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1531 posts in 3811 days

Location: Rochester, NY

Apparently the woodworking gene runs in the family. Little did I know that a super-nerd like me would be sucked into this hobby just like all the generations before me. A little over a year ago, my hours would be spent in front of a computer screen, either working, chatting with friends, or playing games. In the Fall of 09, however, that all changed. I won a house at auction and moved in to my temporary bachelor pad. Its an 1830 post and beam farmhouse with a 5k sq ft, 2 story barn onsite. Behind the house was an old machine shop with a new roof, but 150+ years of wear and tear on the rest of it.

For the next few months, my dad and I worked feverishly to bring the house back to life before I got married. The structure was sound, but the entire house was about 10% away from completion. I became an expert at drywalling, priming, painting, and molding. That last item there was the catalyst to that little spark in my genes. My dad gave me a junk miter saw he had and my brother bought me a little Craftsman table saw. Within a few months, I had a nice collection of tools from various estate auctions in the area.

My grandpa was an engineer by trade and a master (at least in my opinion) woodworker at retirement. All day long, every day, he would crank out masterpieces and *give* them to family. As far as I know, he never sold or marketed anything he made, but was the kind, generous, quiet grandpa in legends and in song. He made fantastic wainscoting, cupboards, working lighthouses, pellet-stove pellet storage and delivery systems, shelves, benches, tables... anything you could think of. The majority of it, he engineered. Sadly, in Feb 2008, he passed away from cancer and has left an un-fillable hole in our family.

My dad and my uncle learned early several tricks of the trade, but were otherwise-interested. My dad in more mechanical things, my uncle in all things photography. My brother picked up woodworking very casually, but has since gotten serious. A few years ago, he made gorgeous poker tables that were featured in some local tournaments. Now that the woodworking bug has finally bit me, we've become a family of woodworkers. It took time and tragedy, but we are what we are because of it.

So here I am, as a 24 year old computer nerd who sysadmins by day and woodworks by night, honored to join this group! I'm ambitious (to a fault sometimes) and have learned a lot in the past few months. I look forward to talking with everyone in this community and learning from them.

Thanks for having me.

-- Dan, Rochester, NY

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25 comments so far

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 4292 days

#1 posted 01-10-2011 10:59 PM

Welcome !!!

Great story. I’m sorry for the loss of your grandfather, but … envious of the time that you HAD with him.

I hope—along with the skills and the passion—you got some of the tools, too !

It’d be great to see some pictures of your shop, and some of your work—including the renovation job—when you have the chance :-)

Enjoy your time here. SO much knowledge in these 22,000+ members !

-- -- Neil

View superstretch's profile


1531 posts in 3811 days

#2 posted 01-10-2011 11:13 PM

Thanks for the comment! He truly was an amazing guy. Thankfully we have lots of his work to remind us of that among our different houses.

As for tools, since I’ve started a little late in the game and with limited budget-
10” Craftsman BS (sale)
10” Craftsman LSCMS (Christmas gift from wife)
Ryobi piddly little router- but came with table (sale)
Craftsman TS (gift from brother)
One of my grandpa’s old workbenches
13” Ridgid Planer (auction find)
1.5 hp dust collector (Christmas gift from dad)
Plus some of the little things.. jigsaw, biscuit joiner (lifesaver as a newbie)

I think I’ve got a good start, but I want to try out pen turning in the future..

-- Dan, Rochester, NY

View chrisstef's profile


18133 posts in 4124 days

#3 posted 01-10-2011 11:37 PM

Stretch you got into it the exact same way i did. My grandfather passed away, leaving a big hole in our family as well, but in his passing my uncles and cousins were able to extrat all of his tools and innovations, That was the day i got hooked. His old tools talked to me … the things they had made, the places they had been, and the house around them built by them. Ive got many a mechanic in my family and we all have the same bug … MUST USE HANDS TO CREATE AND RESTORE. Enjoy it buddy … im sure that you will cherish the memories you have of him as well.

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View Max's profile


55999 posts in 5391 days

#4 posted 01-10-2011 11:45 PM

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

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

View HerbC's profile


1820 posts in 3977 days

#5 posted 01-10-2011 11:50 PM

Welcome to LJ. Look forward to seeing your works in the future.


-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!"

View superstretch's profile


1531 posts in 3811 days

#6 posted 01-10-2011 11:53 PM

Chrisstef- That seems to be my family’s prime directive now
Thanks Max and Herb!

-- Dan, Rochester, NY

View SnowyRiver's profile


51457 posts in 4598 days

#7 posted 01-11-2011 12:14 AM

Welcome aboard. Nice that you could join us on Lumberjocks.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View Eric_S's profile


1565 posts in 4313 days

#8 posted 01-11-2011 12:22 AM

Welcome superstretch! Another computer guy turned woodworker :)

We’d love to see pics of your new home and shop when time allows. And great start on tools.

I just got into pen turning not 2 months ago and let me say, its very fun and addictive.

Anyways, welcome to the best website and community on earth.

-- - Eric Noblesville, IN

View Doug's profile


1247 posts in 3879 days

#9 posted 01-11-2011 12:25 AM

Welcome to LJs. You will really benefit from all the wonderful people that make upi this community. You will also have many opportunities to contribute to the site. You’ll find that you’ve made a very rewardable decision.

-- Doug

View superstretch's profile


1531 posts in 3811 days

#10 posted 01-11-2011 01:26 AM

Thanks Wayne, Eric and Doug.. Eric- I do have a blog up chronicling my adventures, but I have to double check it before I post a link. I just need to combine my woodworking with my computer building side venture.. I used to lust after Suissa Computers, but the price is just nuts..

EDIT: Posted a link to the site up above in my profile

-- Dan, Rochester, NY

View Bureaucrat's profile


18340 posts in 4770 days

#11 posted 01-11-2011 02:23 AM

Welcome to Lumber Jocks! I look forward to seeing your projects and posts.

Please enjoy your membership

-- Gary D.

View GreenGySgt's profile


5 posts in 4172 days

#12 posted 01-11-2011 05:46 AM

Welcome now your a jock! Probably the best advice that I can give you is to combine both of the skills that you had inherited from your Grandfather (Engineer / Computers and Woodworking) and turn them into MASTERPIECES! I’m going to add you as a Buddie to watch your growth. Good luck and Great story. Make your Grandfather Proud!

-- The Green Gunny

View superstretch's profile


1531 posts in 3811 days

#13 posted 01-11-2011 07:04 AM

Thanks Gary and Green. Green- Thanks for your service.. I have a few friends who have either passed through or are out of Lejeune. Thanks for the add!

-- Dan, Rochester, NY

View Splinterman's profile


23074 posts in 4479 days

#14 posted 01-12-2011 04:32 AM

“WELCOME to LJ’s” ….Enjoy the experience.

View swirt's profile


6275 posts in 4090 days

#15 posted 01-15-2011 06:21 AM

Welcome to Lumberjocks good to have another upstate NYer on here.

-- Galootish log blog,

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