Saying goodbye to my mentor

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Blog entry by Jim posted 10-12-2014 11:00 PM 1967 reads 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Today my father-in-law, Doug passed away. Doug was an amazing man who was full of compassion and love of life. He was an inspiration and mentor to me in so many ways, one of those was was his passion for woodworking.

One day, shortly after Shari and I got married 28 years ago, we were visiting and I went to see what Doug was up to in his workshop. As usual he was working away on yet another project and welcomed me in. He asked me if I ever tried woodworking. I explained that my only experience was in high school woodworking class where my teacher said I was useless and agreed to pass me on the understanding that I never touch another woodworking tool as long as I live. Doug said, “Well lets put an end to that nonsense right now!” with that he put a hand plane in my hands. Putting his hands on mine he guided me in some slow passes over the piece of maple he was working. As I pushed the plane, I was fascinated as the thin shavings of maple effortlessly curled up from the freshly honed blade. The spark was lit that day.

Shortly after that day, I started my first project which was an oak coffee table with shaped cabriolet legs, quite a substantial project for a total newbie with Doug always at hand to help as I worked. He gave me guidance each step of the way but made sure I was the one doing all the actual work. I worked away on the table in my garage knowing that Doug was a phone call away if I ran into difficulty. The table was beautiful and ended up featured in Canadian Home Workshop magazine later that same year.

Over the past 28 years and countless projects, I always looked forward to having Doug come over to see and critique my latest projects. He was always a source of encouragement and was my mentor in so many ways. Sadly Doug is no longer here but I will remember him fondly every time I pick up a tool in my workshop, especially as I watch the curls of wood from my freshly honed hand plane!

I will miss you Doug!!!


-- Jim in Langley BC Canada ---

10 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


117711 posts in 4056 days

#1 posted 10-12-2014 11:19 PM

I’m sorry to hear of your families loss,but Doug will live on in the projects you make . He will still be there in spirt.
My condolences to your wife and family.

View Kaleb the Swede's profile

Kaleb the Swede

1904 posts in 2448 days

#2 posted 10-12-2014 11:27 PM

Nice to know everything you set your hands to, his hands guided you there. Thank you for sharing, and sorry for your loss

-- Just trying to build something beautiful

View DiggerJ's profile


69 posts in 2015 days

#3 posted 10-13-2014 12:52 AM

May he be welcomed into the loving, open arms of The Greatest Carpenter.

-- Digger -- If you work long enough and hard enough to make it idiot-proof...the world will build a better idiot!

View wumpabill39's profile


7 posts in 1801 days

#4 posted 10-13-2014 02:45 AM

Sorry for your loss Jim,I know the feelin I did the same as you with my uncle,for he taught me all about woodworking .Doug will always be with you and watching over you,God Bless you and your family

View firefighterontheside's profile


20514 posts in 2336 days

#5 posted 10-13-2014 02:54 AM

Sorry for your loss Jim. This was a nice tribute to Doug.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

View thedude50's profile


3610 posts in 2957 days

#6 posted 10-13-2014 04:42 AM

may god comfort you in this sad time I will pray that you are able to see how god is there for you especially in the bad times . God rest his soul peace of the lord be with you and your wife and family

-- Please check out my new stores and

View Dutchy's profile


3412 posts in 2647 days

#7 posted 10-13-2014 06:51 AM

Sorry for missing your mentor, and thank you for sharing this homage.


View JoeinGa's profile


7741 posts in 2486 days

#8 posted 10-13-2014 01:02 PM

Nice tribute to your father-in-law (and friend). I’m sure he’ll still be watching you work on your projects.

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View NormG's profile


6441 posts in 3483 days

#9 posted 10-15-2014 12:33 AM

I am sure he would want you to p[ass it on

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

View Druid's profile


2137 posts in 3274 days

#10 posted 04-13-2015 01:57 AM

Sounds like you learned a lot more than woodworking from your mentor. It’s good to see how much you appreciate him.

-- John, British Columbia, Canada

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