Alin Dobra

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351 posts in 5000 days

Location: Gainesville, Floirda, USA

I am a Computer Science Professor (assistant professor actually) at University of Florida and I spend my professional life doing some teaching and a lot of research (see my professional website at if you are curious).

As opposed to most people that get good with woodworking, I did not work with wood all my life and, as a matter of fact, until I got my Ph.D in Computer Science, I had little time for any hobby or even handy work. My father is a very good handyman though and my grandfather was a carpenter at home and a machine supervisor at a mill most of his life. Neither of them taught me any woodworking since getting a good education seemed more important at the time.

I started working with wood only in 2004 when my wife suggested I build some bookshelves (she owns about 4000 books). After acquiring some tools (the first real one a Grizzly table saw in the summer of 2005) I started getting more ambitious with my projects. In the fall of 2005 I discovered Kelley Mahler's video on building a shaker table. After that there was no going back since this lead to hand tools, hand cut dovetails, etc. In Spring 2006 I purchased a small Jet lathe to use for the occasional turning for furniture making (or so I thought). One year and a half latter, I still have to do some serious spindle turning. Instead I discovered woodturned bowls and I specialized in natural edge end grain bowls.

I am a self-taught woodworker (lots of books from the library and Fine Woodworking articles). In any case, I'm way too impatient to take a class anymore (I have been taking classes for 22 years so it is understandable).
I am mostly working in the weekends and afternoons, trying to balance family life and passion for wood. What attracts me towards woodworking is th fact that it is the exact opposite of my professional activities. It requires a lot of physical work, patience for seemingly boring tasks and concrete thinking as opposed to highly abstract, very intellectually demanding and mostly sedentary work I have to do as a computer scientist. Nothing relaxes me more than two hours spend in the garage working on a project after writing papers full of math and talking to students all day. The fact that my woodwork is very accessible -- my scientific work really is not since very few people get to ever understand it and appreciate the finer points of it -- allowed me to interact with significantly more people, people that I would have never talked to otherwise. I find no greater satisfaction than showing a piece of my work to new acquaintance and see them marvel.

-- -- Alin Dobra, Gainesville, Florida

Latest Activity | view all »

commented on Killer Finish on Cherry (and other woods) 05-24-2016 12:08 AM
commented on Broken heart 08-03-2013 04:50 AM
added project Broken heart 08-03-2013 04:15 AM
commented on Nightstands 07-19-2011 04:30 AM
commented on TV console 07-19-2011 04:26 AM
commented on Pecan Twinsize Beds 07-17-2011 10:16 PM
added project Pecan Twinsize Beds 07-17-2011 09:00 PM
added project Bathroom vanities 07-17-2011 08:51 PM
commented on Cherry Kitchen 07-17-2011 08:44 PM
commented on TV console 07-17-2011 08:43 PM
commented on Vanity 07-17-2011 08:36 PM
commented on Dining room table and chairs 07-17-2011 08:31 PM
added project Cherry Kitchen 07-17-2011 08:29 PM
added project Dining room table and chairs 07-17-2011 08:17 PM
added project Vanity 07-17-2011 08:05 PM

Latest Projects | view all 44 »

Latest Blog Entries | view all 7 »

Workshop | view details »

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16 comments so far

View WayneC's profile


14359 posts in 5210 days

#1 posted 10-04-2007 03:30 AM

Welcome to LumberJocks. Enjoy the community.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View Karson's profile


35274 posts in 5513 days

#2 posted 10-04-2007 03:35 AM

Welcome to Lumberjocks. Glad to have you aboard.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View Max's profile


55999 posts in 5386 days

#3 posted 10-04-2007 06:57 AM

Glad to see that you have made Lumberjocks a part of your Woodworking experience… Welcome…

-- Max "Desperado", Salt Lake City, UT

View Alin Dobra's profile

Alin Dobra

351 posts in 5000 days

#4 posted 10-04-2007 04:47 PM

Thank you for the warm welcomes. I’m glad I found such a nice community with so many people that have the same interests as mine.


-- -- Alin Dobra, Gainesville, Florida

View Greg Mitchell's profile

Greg Mitchell

1381 posts in 5181 days

#5 posted 10-05-2007 02:24 AM

Welcome to Lumberjocks!

-- Greg Mitchell--Lowell, [email protected]

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

14189 posts in 5095 days

#6 posted 10-05-2007 02:47 AM

Hello Alin
Welcome to lj’s.
Checked out your picasa website. You do nice work. Looking forward to seeing more of work and new projects here on lumberjocks.

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 5273 days

#7 posted 10-05-2007 01:23 PM

Welcome to the shop!

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

View PanamaJack's profile


4483 posts in 5190 days

#8 posted 10-06-2007 04:24 AM

We would like to welcome you to the one and only LumberJocks. If you should need any woodworking question answered, don’t hesitate to ask. Somebody’s gonna have a good answer for you.

-- Carpe Lignum; Tornare Lignum (Seize the wood, to Turn the wood)

View oscorner's profile


4563 posts in 5423 days

#9 posted 10-08-2007 04:45 PM

Welcome to our woodworking community. Great bowls!

-- Jesus is Lord!

View TreeBones's profile


1828 posts in 5136 days

#10 posted 12-08-2007 08:57 PM

Hi Alin, I like all your projects. Some day I would like to try the band saw boxes. Nice work. This is a great site, I’ll be looking for more of your work.

-- Ron, Twain Harte, Ca. Portable on site Sawmill Service

View Alin Dobra's profile

Alin Dobra

351 posts in 5000 days

#11 posted 12-08-2007 09:01 PM

Thanks Ron,


-- -- Alin Dobra, Gainesville, Florida

View ND2ELK's profile


13494 posts in 4886 days

#12 posted 03-26-2008 06:54 PM

Hi Alin

Welcome to Lumberjocks. The projects are an inspiration (Like Yours!), The information is priceless and The people are supportive. The only problem is, The sight can get addictive,

God Bless

-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

View Bureaucrat's profile


18340 posts in 4764 days

#13 posted 09-26-2009 05:03 AM

Congratulations on your upcoming 2 year anniversary being a Lumber Jock. Thanks for your posts and participation.

-- Gary D.

View mynoblebear's profile


722 posts in 4220 days

#14 posted 12-10-2009 02:03 AM

Welcome 797 days ago!!.

You will find to be helpful, informative, supportive, and inspiring.

I bring A long list of experience creating, Furniture, Custom Furniture, Chairs, Occasional Chair, Dining Chair, Upholstered Rocking Chair, Wood Seat Rocker, Wood Seat Rocking Chair, Custom Rocker, Handcrafted Rocker, Personalized Rocker, Tables, Coffee Table, End Table, Side Table, Accent Table, Dining Table, Entry Table, Bistro Table, Bar Stool, Stools, and the list goes on.

I will keep an eye out and try to help you when I can as my time is limited. I check my In box on a regular basis and I will respond as soon as time allows.

-- Best Regards With Personalized Rocking Chairs And Furniture On My Mind,

View Bureaucrat's profile


18340 posts in 4764 days

#15 posted 10-03-2010 05:58 AM

Well, another year has rolled by. It must have been a really fun year because it seems like yesterday when I congratulated you on being a LJ for 2 years. Congratulations on your 3rd anniversary at Lumber Jocks. Thanks for helping make LJ a great place to visit and happy anniversary!

-- Gary D.

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