Winning the Sumguy lottery

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Blog entry by MDots posted 08-21-2017 03:57 AM 1103 reads 0 times favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch

I am not a lucky person, despite my Irish heritage. I have never won a game of bingo, or one of those stick-your-name-in-the-hat drawings, or anything like that.

However, lady luck might have accidentally turned her head and sneezed in my direction while hanging on the arm of a far handsomer man than myself, as I have had more wood related luck in the past few weeks.

I may have mentioned before that I work in a shop adjacent to a hardwood flooring company, and occasionally dig through their dumpster. Lo, and behold, I hop in our shared skip to pick up a few largish pieces of white oak, and find a dark colored piece of something sticking up. I dig it out, and find a pallet of some dense, dark wood planks, along with some kind of orange-ish wood beams. I was planing down a few chunks of the dark wood, and one of my colleagues leans over my shoulder and asks, “Where’d you get that rosewood from?” I showed him my salvaged wood, and he confirmed that i found a pallet made out of rosewood. Holy cow! He couldn’t identify the other wood I found, but he is positive that it is an exotic of some sort. I asked the flooring company, and they confirmed that that pallet came from Brazil, with a load of Brazilian cherry on it. I mean, it isn’t going to be prime grade wood, but for making small tools and replacing plane totes and the like, thats amazing! A rosewood pallet, who knew?

Now, coming across nice, free lumber is great and all, but winning the Sumguy lottery? It’ll take more than that. This brings me to my next success. I located a flea market in nearby Wentzville, and have been going every weekend since I got to St Louis, and have come across a veritable dragon’s hoard of tools.
I’ve amassed a #7 Fulton jointer,
a Sargent #5 1/2,
a #5 of a maker that I can’t remember off the top of my head,
a Stanley #9 1/2,
and a #60 1/2,
a #45, minus the spurs,
3 full sets of auger bits,
a saw set,
and a pocket watch (unrelated, but I’ve always wanted one!),

all easily cleaned up in a bath of vinegar and tuned for use…all for less than $100 including gas and tolls.


Believe it or not, your call, but why would I lie to anyone on the internet?

If that weren’t enough, I just got a new job this week, as a Luthier’s apprentice. I found an ad in my local woodcraft, asking for skilled hand tool users to help maintain the rental fleet of violins, cellos and bases. I don’t for a second think I am qualified, but I’ve always been fascinated by wooden instruments, and always figured that that kind of craft would be well beyond me. But, I emailed the guy anyway, thinking that the worst that would happen was that I’d be laughed out of the room, and the best would be learning what kind of improvements I would have to make to try and apply again a few years down the line.

I guess Lady Luck was having an allergy attack, because I left my “interview” with a firm job offer, and a workbench in their shop to call my very own. Sure, Ive got a lot of learning to do, but the master luthier I met up with seems to like me, and wants to teach me to make violins! And pay me! I couldn’t even get a paying job as a scenic carpenter with a Masters in Technical theater this last year, and now I am training to be a Luthier!

Please don’t be mad at me, I didn’t do it on purpose. I swear this has never happened before, honest!

And now that I have said it, I am just waiting for the horrible Jinx to descend on me for looking this wonderful gift-horse in the mouth.

Much obliged,

Dan “Sumguy” Mdots

1 comment so far

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91 posts in 1735 days

#1 posted 08-24-2017 08:10 PM

Congratulations. Not the $780m Powerball lottery but much better in so many ways.

Enjoy the new situation!

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