LJ Interviews #15: Dennisgrosen

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Blog entry by MsDebbieP posted 04-14-2011 12:15 PM 2015 reads 1 time favorited 20 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 14: WistysWoodworkingWonders - Shop Tour Part 15 of LJ Interviews series Part 16: Napaman »

This interview is from the April 2011 issue of the LumberJocks’ eMag. Thanks to Dennisgrosen for taking the time to do this interview.


1. How did you first get started working with wood?

it all started i think the same summer my parents build their house; I was on summer vacation at my uncle and aunt’s and he had this lovely basement with a lot of different handtools – a candystore to come down into for me. Even today, I wouldn’ be able to tell you what half of the tools was used for and were. He was a real DIY-man, a man of all trades sort of.

When I was there that summer I got this weird thing over me – I wanted to make a box to my mother as a gift and my uncle said, “okay here is the bench and a 4×4 piece of pine ….build” ……BOOOH I said and hoped he would show me how to and he did. Probably the worst box ever made …LOL but it had small brass hinge and a brass hook as a lock and a tiny little room inside,
not big enough to have a pair of earrings in.

The day I was going home to my parents he came with a little gift and said this is yours now, hope you can use it. The room inside was made with the two chisels there was the gift. He must have seen something in me …LOL

Later we got Sloyd (= woodworking in the elementery school) and learned to use frame saws, planes and chisels. Little by little, 2-4 hours a week, we made a bunch of small projects that the teacher said we should make and were told what tools we were restricted to use, building up the confidence of the young people :-) In the rest of the school time until I stopped at 10 grade, the last year I made a simple relaxing chair and a sofa table / coffee table of my own design sort of
done only with unplugged hand tools; the only power tool we was allowed to use was the drill press.

The next many years it was more or less only DIY work on 8-9 houses beside my parents. I refurb/restored, together with friends, and building R/c airplanes and the last twelve years on my own house.

A couple of years ago I really got interested in woodworking, in a sick period, and at the same time I was without a job but fortunately I had my computer and start searching the net both to learn new things and to search for woodworking tools and how to maintain them, then a weird idea of one day in the future making one or two planes myself …:-) In that two year period I learned more about tools, DIY, and woodworking than the in first 45 years of living

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2. What was it about woodworking that initially caught your interest, enticing you to get into it at the level you are now?

I was tiring of only doing DIY work and the only magazine we can get in my country, when I started to buy it, had one or two real woodworking projects with pictures and the article but then they switched to only DIY articles about house refurbing so I was glad to have the internet to search on :-) and we have no place in Denmark as far as I know of where we can walk in from the street and buy good hand tools like planes and chisels but I still remember, not so much the building, but how proud I was and the feeling it gave me every time I used my homemade furniture. I guess you will have the same experience if you try to make a hand tool yourself and use it in the shop :-)

3. Tell us a bit of history of your journey from that beginning to where you are today

After I had discovered that I actually had been bit by the woodworking bug many years ago
and got the virus back, then it kept coming back with shorter and shorter periods
saying, “go for it go for it” with a bigger and bigger voice and after I discovered LumberJocks and a few other sites + you-tube a couple of years ago the hunger has been ever growing, but on a real tight budget it’s going very slow but fortunately I have been able to buy used tools (you can see how in my bragging tool gloat series .. lol) and now I have started to restore them little by little so they are ready for the day I get a real shop in a new place

4. What inspires you regarding wood creations?

I still don´t know yet, I think, with all the great projects I see here on LumberJocks and a voice screaming, “I want to make them all, every single one of them.” I know there are some categories I probably never will attempt to make do to the fact that I´m not artistic at all but I do admire those who can carve and scroll in free form and make sculpture art. But for the moment I look more at shop/tool projects and I think its natural in this stage that I am building up a tool collection and figuring out what I want to work with and how I will work in the future.

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5. What are the greatest challenges that you have met along the way?

The greatest challenge beside a toooo tight budget …lol….is a personal thing and really hasn’t much to do with woodworking. It is my ability to write and read in English correctly and fast enough. Its the same in Danish don´t worry ….lol— but that has something to do with a car accident back in 1981where I had to start from scratch of learning to walk, talk, read and write again. It did take me nearly 3½ years to get out of the wheels and back to work
but I still have constant back pains…..a minor thing that’s just bugging me :-)

The best defense to these kind of troubles is to attack them with the head high and a good sense of both humor and black humor and to laugh a lot; the bigger smile you can keep on your face the easier/faster you go through it.

And thanks to all LJs – you have helped me a lot every single day just by being who you are

6. What is the greatest reward that you have received from woodworking?

I can only say that it must be the journey when making the project. I know what I said
before about the feeling of using a homemade thing, but from the days when I flew with
R/c airplanes it wasn’t so much flying with them that I liked, of course I was proud when they actually could fly the first time I tried them, but where most R/c pilots would maybe use 100 hours in the building process I probably would use 6-700 hours on the same plane and did :-)
In other words, this thing of making something with your own hands help me to
relax and find myself again after stressing on the job

7. What is your favourite tool that you use for woodworking? 8. What is your favourite creation in/for your woodworking?

As a totally newbie myself to the woodworking trade, still more or less struggling with the first board of pine :-) I can honestly tell you …..I don´t know yet, except if you count the computer, internet and handbooks for tools :-)

9. What tips would you give to someone just starting out or currently struggling with woodworking?

As a newbie I don´t think I’m the right person to answer that …. but none the less
I will try to give my humble opinion.

Read, read, read, ask, ask, ask, learn, learn, learn and the best way is of course to have a master of the trade with good teaching skills by your side :-) Not many of us have that opportunity but you can take short classes, read books see video’s, and exchange knowledge and ideas with other woodworkers and when you think you have the knowledge of one thing on the hard disk
in you brain, then practice and practice again and again and again. Every time you gain new knowledge you still have to work with the old skills. Keep on trying to make things a new way, even when you think you have a full proven way of doing it.

Wow that was a mouthful and I still have to figure out if it works …. LOL … but I have been told so many times here on LJ and in my own country that is how you expand your skills ….. so I guess we have to believe them … :-)

10. How did you find LumberJocks and what is it that keeps you coming back?

On my big journey through the internet I stumbled on The Woodwhisperer, Charles Neil and Tommy T-chisel on you-tube, among others, and many of them had their own website/homepage to go to and a lot of them have links of interesting/related links box. One day I had seen a few of Woodwhisperer´s video´s I thought, ” what is this Lumberjocks link and what is behind it” .... after all I had seen the link on other great woodworkers site too … so one day…. well I had to try was that an eyeopener to see so many beautiful projects in one place. So after having been lurking through all the 12-13000 projects a year was gone by and I finely joined LJ :-) and have never looked back since. I still look at other sites, don´t worry :-) but such a warmer welcome and finer people I have never seen on other forum sites.

What is it that keeps me coming back several times a day? ..... beside its a very well build site, that is very easy to use, with an exceptional number of extremely well made projects and blogs
then it is you LJ´s for being who you are. It doesn’t matter if you are a professional or a newbie like me you are always willing to share both knowledge, histories and life experiences with each other and always helping if someone needs it.

This social thing of hearing about members visiting each other, Lumberjock picnics /meetings/ shows is fantastic. Maybe you are crazy but finer people to hang out with can’t be found on any corner :-)

I´m proud to call you my friends even though I haven´t meet you yet :-)
Thanks for being who you are and for keeping on making LumberJocks the best site to join.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

20 comments so far

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9239 posts in 3425 days

#1 posted 04-14-2011 01:11 PM

Great interview, Miss Debbie! With a great friend to many too! Dennis has been a wonderful friend and inspiration to so many people here on LJ’s and I can say for myself he has helped me many times with his friendship, knowledge and humor. Thanks Dennis for sharing this bit of yourself with all of us! Lumberjocks wouldn’t be the same without you! :)


-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View helluvawreck's profile


32086 posts in 3372 days

#2 posted 04-14-2011 01:29 PM

Ms. Debbie and Dennis I thoroughly enjoyed this interview. Dennis we’ve talked before but this was also enlightening and you are a fine friend and Lumberjock. God Bless.

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Jordan's profile


1400 posts in 3630 days

#3 posted 04-14-2011 01:34 PM

LOved reading about you Dennis. I consider you a super and friendly person.


View patron's profile


13653 posts in 3846 days

#4 posted 04-14-2011 01:51 PM

it’s a wrap debbie

from little acorns
in blue hats

do mighty fine woodworkers grow …....

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View Roger's profile


21011 posts in 3309 days

#5 posted 04-14-2011 02:31 PM

Great interview. Being a newbie/rookie myself, I appreciate LJ’s site, and all who contribute. It is a never-ending education. That is what woodworking is

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View Roger Clark aka Rex's profile

Roger Clark aka Rex

6940 posts in 3940 days

#6 posted 04-14-2011 04:03 PM

Great interview with a truly “nice” LJ. Dennis, during his tenure has excelled at improving his English to where it’s near perfect ….. not that it was a problem before, but you have to applaud his efforts in that area. Dennis has brought some interesting projects to LJs and is a frequent poster on all subjects, with a kind word for everyone, and his appreciation of humor makes him a valuable member of LJs.
Well done Dennis.

-- Roger-R, Republic of Texas. "Always look on the Bright Side of Life" - An eyeball to eyeball confrontation with a blind person is as complete waste of Time.

View reggiek's profile


2240 posts in 3776 days

#7 posted 04-14-2011 08:38 PM

Glad to know you better Dennis….I always enjoy your posts and insights…especially the interesting (and very useful) information you provided about passive cooling and heating. That information provided an interesting experiment for me to try…and to date I have one bank of cooling pipes in the ground which you can actually feel them working. I am planning to add a few more banks to see how much cooler I can make my shop by this method.

I am also a voracious student of the world and other cultures. I enjoy reading about our fellow LJ’s that are not in the US….I enjoy hearing their exploits…and seeing what their cultural influences are on their projects. I think it is one of the benefits of woodworking in that we share the love of the craft with people of all races, creeds, gender, etc. Maybe, someday, this world can all remember and enjoy what we love in common…rather than fighting over what we disagree about. Dennis is a great ambassador for his country….with his informative posts and great humour…

Keep on posting Dennis..I am truly glad to know you here on LJ’s. Thank you again Debbie for another great interview.

-- Woodworking.....My small slice of heaven!

View Bertha's profile


13567 posts in 3199 days

#8 posted 04-14-2011 09:13 PM

Inside the mind of one of my favorite members here! I really enjoyed this read.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 4805 days

#9 posted 04-14-2011 11:45 PM

Thank you for the fine interview Dennis!

It’s always a pleasure reading your comments.

They always have a ring of happiness.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View lanwater's profile


3113 posts in 3440 days

#10 posted 04-15-2011 02:10 AM

Great interview Miss Debbie, Excellent choice in Dennis; he is always nice an positive.

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

View lightweightladylefty's profile


3391 posts in 4218 days

#11 posted 04-15-2011 05:48 AM

We always enjoy Dennis’ comments, especially his keen wit! Thanks for sharing more of your life with us!


-- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View Stevinmarin's profile


838 posts in 3581 days

#12 posted 04-15-2011 07:20 AM

Yay Dennis! Great interview. What a great asset to Lumberjocks!

-- Entertainment for mere mortal woodworkers.

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18671 posts in 4181 days

#13 posted 04-15-2011 08:54 AM

Nice to read a little more about you Dennis. You are an asset to LJ! Too bad you had the accident and long recovery period. WE have a lot in common there. I still struggle with typing and scramble 10 to 15% of the words. But at least I’m improved enough to where spell checker figures out most of them. Since it has been 6 years since Topamax poisoning, I am beginning to think it is permanent damage not just side effects. It is obvious English is not your first language, but you do very well with it. Hope you get to use your tools more in the near future.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3621 days

#14 posted 04-15-2011 03:30 PM

you are killing me with all these kind compliments …... but I not a fool so I enjoy them … LOL
and feel very humbled at the same time …. sure makes a good day even better ….THANK YOU SO MUCH

I realy had my daubt when MsDeppie asked me politly to be interwiewed for the E-mag
I didn´t felt I had anything to tribute with when it comes to woodworking , thinking of
all the great woodworkers with awesome project´s behind them here on L J , I´m just the clown fooling around with a little pine
and make the dumm smart comment´s …. well some one has to do them …. and we can´t lieve
them to the comediens on the site …. can we :-)
but when the general say jump we all jump …. right … LOL

sorry I can´t thank every single of you right now your comments is a little overwhelming
and here in my two weeks vacation I´m more busy than at work believe it or not but
the loving swambo has ordre the house and garden fixed after a long hard winther before Eastern
so alot of diy work with concrete, motar and gardentools in the sunny wether
just sadly the shop has to bee silent

take care and have a great weekend all of you

View helluvawreck's profile


32086 posts in 3372 days

#15 posted 04-15-2011 06:52 PM

Don’t work too hard in your vacation, Dennis. Sneak into your shop at least a couple of times and fool around with some wood and tools. :)

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

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