How I Got Into Woodworking

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Project by cabinetman posted 01-24-2007 03:00 PM 4982 views 0 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Got out of the Army in 1970, and was unemployed and married. Couldn’t find a job, but had a degree in business and was in Special Forces. Tried to get a job with different police agencies (before there was SWAT), they all thought I might have latent aggression. Can you believe that? Anyway didn’t want to be a mercenary cause I like living, and living in the US. So, that’s my history.

Oh yeah, back to the story. LOML and I went to a weekend arts and crafts show and a guy there was selling handmade lamps. I looked at them and thought, “I can do that”. The next day I went to the lumber yard and bought what I thought I needed.

We had a two bedroom apartment and the floor was my workspace. The lamps were made from 1” thick cork, cut in strips, glued together like frames. Then I glued on the inside colored plastic K-Lux panels, and mounted hanging hardware at the top. Took them to the flea market and hung them from a 2×4 on top of two loose bi-fold doors. The first weekend none sold. After a few weeks, I got better at the design and quality, and didn’t sell any then. As I was packing up a woman asked If I would come to her house the next night and show them to her husband, I said “I can do that”.

When I got there she had 6 – 8 neighbors over, and they went wild and about half of them ordered lamps. I took deposits and was so excited, that when I left the house, I forgot to put my samples in the trunk, and backed up over them.

Fortunately I scored that night with deposits, because LOML was ragging on me to quit making a mess in the apartment. So, the real story about cabinetwork evolved when I would be in houses installing the lamps, they would ask “Can you make a cabinet for over there?” My answer was “I can do that”.

12 comments so far

View frank's profile


1492 posts in 4814 days

#1 posted 01-24-2007 03:27 PM

Hi Cabinetman;
—-yes, I can also relate to what you have said here. Great story, I have a small blackboard I picked up at a yard sell some years ago that sits in our kitchen on a phone table. On it I have wrote these words: I CAN DO!

I also know what its like to build furniture at the kitchen table and then have to keep the area clean so as to keep peace in the house. That why I always tell folks that one can build furniture anywhere as long as they have, ‘doggedness of persevrence’.


-- --frank, NH,

View Obi's profile


2213 posts in 4845 days

#2 posted 01-24-2007 05:10 PM

Last year I converted our spare bedroom into a “mini” shop while the LOML was on vacation. It’s easier to get forgiveness than it is to get permission. My brother was the first to instill in me “Can-Do”. Then while studying the scriptures, IT said I can do all things, and that all things were possible to those who believe. If they could do it, I can do it. Can I get an “Amen” ?

View cabinetman's profile


144 posts in 4752 days

#3 posted 01-24-2007 05:41 PM


View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 4908 days

#4 posted 01-24-2007 05:56 PM

Nice Story!!

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

View HatchetJack's profile


9 posts in 4750 days

#5 posted 01-24-2007 09:29 PM

Great Story, That is a fine example of how a person can Improvise, Adapt, and overcome

-- Quite is Good

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 4769 days

#6 posted 01-24-2007 09:56 PM

and so you were guided to the gift that you were given and meant to share!!

Hallelujah for those lamps.

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

View Don's profile


2603 posts in 4785 days

#7 posted 01-25-2007 08:42 PM

Great story CM. An inspiration to us all, I’m sure!

Quote Obi: ”It’s easier to get forgiveness than it is to get permission.”

This is a great line. Can’t wait to use it.

-- CanuckDon "I just love small wooden boxes!"

View Nils's profile


141 posts in 4473 days

#8 posted 03-05-2008 10:29 PM

CabinetMan – a great story for those of us just getting started too. Reminds us that it’s OK to start small.

-- Nils Davis, Menlo Park, CA

View Staff_Sergeant_Chad's profile


28 posts in 4361 days

#9 posted 06-08-2008 03:02 PM


-- “If God dwells inside us like some people say, I sure hope He likes enchiladas, because that's what He's getting” - Jack Handey

View xylosapiens's profile


198 posts in 4223 days

#10 posted 09-06-2009 09:18 PM

Great story: actually, a good example for many. Greetings from the Canary Islands, Spain.

-- Alejandro Moreno alias xylosapiens, CANARY ISLANDS

View a1Jim's profile


117909 posts in 4186 days

#11 posted 09-06-2009 11:24 PM

Hey cabinetman you can do that. good story


View manilaboy's profile


177 posts in 4544 days

#12 posted 09-07-2009 10:07 AM

I’d say you did it well!

-- "Real jocks do it on a bench"

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