An interesting woodworking survey

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Forum topic by TampaTom posted 07-12-2009 01:00 PM 6308 views 0 times favorited 45 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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74 posts in 5250 days

07-12-2009 01:00 PM

I was wondering if you might be able to help me with an interesting woodworking survey. Two years ago, Tool Crib posted a simple question to a number of woodworking forums:

Who have been the three most influential woodworkers who got you started woodworking?

Today, with their permission, I’m looking to update their results, and I need your help.

If you are so inclined, please list the three most influential woodworkers who got you started in woodworking. Feel free to name family members, shop teachers, famous woodworkers – whoever ‘lit the fire’ in you to take up the craft. Also, feel free to share any thoughts or comments about their influence.

I will keep this survey open through August 15. At that point, I will collect your entries and tabulate the results, similar to how Tool Crib had done first:

If you have any questions about this survey or if you want more information, please PM me…

I’m looking forward to the results of this survey. It could prove to be fun!

Tom Iovino
Managing Editor
Tom’s Workbench

-- Tom's Workbench -

45 replies so far

View PG_Zac's profile


373 posts in 4885 days

#1 posted 07-12-2009 01:31 PM

Number 1 – My Dad from about age 6 onwards he had me helping him on utility projects like fixing a shelf or repairing a door. His most memorable (for me) project was a fold-up pulpit.

Number 2 – My woodwork teacher in grade 5 – my first exposure to formal wood teaching.

Number 3 – the ‘fire’ was lit decades ago, but the few tiny flames and coals were fanned into a roaring monster by Sam Maloof and Charles Neil.

-- I may be schizophrenic, but at least I have each other.

View knotscott's profile


8439 posts in 4872 days

#2 posted 07-12-2009 01:46 PM

1. Norm Abrams – After watching NYW, ATOH, and other home shows, “doing” was a natural progression from watching. Home improvements were a necessity on our budget, and wwing grew from that.

2. Two friends named Tom – A) Tom loaned me his router to rebuild our porch. About ten seconds of successful edging with a router had me hooked on wwing. B) My other friend Tom was a part time wwer/cabinet maker gone pro. He loved wood, wwing, tools, and spending time in his shop. His love of his craft rubbed off on me over time.

3. My Dad funded my tools post humously with a small insurance fund he left after he died. Otherwise it would have been tough to buy tools with our large family and budget. He wasn’t a wwer, but he definitely would have liked the tools, the shop, and the stuff that gets made.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

12648 posts in 4925 days

#3 posted 07-12-2009 02:26 PM

Probably #1 was Frid, followed closely by Krenov and Maloof. Art Carpenter has to be in the mix somewhere.

“Nahm” has been an inspiration recently, but I was making sawdust long before I ever saw his first TOH episode and well before the NYWS. Actually what tuned me on to Norm were the snide comments I read about his work in FWW. I figured if those self aggrandizing snobs didn’t like his work, he was probably within reach of my talents.


-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View Roper's profile


1389 posts in 5210 days

#4 posted 07-12-2009 03:13 PM

#1 is my grandfather , i always remember him covered in saw dust and smelling like doug fir. # 2 has to me my turning iteacher mark malek and# 3 are really close for me with it being david ellsworth or stu batty ,and not in any order.

-- Roper - Master of sawdust-

View Occie gilliam's profile

Occie gilliam

505 posts in 4793 days

#5 posted 07-12-2009 03:39 PM

Norm and Sam Maloof, and a lot of artist.
But my hands always new they wonted to do wood, but my mind always said to me, why build something you can buy for less.
i come from a long line of do it your self-er
But the first time I did something not thinking about cost I was hooked. Now I’m in my shop every chance I get. Saw dust for blood, are my wife would say, for brains.

-- OC down in Costa Rica. come down and see me some time. I'll keep the light on for you [email protected]

View bigdave's profile


27 posts in 4781 days

#6 posted 07-12-2009 03:44 PM

1. I guess Norm Abrams would have to be #1 for me too. Watched a lot of his shows over the years always thinking, “I could do that”. Then, one day it occurred to me that I had the space and a little cash and internet access to Craig’s List and I went shopping. Still in the very beginning stage though . . . . . . which leads me to my number 2 influence . . . . .

2. Marc Spagnuolo, The Wood Whisperer is next for me. His method of teaching is second to none for me. He’s very detailed and throws in plenty of distracting goofy humor . . . . . . I’ve really learned a lot from his site. (Found LJ via his site as a matter of fact!)

3. Lumberjocks would be in my top 3 also. Not trying to brown nose here :-) but lurking around the projects, forums, and blogs around here I am gaining invaluable knowledge and at a speed that fits my schedule and aptitude as well as interest level.

It would be super to be able to say, as many others can and will, that my dad got me started in wwing and/or that I have had a long term relationship with another friend or relative who has mentored me along the way but, lacking those I consider myself very blessed to live in an era that I have access to the whole world via a 20M cable internet connection where I can choose to read, look at pictures and train via videos with the best in the world. Pretty cool imo.

A hands on apprenticeship/mentoring thing would be pretty sweet too. But, I suppose my job and life’s realities would get in the way of that huh.

View Don K.'s profile

Don K.

1075 posts in 4823 days

#7 posted 07-12-2009 04:01 PM

1) My Dad

2) My Grandpa

3) Norm

-- Don S.E. OK

View cabinetmaster's profile


10872 posts in 5055 days

#8 posted 07-12-2009 04:11 PM

1). My Grandpa R.

2). My Grandpa B.

3). Mike Sullivan – My first job as a Carpenter, finish carpenter and cabinetbuilder.

4). Norm

-- Jerry--A man can never have enough tools or clamps

View scrappy's profile


3507 posts in 4927 days

#9 posted 07-12-2009 05:36 PM

  1. 1 has to be dad. He was allways building or creating something mom wanted around the house. Insipered me to try new things in new ways,
  1. 2 Norm Have allways liked watching his shows and seeing the different tecniques used. ( also in awe of his shop)
  1. 3 I will have to agree with bigdave. I have learned a lot since I found LJ’s It has been a most informative website. Lots of project to get ideas from and LOTS and LOTS of VERY talented people here willing to share their welth of knowledge with others.

-- Scrap Wood's the best...the projects are smaller, and so is the mess!

View teenagewoodworker's profile


2727 posts in 5265 days

#10 posted 07-12-2009 06:00 PM

1. Charles Neil
2. Norm Abram
3. T-Chisel (thomas macdonald)

View Elaine's profile


113 posts in 5120 days

#11 posted 07-12-2009 07:56 PM

Dad. High school woodworking teacher and Don(carving)

View PatP's profile


43 posts in 4738 days

#12 posted 07-12-2009 08:26 PM

Although I’m only just starting in this great hobby, I’ve been watching Norm for years wishing I could “do that” After moving to Floida last year I discovered Scott Phillips and the American Woodshop. Norm is still my fave.

-- Pat>>> A Man Don't Learn a Lesson Unless It Costs Him Blood or Money!!!!!

View a1Jim's profile


118334 posts in 5074 days

#13 posted 07-12-2009 08:34 PM

#1 Norm

#2 Tage Frid

#3 Charles Neil


View DocStock's profile


13 posts in 4745 days

#14 posted 07-13-2009 02:20 AM

The first person that got me interested in woodworking was my dad. He had built his own table saw from a kit he ordered and I thought it was so neat that this saw cut so precisely.
Secondly it was the infleuence of carpenters that I spent every summer with going thru college. I was a laborer on construction crews.
I got the “bug” to switch majors in college and build buildings for a living so I earned a degree and have been building commerical buildings for 35 years. It really helps to be able to talk with carpenters on the job and learn the craft.
Then there is always Norm Abrams and I learn alot from Tom Silva on TOH as well.

-- Glen

View woodbutcher's profile


592 posts in 5663 days

#15 posted 07-13-2009 03:19 AM

#1 Dad-soap box derby #2 Shop teacher Mr. Sharpe #3 Thurmond Willard-A neighbor.

-- woodbutcher north carolina

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