop 04-14-2013 11:36 AM
added project A Display Shelf Made From Two Antique Levels 04-09-2013 05:25 AM
commented on Bench 04-08-2013 05:40 PM
commented on Hand Tool Journey #10: Stanley SW #3C Rehab.. Done! 04-08-2013 05:27 PM
added workshop Levelonlevel's Workshop 04-08-2013 04:34 PM
signed up Levelonlevel's Profile 04-07-2013 06:48 PM

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8 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


118153 posts in 4552 days

#1 posted 04-07-2013 07:31 PM

Welcome to Ljs a world wide community were there are great people,super projects and great woodworkers.Enjoy !
Because I often get asked questions by new members I’ve included the answers to the most( FAQ) along with my welcoming message to LJs.
You should know that posting questions or projects here (your profile page) will not get you very many responses’ just because it’s your profile page not part of a main forum. To post in a main forum read below.
Want to know how to post something?
See the drop-down box underneath my Lumberjocks in the upper right hand corner. Click on the arrow and select which type of posting you want to make (Project, Blog entry, Forum topic). This will take you to the appropriate page and you just fill in the form.
Sending Private messages(PMs) to other members
Click on the word” home” next to the profile picture of the member you want to contact ,then click on “send message”
Need help with posting or other questions ?
Martin SojKa ( LJs founder)
Ms DebbieP AKA Debbie Pribele (Ljs community manager)
Just for the record even though I have a large number of post I’m not involved with LJs management ,I’m just another member.


View cajunpen's profile


14578 posts in 5041 days

#2 posted 04-07-2013 11:15 PM

Welcome to LumberJocks – enjoy the community.

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

View surfin2's profile


51275 posts in 4111 days

#3 posted 04-08-2013 12:23 AM

Welcome To LumberJocks.
Good Luck…

-- Rick

View scrollsaw's profile


13030 posts in 4829 days

#4 posted 04-08-2013 01:29 AM

Welcome to Lumberjocks.

-- Todd

View OnlyJustME's profile


1562 posts in 3352 days

#5 posted 04-08-2013 05:36 PM

Hello and welcome to LJs. The fact that you’re a writer does not hide itself. I was thinking that before your last line. I wish i could have been privy to an old cabinet shop so i could watch all those wheels and machinery at work. I look forward to reading your future blogs, if you have any.

Enjoy :)

-- In the end, when your life flashes before your eyes, will you like what you see?

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4168 posts in 3831 days

#6 posted 04-09-2013 10:27 AM

Welcome to LJ’s
Nice workshop you have looking forward to more of your projects


-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View SnowyRiver's profile


51458 posts in 4455 days

#7 posted 04-09-2013 12:59 PM

Welcome aboard. It’s great that you could join us on Lumberjocks.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View NoLongerHere's profile


893 posts in 3651 days

#8 posted 04-10-2013 01:50 PM

Hey, Hey!.... Welcome to Lumberjocks!

Ditto what OnlyJustMe said. Glad to see you here.

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