In which year did you start woodworking

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tibi

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Good morning,

It would be interesting to find out who is the active member with most years since she/he started woodworking here on the forum.

I have 3 questions, if you like you can answer all of them, or any of them. Your answers can inspire others in their woodworking endeavours.

1. In which year did you make your first woodworking product? I mean an actual furniture unit, not a bird's house in elementary school.

2. Who inspired you to become a woodworker?

3. Can you provide some examples of furniture that you like the most? It can be yours or made by other craftsmen.


I will answer first myself.

1. I have built a small computer desk from ash in 2020, so that was my first woodworking project. It is strong and holds well to this day. I have painted it, because there was a strong contrast between sapwood and heartwood and then I had no clue how to orient the boards properly. Now I would not paint it, but it would be rather difficult to remove all the paint and and restore the original look.

2. I started woodworking because I was inspired by Ishitani furniture. I liked his skills and the the tranquility in which he creates his furniture. I also liked the idea that a piece of furniture will become a heirloom and your descendants can value your handmade legacy in a disposable world.


3. I especially like products of SQUARERULE furniture from Korea. I like the simplicity of the design and the quality of workmanship.

I also like Kobeomsuk from Korea.

and Israel Martin from Spain

and okawa_kaguseisakusho
 
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thetyreman

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technically I started as a teenager in the 90s, with making a toy car at age 13, that was my introduction to it. Then I didn't touch it until 2015 again really, was bored one day and decided to build a stool, at the time just getting into paul sellers and it grew from there, personally I think even small projects count, they are a stepping stone onto bigger projects, like learning to cut simple joints well before moving onto something that uses that joint. My ultimate aim was always to become a luthier and build some guitars, so getting more into that recently.
 

Droogs

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1. In which year did you make your first woodworking product? I mean an actual furniture unit, not a bird's house in elementary school.

1989 - a desk for my room in the barracks block for my then computer a mighty Tandy 486 and a massive 16" CRT monitor.

2. Who inspired you to become a woodworker?


The shrink the Army sent me to for evaluation after being in a Buffel APC while we tested the build quality of Soviet anti tank mines by having a blind driver who drove over one in Namibia. The shrink thought it would be a nice way for me to "decompress"

3. Can you provide some examples of furniture that you like the most? It can be yours or made by other craftsmen.


Paul Follot
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Michel die Klerk


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cubist Josef Gocar


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of course Roentegen, Gaudi, William Morris and various Jugenstihl designers

Jugenstihl

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D_W

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1.
2005 - someone at work (white collar) said "you talk like my husband, you guys are almost identical. If you want to learn to do something with your hands and get away from the computer, my husband would be glad to teach you woodworking"

First thing I made under the supervision of that guy was a cherry case with plywood sides. He liked to test cut 5 things, do one, get everything exact and then do one, and then next. It was agonizing.

I picked up hand tools around the same time (he had a LN block plane) and decided I'd like to have more of them in work, but it took years to figure out. Not trying to get the fanboys hackles up, but videos from Chris Schwarz and other folks who weren't professional woodworkers made things look hard. I learned to sharpen on the first try from charlesworths video.

This friend is transplanted English, by the way. He talks like someone who left England 40 years ago would talk.

2.
In 2010, I made a saw (had made a few planes). It was OK. George Wilson saw it and convinced me to give him my phone number (not real big on that), and called and told me it looked like I could do better. I wasn't too enthused to have the obligation of not just doing leisure work, but trying to do it well. He gave me a few pointers and I quickly learned the difference between doing something like swimming in a pond at night and doing it in the light properly - the latter is far more satisfying and often not much more effort. He also impressed a few things on me about design, and while it's not like he read me an encyclopedia about it, his comments about small things to go along with proper proportions yielded instant results on tools that I could see and that was the end of that.

Somewhere around 10 years ago, I dumped most of my large power tools (all of them, I guess) and resolved to figure out how to dimension wood by hand because it didn't seem accurate to state that you couldn't make anything by hand or get anything done by hand (from the view of someone working for hobby, not pay), and backed into using a cap iron on a plane out of exasperation with modern wood and single iron planes (terrible combination), scrapers, toothed blades, all of the nonsense peddled now.

My English friend now calls me a r____d luddite. :)

3. I don't make much furniture now, but furniture isn't the only thing to make. If i had to choose furniture to make, though, it would be late 1700s/early 1800s English or northeast united states. Or grandfather clocks would be dandy to build, but they're kind of a spiced up version of cases.
 

Fitzroy

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1. In which year did you make your first woodworking product? I mean an actual furniture unit, not a bird's house in elementary school.
1998 - A hifi stand that looked like a bird table, It got left behind at the end of a relationship and expect it was soon relegated to the garden as a bird table. It was a newel post with shelf brackets screwed to it for legs and for a board to sit on the top to take an amp and cd player. Bloomin' awful thinking back on it,

2015 - A shoe rack for the front hall.

2. Who inspired you to become a woodworker?

Myself. I'd always loved mending things and making functional things (eg a soil sieve for the garden) and when I could not find a piece of furniture that fit what I wanted and he space in my house I thought I'd try making it. Then I was off and running.

3. Can you provide some examples of furniture that you like the most? It can be yours or made by other craftsmen.

Vintage Danish chairs, love the Hans Wegner pieces
Chair.jpg
Some of George Nakashima's work, like the celebration of the tree in his work
Conoid_Dining_Table.jpeg

Ishtani Furniture - honest simplicity superbly executed.
Ishtani.jpg

Fitz,
 

Jacob

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1. In which year did you make your first woodworking product? I mean an actual furniture unit, not a bird's house in elementary school.
I reckon it was about 1952. I made a model aeroplane; a bit of 2x1", roughly aeroplane profile from the side, 2 laths from an orange crate to make it a bi plane, one short lath for the tail wings.
A vertical tail fin was technically beyond me but it made very little difference to the flying performance.
Painted red. Perfect in every way.
The only thing wrong with it was that I couldn't get into the cockpit and fly off, but you can't have everything.
2. Who inspired you to become a woodworker?
More what than who.
Mainly being peed off with odd jobbing - 1982 the chance came up to do a tops course in Carpentry and Joinery - 6 months intensive, all trad handtool work, living allowance paid, box of kit provided on matriculation, small living allowance for a year afterwards if not signed on. Have been working at it ever since! Expected to be doing kitchens and stuff, bought a box of Blum hinges which I never used. Got into sash windows by chance and carried on doing period restoration/replication, including doing up my own houses and making bits and bobs of furniture and repair restoration. Many other things
.3. Can you provide some examples of furniture that you like the most? It can be yours or made by other craftsmen.
I really like very ordinary anonymous traditional stuff as much as anything, especially if it's useful. The sort of thing you might find at St Fagans museum; "vernacular" design and art too e.g. Brancusi. Into modern design too - have made several Rietveld red&blue chairs.
PS I suppose there is a "who" - if I could start again this could be me (but without the beard)! Constantin Brancusi in his Studio • Wayne Miller • Magnum Photos Magnum Photos but not too bothered about who, it's more what for me.
 
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johnnyb

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I think I started about 1994 or so. certainly pre Diana's death( my only easily date able reference)
I made a small mahogany set of drawers beautiful really French polished.
( I actually started much earlier with screwed together stool from a random library book maybe in the early eighties)
the Woodyard up the road prepped the wood( long since gone but his grandad built the victorian terrace we lived in. always encouraged by my sadly missed mum)
at that time I was a devotee of a chap called Jack Hill who taught mainly windsor chair making but his books had a range of projects.
 

johnnyb

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I missed stuff I really like. I love the ins and outs of sash windows. so many ways of arriving at the same end. so much depth of tradition its hard to know where to start. same with windsor chairs I guess.
 

tibi

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I reckon it was about 1952. I made a model aeroplane; a bit of 2x1", roughly aeroplane profile from the side, 2 laths from an orange crate to make it a bi plane, one short lath for the tail wings.
A vertical tail fin was technically beyond me but it made very little difference to the flying performance.
Painted red. Perfect in every way.
The only thing wrong with it was that I couldn't get into the cockpit and fly off, but you can't have everything.More what than who.
Mainly being peed off with odd jobbing - 1982 the chance came up to do a tops course in Carpentry and Joinery - 6 months intensive, all trad handtool work, living allowance paid, box of kit provided on matriculation, small living allowance for a year afterwards if not signed on. Have been working at it ever since! Expected to be doing kitchens and stuff, bought a box of Blum hinges which I never used. Got into sash windows by chance and carried on doing period restoration/replication, including doing up my own houses and making bits and bobs of furniture and repair restoration. Many other things

I really like very ordinary anonymous traditional stuff as much as anything, especially if it's useful. The sort of thing you might find at St Fagans museum; "vernacular" design and art too e.g. Brancusi. Into modern design too - have made several Rietveld red&blue chairs.
PS I suppose there is a "who" - if I could start again this could be me (but without the beard)! Constantin Brancusi in his Studio • Wayne Miller • Magnum Photos Magnum Photos but not too bothered about who, it's more what for me.
Jacob,
you have started woodworking 13 years before Paul Sellers :) So congratulations on your 70th anniversary as a woodworker. You are a woodworker as long as The Queen is a queen.
 

tibi

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Jacob,
you have started woodworking 13 years before Paul Sellers :) So congratulations on your 70th anniversary as a woodworker. You are a woodworker as long as The Queen is a queen.
You must start using more sentences like "In my 70 years of woodworking" or "I have been using this method for 70 years." or "Every day for the last 70 years, eight hours a day, six days a week" ...
 

TRITON

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I believe i was destined to enter art school but circumstances of life meant i ended up doing other jobs leading to a trade and it went on from there until i finally decided to go for an artistic role.
Unfortunately for art school you need a portfolio, and one that shows a progression of talent,skill and foresight. I didnt have such and felt too old to enter blind without anything to show my interest.

So started off doing a short class in basic joinery before doing a more in depth course in joinery and shopfitting to national certificate level.
I passed all that and was shown i had a bit of a talent for design so did an HND in design and furniture construction. I moved from there to degree standard because it was only a further year.
Then moved into industry in one workshop that was a bit industrial and commercial, before finding a proper cabinet shop with a laid back attitude.
Had a bit of a breakdown due to previous lifestyle and left the industry though invested about £5k in tools and machinery for home use, the intention was to find another laid back shop, or rent a space where i could work by myself in a studio type setting.
I'm not interested in making things for other people as in commissions. But rather happier to give away whatever i create. I still feel the need to make furniture, but would like to build a boat or something like that.
 

Jacob

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You must start using more sentences like "In my 70 years of woodworking" or "I have been using this method for 70 years." or "Every day for the last 70 years, eight hours a day, six days a week" ...
Well I could but it wasn't quite like that!
In fact I didn't do much more at all until about 1969 when we started a toy-making business. My wife made rag dolls which sold on Carnaby St and I made various wooden odds and ends including boxes for jack-in-a-boxes. Slowly built up quite a good business which stopped dead in 1979 thanks to M Thatcher. A few years bitting and bobbing then a course 1982 then finally got a proper workshop and good kit in 1986, doing proper woodwork. A late starter really.
 

tibi

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Well I could but it wasn't quite like that!
In fact I didn't do much more at all until about 1969 when we started a toy-making business. My wife made rag dolls which sold on Carnaby St and I made various wooden odds and ends including boxes for jack-in-a-boxes. Slowly built up quite a good business which stopped dead in 1979 thanks to M Thatcher. A few years bitting and bobbing then a course 1982 then finally got a proper workshop and good kit in 1986, doing proper woodwork. A late starter really.
But you have still started doing your proper woodwork, as you call it, 3 years before I was born. As far as I know, Paul Sellers had a day job as a police officer for I do not know how many years.
 

Jacob

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But you have still started doing your proper woodwork, as you call it, 3 years before I was born. As far as I know, Paul Sellers had a day job as a police officer for I do not know how many years.
I've been 'things' but I've never been a police officer! He looks like one come to think.
 

Jacob

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Well I could but it wasn't quite like that!
In fact I didn't do much more at all until about 1969 when we started a toy-making business. My wife made rag dolls which sold on Carnaby St and I made various wooden odds and ends including boxes for jack-in-a-boxes. Slowly built up quite a good business which stopped dead in 1979 thanks to M Thatcher. A few years bitting and bobbing then a course 1982 then finally got a proper workshop and good kit in 1986, doing proper woodwork. A late starter really.
PS come to think - it was long enough ago such that JCBs etc were relatively rare and my first jobs on building sites involved a lot of hand digging with pick, shovel, barrow. I used to like it, being a fit sort of chap back then. Still do in fact.
 

JobandKnock

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Crikey, @Jacob - you're really old, as opposed to me just being old :unsure:

1. In which year did you make your first woodworking product? I mean an actual furniture unit, not a bird's house in elementary school.
Late 1974/early 1975. The first bit of "furniture" I made was an oak-veneered blockboard bookcase with solid oak lippings and Tonk strips for a solicitor's office. I French polished it myself (albeit what we used to call "spray polishing" where only the last couple of coats were rubbed out by hand). Prior to that as an apprentice, I'd helped make stuff including solid oak paneling and solid wood doors, bars, etc but never been let loose to do anything complex on my own. I had made balsa wood gliders and rubber-band powered planes as a youngster, and helped my old man build various bits of furniture for the house. He taught me how to sharpen, use hand planes and to French polish when I was still in my teens which made me less of a "useless lummox" when I started work

2. Who inspired you to become a woodworker?
Inspired has nothing to do with it! I left school and needed a job. I was offered an apprenticeship by a relative who owned a shop fitting and joinery firm.

3. Can you provide some examples of furniture that you like the most? It can be yours or made by other craftsmen.
I really like some of the Scandinavian furniture of the 50's and 60's like the Hans Wegner Peacock chair, but I also like a lot of the early 20th Century American Craftsman-Style furniture by companies like Stickley and some of the better Art Deco (or more strictly Machine Modern) furniture which came out of the UK in the 1930s like Epstein's Cloud Settee and Side Chairs
 
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paulrbarnard

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1974 was my first furniture. It was a stool with a magazine shelf underneath and an upholstered seat. A very simple design using mahogany veneered chipboard with solid edging. I French polished it.
I first started using wood working tools in my grandfathers workshop in about 1967 when I started making the obligatory boats, boxed and Knick knacks. I used to take the boats to Collet Park in Shepton Mallet and sail them on the pond. I walked home along the train tracks dripping wet a few times.

I especially like US colonial type furniture and learnt a lot from FWW and other magazines. Garret Hack was always a great inspiration.
 

baldkev

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96, i started my apprenticeship as a carpenter.
Ive been a chippy ever since, apart from a couple of detours trying to get out!
Now ive got kids and a mortgage, i guess im proper stuck with it 😆
 

artie

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1973 was the first time I made something other than pointless small towel rails, boats(toy) etc.

It was a centre console for a 1963 Ford Anglia.

A proper one wasn't available even if I'd had the money for it.

Mine was the long gear stick model so I had to get inventive.

Some light plywood and black cushioned plastic provided a space to hold my amp meter spotlight and reversing light switches and of course the obligatory 8 track stereo. ( converted to run positive earth)

I'm probably still prouder of that than anything I made since.

Wish I'd taken a photo.
 

clogs

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I started at school..N London....made a bathroom stool for my mum,
we chose the design from a book...it had all tight joints and was just plain varnished....she still had it 40 years later until my brother binned it when she died.....
my parents moved up to Hertfordshire and I lost the best teacher I ever knew...
Mr Evans if ur watching....I still think of you....
we were even alowed to sharpen things...there was a big horizontal sharpening wheel that u chucked water on....
So then went into engineering but the need for casting patterns in house got me back into wood working again....I really liked that.....so always did a bit........still do now....
luckily I have a great wife who lets me have whatever machines I want, except another JCB.....lol.....
So plan to teach her wood turning on my new to me 1939 Wadkin RS lathe and kit out the house with dining table n chairs plus all hardwood doors in the next couple of years.....
plus she now want a kitchen a bit like Jar977's.....dohhh...
I like plane boring furniture some Shaker styles but Sam Maloof hits the spot for me and the guy that made the toolbox on my avatar....plus Scandi designed furniture generally....
Lastley old American east coast trim work turns me on.......
Boring I'm know.....sorry....
 

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