My woodworking journey up to this point.

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Blog entry by cajunrph posted 04-07-2018 04:48 PM 1251 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I had always been fascinated by woodworking from my early years. I’d watch PBS This Old House and Riy Underhill’s show and just dream of making some stuff. My grandfather was a woodworker. He had an extensive shop with many tools. He made have carved items that he sold as a side job. He passed away before I was born. We only had the stories and some of his pieces of work. The shop was 10 plus years into disarray by the time I was old enough to care about it. We weren’t allow in the shop. My grandmother and parents sufficiently scared us with stories of snake infested shop and over grown with poison ivy that we left it alone. Still I had the desire to do woodworking.

My father was a petroleum engineer for Schlumberger down in Houma Louisiana. He worked long hours and didn’t have his father’s love of woodworking. I don’t know if he could or not. About the only project we built was a wooden race car for the Webelos. We took a 2×4 cut a slant in the front for the hood area. Added wheels and a weight to the front and slapped some wheels on it. I didn’t win because my dad was ultra honest. We had access to slick ball bearings we could have used to reduce the rolling friction of the car. Anyway that little bit of woodworking was all I had as a child. Yet I still retained the desire for woodworking.

I graduated college and started my work life. Family followed and woodworking was never started. I built a barn/shop/man cave on property I was going to build a house on. I had to build out the shop to my liking. This is when I got back into some woodworking. Building simple shelves and very basic stuff. I had a room framed out in the barn and I worked on that. But it was more of construction woodworking than what I remembered of the TV shows of my long gone youth.

I got divorced and sold the house and barn moved on. I managed to get away with a Delta Miter saw and other basic power tools. Enough to do something. I helped my son build a race car. He didn’t win either haha. Then last year, in an effort to get my son off his XBox I told him we were going to start building stuff. First was a bird house. We had w bird that took up residence on our patio. Sitting on a power outlet that was attached to the top of one of the columns. I name everything and dubbed him Bart the Bird. We were going to make him a house. When investigating bird houses I found plans for a blue bird house. Bart was a house sparrow. If you don’t know, house sparrows are very aggressive and will run off other birds. The bird house we made was designed to keep Bart’s big butt out. We built the house for bluebirds. Next was dog beds. I found a plan on the net. We built them out. They were ok. The post were not the same length and the beds were wobbly. But the dogs didn’t care. After that I got busy with work again.

I’ve watched many woodworking videos on YouTube. Izzy Swan, Steve Ramsey, Stumpy Nubs, the Wood whisperer and on and on. Although they were helpful I still wasn’t getting it. Maybe I didn’t play attention to the videos I don’t know. But my projects were off. Steve Ramsey’s Weekend Woodworker course kept on popping up on my news feed. I hemhawed about plucking down the money. While the amount really wasn’t an issue for me the fact of paying for something I thought I could find for free was a henderance. After reading reviews I decided to pull the trigger. In my old age I’ve learned that sometimes spending money is better than trying to figure it out for yourself. So far so good. While my projects are far from perfect I’m improving. Learned the trick about using a stop block to ensure uniform cuts vs measuring out each piece. We’ll see if it sticks this time. But so far so good.

5 comments so far

View Rich's profile


7455 posts in 1832 days

#1 posted 04-07-2018 06:20 PM

Welcome to LJ. You’ve come to the right place for advice — both good and bad.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View MKH's profile


53 posts in 1369 days

#2 posted 04-07-2018 07:32 PM

Great story. Welcome to LumberJocks. Feel free to ask questions and post your work. We love looking at and reading anything wood related.

-- Marshall --------------------------- In with 10. Out with 10.

View Woodbutchery's profile


434 posts in 4828 days

#3 posted 04-08-2018 03:35 AM

A grand story, and a wish for good luck in continued interest in the hobby. Funny thing; continued practice is the only way to master each step.

-- Making scrap with zen-like precision - Woodbutchery

View Steve_In_MN's profile


29 posts in 1299 days

#4 posted 04-10-2018 05:14 PM

Thanks for sharing your story. I’m also new to LJ and agree it is a great place to learn about woodworking. Also a great place to post your projects and blogs.

Have fun!

-- Steve, Minneapolis area

View NormG's profile


6511 posts in 4246 days

#5 posted 04-12-2018 01:53 AM

Glad to have you aboard

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

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