Ten years on LJ today and my workshops during time.

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Blog entry by mafe posted 12-10-2019 04:04 PM 1463 reads 0 times favorited 29 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Ten years on LJ today
and my workshops during time.

Hi LJ’s,
Yes it’s my 10 years anniversary on LJ’s today, my ohhh, sooo much has happened since I put up my first post here.

A jewel clamp for holding small objects, I still use it and it has saved my fingers by the disc sander often, now where I do a little silversmithing as well as blacksmithing, it makes even more sense to use it.

I wrote in the welcome page back then:

Hi guys,
Thank you for the warm welcome.
I want to set up a good workshop now, make me some jigs, and start to grab the wood more as I have wished for many years.
I’m not all good in my health after an operation (that was not all success), so I can’t works so much, but since I love the smell of saw dust, and to see wood come to life, I will spend the time possible in my little toolshop.

Little did I know, that I should stay for ten years, get a lot of friends, visits from all over the planet in my little Copenhagen workshop , travel to friends in other counties and even get friend that I see in private on a regular basis. (Ohhh and a brother, but more of that later).

When I joined LJ, I was kind of in a life crisis, I had retired due to a neck operation at the age of 40, after a too short carrier as an architect, that had been my dream since childhood. I stood in a dark hole, fighting depression, anxiety and economical disaster. I were desperately looking for something to occupy my mind and remembered that I had a childhood dream of becoming a furniture maker, working with wood and the smell of fresh shavings. So before I would fall apart I started up the wood working as a serious hobby and new travel of learning, that I needed to stay relatively sain. Smiles.
My story short:
LJ interview Nov 2011:

Today I will make on a small tour of my workshops during the years, also before joining LJ, just as a fun reminder, that woodworking don’t need a big fancy workshop, with all the tools, a knife is basically what you need to get started and from there the road never stops, if you get the woodworking bug, or shall we say it gets you, like it got me. Smiles.

It kind of started here…
Me as a small boy, app 44 years ago – loving to build stuff and understand how things were made.
Saw, hammer and nails were my favourites and no, I had no idea how to make a straight cut, but I build plenty of rafts, playhouses and much more anyway, as I remember the thing I’m building on the photo is a doll theatre.

After my grandfather died, I build this stand to hold his tool box, as a memory of him and for me to give something back to his summerhouse, where I spend many summers, I was in my twenties there as I remember.

Raw force was needed since I did not know how to sharpen the chisels yet, but I had the basic principals learned.

Same age, at the building constructing architects workshop, where we learned the basics of all the building trades, here in carpentry, where we just finished building a small house, to learn the different ways of putting wood together. It was a wonderful time, where we also did bricklaying, concrete work, plumbing, blacksmithing, drawing and much more.
(Me on the left).

Ten years later I had my first real workshop, this was is the basement of my first house, that I bought with my daughter Mathildes mother. I did not have much time to play in that shop, since I were working as an architect, had my own office on the side and were fixing the house, that was a total renovation project I bought. But yes I was proud and happy as can be, my first workshop

Build my daughter a bed there.

But good things ends and I got divorced, moved to a new place, where I after a while started constructing a mini workshop in the garden.

I was in this period having constant pain, stress and my serious deroute started, so I needed a place to go and meditate, to empty my mind.

And so this tiny knife making workshop came to life, it was truly wonderful, even I could not stand up, but to get a break from life and the growing neck pains, were just what I needed.

Next I bought me a summerhouse on an island in Denmark, a fine old house, that had a small side house, I converted into a simple and practical workshop. Again I had little time for joy there, since I once more had bought my self a house that needed serious renovation… But it made me realize, that I could raise again after a fall and so I learned that woodworking and workshops, would be a part of my life from here.

Once again I had to sell my houses, I were 40 now and had to retire after a neck operation, that left me with chronic pain and a PTSD that dates back to my childhood had come to life, so I had to throw in the towel on what we call a normal life. I had to stop working and so I had to sell all I owned including a good part of my tools, to survive.
But I met a French woman and in Paris I build my self a small toolbox from wood found in the street.

So I were back into woodworking, in a Paris apartment now.

Never give up!
Got my self a small apartment and this was where I started thinking about taking up woodworking as a serious hobby.
It started in my living room with a tiny fold down workbench behind a door in the living room of my two room apartment.

But quite fast I converted my basement room into a small workshop and it was here it really took off and my early blogging on LJ began.

It was so small, that I had to step outside to change my mind, but I loved it and learned most of my woodworking skills there.

The living room, were used for Japanese woodworking.

Again there came a change, I meet a woman (there has been a few since Mathildes mother), we packed up my apartment and my workshop… and yes I were without a workshop for a period, but constantly looking for a place I could pay.

Then my lovely workshop finally showed up.
In a street in the centre of Copenhagen, fair size and wonderful location.
My ohhhh that was one of the happiest days in my life.

One of the first days back in 2012, seven years ago.

It quickly grew into the workshop I have today.

And the wall that I love to see every day when I open the door, brings me smiles and remind me how lucky I was to discover this world of woodworking, that brought me through depression and gave me a new meaning, a project, an identity, a reason to wake up and go there, but most of all a room where I can be meditative, be calm, creative, build stuff, explore and feel like life has not stopped, but is a flow.
Yes I am truly grateful and I can thank a lot of you LJ’s for this also, since blogging on LJ gave me an extra reason to do woodworking, the interaction the response, the things you learned me and most of all the chance to inspire others by sharing my projects became a big part of the driving force that kept me going – thank you all, especially all of you that also became my friends, both the once I meet in real life, but also those of you who are my close virtual friends for years now. (I just had tears in my eyes, smiles).

I still have my workshop, but I’ll keep going, sometimes out of the workshop…

To my home, for some home woodworking.

Or just with a basket to Turkey, while I had a house down there.

Missed my workbench.

But found ways.

And latest I go to my allotment house, where I have a small garden workshop, I can use when I’m there, leaving the city for some peace in mind.

And yes I set up a small workshop there, you will probably here more from that place.

For now I will say thank you for taking time to read this blog, some of you have read many of my 321 posts and 377 blogs, yes it has grown over the years, I am truly grateful.

My favorites:

Jewel box for my daughter (Because it was made with a fathers love and it was where I tested my skills the most)

Japanese tool box (It was in the Japanese series, that I really learned to care for every detail of woodworking)

Low angle shoulder plane (this really opened my eyes for tool making)

Whistle with pocket knife (Because it was my first woodworking eye opener when I was a boy)

Mafe’s wood bucket (because it was made with Mike and I think it was first master class on LJ)

Yes! I also love the Friends and gifts series, I get full of gratitude each time a I see a post there, it’s where the importance of the friendships I made here shines through.

I don’t want to mention names, you all know who you are and what role you have had in my life, but there are one person that I need to mention by name, Jamie, Jamie did not become my woodworking friend, he became my brother, or as we say; brothers with different mothers. Jamie learned me more than anyone, he learned me how to be a better man, he trained me in forgiveness, kindness, how to accept sickness and depression, meditation, to fully trust life and the others, he showed me a path in life, that I walk every day, a path for what I am forever grateful. Thank you my dear brother, thank you from my heart.
Link to my first visit to Jamie place in Scotland:

Most viewed projects during the years:
1 Ruler stop (89.000 views)
2 Kerfmaker (84.000 views)
3 Height gauge (77.000 views)

Yes I will guess that my blogs and posts has been viewed more than two million times now in total, so I must believe that my mission to share back and inspire has succeeded, but I have no plan of stopping.

You LJ’s has become a part of this old happy monkeys life – thank you from my heart.

Hope it can be to some inspiration, perhaps another lost person might find a path to walk…

Best thoughts,


Best of my thoughts to all of you.

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

29 comments so far

View shipwright's profile


8678 posts in 3813 days

#1 posted 12-10-2019 04:20 PM

Happy LJ birthday my friend. What an inspiring human tale you tell!

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View pottz's profile


15006 posts in 1999 days

#2 posted 12-10-2019 05:08 PM

although i havn’t been on this marvelous journey of yours as long as some here ive definitely enjoyed the ride,and i especially love when you take us into your haven of a shop and let us watch you make your beautiful creations step by step almost as if we were their with you.for that i say thanks you and a big congrats on 10 beautiful years,and i look forward to the next 10 my friend.peace mads.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View GR8HUNTER's profile


8311 posts in 1727 days

#3 posted 12-10-2019 05:13 PM

GRATZ SIR … that is quite an intresting story .. thanks for sharing you struggles and accomplishments :<))

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN :<))

View Duayne Israelson's profile

Duayne Israelson

11 posts in 2175 days

#4 posted 12-10-2019 05:53 PM

We have a family saying – “NGUNS”! Never give up, never surrender. I am sending this to my kids, another example.

I have really enjoyed reading your blog. Happy LJ birthday, and many more!!!!

-- Duayne Israelson

View Jim Rowe's profile

Jim Rowe

1124 posts in 3327 days

#5 posted 12-10-2019 06:08 PM

You’ve brought great sunshine to this site over the years with your detailed blogs and projects. We are all the richer because of your contribution..
Happy birthday

-- It always looks better when it's finished!

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

6899 posts in 1597 days

#6 posted 12-10-2019 06:42 PM

Happy anniversary, Mads! I’m happy to be able to call you a friend.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View Dark_Lightning's profile


4455 posts in 4124 days

#7 posted 12-10-2019 08:09 PM

Always a pleasure to read your posts! Keep it up. Congrats on your 10 years, as well. It’s been some journey, that is for certain.

-- Steven.......Random Orbital Nailer

View Brit's profile


8303 posts in 3857 days

#8 posted 12-10-2019 08:12 PM

What a lovely trip down memory lane you’ve taken us on and thank you for all the inspiration you’ve given me over the years. I always look forward to your posts Mads.

-- Andy - Old Chinese proverb says: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

View kaerlighedsbamsen's profile


1355 posts in 2728 days

#9 posted 12-10-2019 08:17 PM

A lot sure has happened, houses built/renovated, shops built and outgrown, projects drawn and shaped, ups and downs and, on the side, women and pipe tobacco for enjoyment. Thanks for the ride, already looking forward to the next 10 years!

-- "Do or Do not. There is no try." - Yoda

View BenM's profile


72 posts in 815 days

#10 posted 12-10-2019 08:43 PM

So glad you were able to take good childhood experiences and turn them into a positive way to get through a lot of very hard times. And as someone early on in building a shop/tool collection, its a great lesson for me that there may be steps forward or backwards in getting stuff, but the skills, relationships and love for the craft are always with you. So thank you for sharing!

-- -Ben, Fullerton, CA " It is not from ourselves that we learn to be better than we are." -Wendell Berry

View Woodwrecker's profile


4240 posts in 4590 days

#11 posted 12-11-2019 12:07 AM

This site is better for having you as a member my friend.
Congratulations on your anniversary and here is to many more posts to come.

View sras's profile


5883 posts in 4144 days

#12 posted 12-11-2019 03:08 AM

Thank you so much for sharing your story. As with all your blog posts, you tell a great tale! I have and will continue to enjoy whatever you have to share. Congrats on 10 years of making LJs a better place!

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View anthm27's profile


1804 posts in 2125 days

#13 posted 12-11-2019 04:17 AM

Brilliant, It seems the world of internet is not all bad.
Great story Lumber jock.
Nice one.
Kind Regards
Anthony (Hong Kong)

-- There is no hope for any of us if we keep apologizing for telling the truth.

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


17241 posts in 3633 days

#14 posted 12-11-2019 05:27 AM

Hooray! Love the pics and trip down memory lane! LJs is a better pace with you, Mads!!

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. - OldTools Archive -

View Manitario's profile


2818 posts in 3898 days

#15 posted 12-11-2019 09:15 AM

Glad to have been along to watch your journey over (most) of the last 10 years, it’s been inspiring to me.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

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