In which year did you start woodworking

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thanks Tibi,
looked at the VID of Kobeomsuk,
oh to have acsess to hardwood like that and I wish I could get on with the design sketch-up or whatever it is.....thats gotta be a young mans game.....
oh well...
 

Kittyhawk

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I didn't build any furniture until I acquired a wife in 1974. Before that, every thing was boats and the first one was an 8 foot Sabot sailing dinghy when I was 13 so that would have been 1958. I remember it took forever because it was a pay as you go job financed by a paper round - 6 days a week for 3/6d.
Inspiration came from my next door neighbour, a legend in NZ yachting circles named D'Arcy Whiting. He prompted, encouraged, advised, loaned me tools and even bought me a sheet of Meranti ply when the project ground to a halt due to a lack of funds. Everybody needs a mentor like that.
 
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johnnyb

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I think my old mum could see that I could potentially go " the wrong way" like many restless creatives and she saw some interest and encouraged it to her capacity.
my wife was telling me about a Japanese man whose employed as a second person. you book him say for coffee and he comes with but only replies to conversation never initiates.we laughed but then realised several people we know had these second people( unpaid of course)
one we know is the guys wife follows him everywhere encourages but never does anything. another is a pot smoking mechanic who has another smoker spend all day with him( presumably smoking) but the second man never touches any cars. almost like a muse.
I guess it's tricky to motivate yourself as a single entity( I've always found that's the case)
 

whitty

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Two of us made a lectern for school in 1961 when we were 13yrs . We both left school and became apprentice joiners when we left school. I have spent the rest of my life in joinery shops and lecturing at the local technical college part time. Still do woodwork as therapy now, so never stopped since i was 13. Would do it all again. The inspiration for me was the woodwork teacher at my school who was an ex cabinet maker , infinite patience and a superb teacher.
 

WoodchipWilbur

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I reckon it was about 1952. I made a model aeroplane; a bit of 2x1",

More what than who.

I really like very ordinary anonymous traditional stuff

That resonates well with me.

"About 1952" A bit earlier than me - mine was a model sailing boat, carved from a bit of 2x2" with a lead strip for the keel and a Mother-made sail. Worked probably not quite as well as I remember. I remember it sailing brilliantly. I think I was six (maybe seven) at the time. (So 1953/4) Had to do another one for my Big Brother who was jealous.

"More what than who." No. Definitely who! My father, as much an inveterate tinkerer as I am. When there were maternal worryings about someone so young among sharp tools, she was firmly told, "I'm a doctor. Anything he can cut, I can sew!" It will be clear that he had a very significant input into the sailing boat(s) above.

"anonymous traditional stuff" Could be. I'm quite taken with Thompson of Kilburn (the Mouse Man) and oak was almost the only timber I used when working (I made church furnishings). Used to tell clients that I'd only ever use a timber if I could spell it, so oak, ash, elm and yew were the options...

tibi ruled out "school work" - but I think that I'm allowed my first pieces: 1; a chopping board made from a WW1 pitch pine gun carriage, still in daily use. 2; a half-kneehole desk in Abura. Again, still in use, though the long joint in the top has split quite badly. I need to get that cleaned and cramped up again, but sadly the desk is a couple of hundred miles away in Wales.
 

Adam W.

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1. First piece of proper furniture, last year. I'm not a cabinetmaker and don't make any furniture. Before that I fixed historic timber houses in several different countries for a long time. I also study a lot and have an insatiable thirst for learning, which is something I'm not ashamed of.

2. A London joiner who served a seven year apprentiship working on bomb damaged churches after the war.
A shipwright who specialised in fixing elm barges and was always learning.
A master carver from Korea who had the most critical eye.

I knew them all personally and I was taught by them all at some point in a period spanning over 30 years.

3. This.....(it needs a closer look). I'm going to have a go at making some of the pinnacles and canopies, I reckon I'm nearly ready for it now.



high-altar-last-supper.jpg




and this, by Veit Stoss

default.jpg


 
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Fitzroy

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What a super thread, learning so much about you good forums folks, hearing great stories and links/images to other/new inspirations!
 

Phill05

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1: I started around 1965/6 on making simple furniture for friends while working in farming and progressed into a proper workshop 10 years later on my own I some items for a shop in Chelsea and it took off from there all working from re-claimed timber, gaining a team of 5 lads as we got more and more work, the main work was in Pine, tables, chairs, cupboards, then onto fitted kitchens, downside is I only have a few images from those early days,

2: I had a great interest in school I gained top marks in woodwork, metalwork and technical drawing the rest of my schoolwork was pants.

15 years later I moved on to working on my own in Oak, all the Oak items were made all timber fasteners no metal work in them other than the pins holding the leatherwork on the stool. I still have some hand drawn notes how I made and fitted the wooden hinges and latches.

In 1999 a health problem showed up and stopped me throwing timber about so got qualified upto 3D in computer design so did more and more designing for other companies including working in stone for installing in a memorial park for the armed forces.

Today I am slowly playing with small metal items.

Below are a couple of images I had to take from old photos.

Oak_1.jpg


Stool.jpg
 

sometimewoodworker

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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 started in about 1967, it was a rather large coffee table with a series of slats under, all of that in mahogany and mortises for all joints, it had a plywood top with wood grain laminate surface. All of that done in the woodwork shop in my comprehensive school. Ours was one of the first and my intake year had about 14 classes of about 28 kids and included some rather prominent peoples sons including Hilary Wedgwood Benn. The facilities at the school were unbelievably good including machine shops, woodwork shops, photographic labs, a computer lab, a pottery kiln along with all the usual scientific labs
 

dickm

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First decent wooden object was a cutlery box, made in junior school probably in about 1953. Was still being used by my Mother until she died in 1990. But it was rather marred by a fellow pupil who "borrowed" it during construction and decided to round off the edges of the tenons, which didn't improve their fit or appearance. We supposedly more "academic" kids weren't allowed to do woodwork in Grammar School, but kept interest in wood working making model aeroplanes. University and a research job didn't leave much scope from 1959 to 1966, when we got married and needed furniture, starting with a very 1960s armchair design which survived regular use for many years.
Been making/repairing items of furniture ever since. Still in love with simple, "country" oak furniture.
 

Spectric

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Observation, so far it seems we are all of a certain age and that shows the general trend of the UK's skill base with fewer youngsters having an interest and or lack of opportuniites. I have only been into woodworking and taking it seriously for the last twelve years, before that it was something that only got tackled if there was no way to avoid, just found metal so much easier and obedient than wood. The biggest issue for me has to be the fact you cannot weld wood, so much easier if you can put a few tacks, clamp into final position and then just run a weld or drill holes and use fasteners which don't seem to look as good with wood. I must also say that these forums have been a great source of knowledge and inspiration that has really helped me tackle my journey into working with wood, albeit there has been some cost involved with tools.
 

Jacob

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Observation, so far it seems we are all of a certain age and that shows the general trend of the UK's skill base with fewer youngsters having an interest and or lack of opportuniites. I have only been into woodworking and taking it seriously for the last twelve years, before that it was something that only got tackled if there was no way to avoid, just found metal so much easier and obedient than wood. The biggest issue for me has to be the fact you cannot weld wood, so much easier if you can put a few tacks, clamp into final position and then just run a weld or drill holes and use fasteners which don't seem to look as good with wood. I must also say that these forums have been a great source of knowledge and inspiration that has really helped me tackle my journey into working with wood, albeit there has been some cost involved with tools.
Actually you can weld wood. Google it you'll be amazed!
There are at least two processes- high frequency radio waves which cook PVA glue in seconds and a newer process of high frequency vibration (something along those lines anyway).
Expensive kit either way Wood Welders | Metal & Woodworking Machinery.
 

tibi

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Mike.R

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Thanks Tibi, this is a great subject and one that got me thinking good thoughts on the drive in to work this morning.

My first piece of furniture was a coffee table in oak with turned legs that I made in the woodwork class at school. Thinking back, the learning curve was pretty steep, first a bench hook, then a folding coat hanger in oak... then the coffee table with saddle joints and a top, rubbed together with warm rabbit glue that smelled lovely, sanding sealer and beeswax. 1976.

I carried that table on the train to interviews. It was quite sturdy.

Needless to say, my earliest inspiration came from my woodwork teacher, Mr Earnest Saunders. A quiet man, he wore a soft, brown dust coat, gold half moon spectacles and had worked with Edward Barnsley. I visited him at home many years later and his sitting room was populated with beautiful oak furniture he had made in that style.

Later, Makepeace, Peters, Krenov, Nakashima... Andrew Varah, there have been no shortage of incredible craftsmen to inspire and aspire to throughout my career.

Examples of furniture I like.

I loved Johny Grey's unfitted kitchen for Smallbone. I was a beautiful, radical departure from mainstream kitchen cabinetry and introduced the concept of craftsman made kitchen furniture to wealthy people. Which is always a good thing.

tempImageC9hNNV.png


Andrew Vara's Collectors Cabinet. An incredibly technical piece with a nod to the age of the Imperial ebenistes.

kR6kqPN.jpg


And a jewellery box in eleven timbers with secret compartments and complex locking mechanisms.

dKnFho9.jpg


fBXKJLH.jpg
 

Fitzroy

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Maybe we can hand plane our stocks of wood so flat, that it will wringe together like metal gauge blocks. No glue needed. :)

Whilst it's in no way the same forces, or level of forces, you can definitly feel when you have a very flat surface on a piece of wood. As you lift it up of lower it down to the bed of a tool it sucks to the table or glides a little, both I think to do with air escaping or entering the gap beneath the workpiece.
 

grumpycorn

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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.
2006 ish. Bought our first house that needed some new built in cupboard doors. I couldn't find any premade that fit, so did a lot of googling, bought a chisel, a mallet and an oilstone from the local hardware store (a proper one, where they knew what they were on about) and then got on with it on a workmate in the back yard. I well and truly got the bug from that.

2. Who inspired you to become a woodworker?

My Grandad was an artist, picture framer and did a fair bit of joinery as well. He made a fair bit of the furniture in his house, oak panelling etc. I was always helping him out doing jobs (fixing sash windows and stuff). I was never that interested in following him into the trade but he definitely inspired me to make stuff rather than buy (he was as tight as I was!).

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 traditional furniture well made, probably Edwardian and art-deco if I had to choose a style.
 

Noho12C

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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.
Started slowly in 2015 (while leaving in Sweden) and really took up the hobby in 2016 when I moved to UK

2. Who inspired you to become a woodworker?
I was inspired by.... a hornet !

my very first project actually. It was in 2015 and working for a big Utility project in Sweden, in the countryside. Living in an old building without insulation, it got crazy hot in the summer. One day, all windows were open to catch some fresh air, when a massive hornet came in and freaked me out while i was napping on the sofa. As I couldnt live with the windows closed, I went to the local B&Q, bought some very basic tools and some timber, and made 2 frames that would fit the big windows with some nets to keep the insects (and hornets) at bay.
Really enjoyed the process, and carried on small works until I moved to the UK the year after. Then I discovered Axminster...

I was also at the time watching a lot of woodworking videos on youtube as I found them quite relaxing (woodowrking for mere mortals was fun). And I started to watch some videos from a not so famous guy (back then) called Paul Sellers.

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 the works of Garrett Hack and Israel Martin. Traditionally construction and design, with a tiny bit of modern touch.
Also, I really like inlay works, more for the process than the style. So I do it occasionally, as i'm not a big fan of the style.
 

D_W

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I think my old mum could see that I could potentially go " the wrong way" like many restless creatives and she saw some interest and encouraged it to her capacity.
my wife was telling me about a Japanese man whose employed as a second person. you book him say for coffee and he comes with but only replies to conversation never initiates.we laughed but then realised several people we know had these second people( unpaid of course)
one we know is the guys wife follows him everywhere encourages but never does anything. another is a pot smoking mechanic who has another smoker spend all day with him( presumably smoking) but the second man never touches any cars. almost like a muse.
I guess it's tricky to motivate yourself as a single entity( I've always found that's the case)

Love the muse story. Recall these folks 40 years ago when I was a kid. They were come alongs on paid work or sometimes tag-alongs for farmers locally who were paid very little or unpaid. Dad had one living on his farm (which was already poverty itself as the "boss" of the muse). The guy was an old bachelor - not sure if in the old days he favored men or was just older and wise enough to realize that life was easier without taking on a second to entertain - at any rate, he did minimal help on the farm, but a little here and there. Lived in the "block house" behind the barn (which was an empty building that used to hold a milk tank and some supplies), cut his own wood and for extra income loaded shotgun shells.

Code enforcement and living standards have eliminated a lot of those folks - making it impossible for them to live their chosen lifestyle. He lived his days out in the blockhouse, but if someone found out that he was living in an area not designated for humans, code enforcement would show up and force him to go to county social services.

The old fellas in chairs at local shops are gone - too. Modeling shop near home had two or three older guys who spent several hours a day meandering around the modeling shop (railroads, miniatures scenes, etc) and eventually the owner of the shop bought a couple of rows of seats from an old train car and put them in the middle of the shop. The guys would talk with customers about stuff in the shop (they were unpaid) and sometimes have a younger person with them. Eventually, one of the guys got hired and ended up behind the counter. When we asked why there were ratty old seats the first day we saw them (nobody was sitting in them at the time), the owner said "I have a bunch of unpaid guys who think they're employees - I figure if i'm not paying them and they're working, might as well give them a place to sit".
 

Jacob

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....

"More what than who." No. Definitely who! My father, as much an inveterate tinkerer as I am. When there were maternal worryings about someone so young among sharp tools, she was firmly told, "I'm a doctor. Anything he can cut, I can sew!" It will be clear that he had a very significant input into the sailing boat(s) above.
......
Come to think my old dad was a tinkerer. He fitted out our kitchen with hardboard panelling in the 50s - a lot cheaper than ply and a trendy thing to do back then. Post WW2 there was a very understandable urge to be out with the old and in with the new, even if it was hardboard.
He made a few thing at his school (he was a teacher). Brought a few borrowed school tools home with him and I've still got them - a 14" "razee" jack plane, a S&J DT saw and other bits. Perhaps he was an influence!
Slightly spookily - I've just made a kitchen table for my daughter with a red formica top as requested, very similar to the red formica I helped the old man fit to our kitchen table in about1954. Later I turned the table into my first workbench, with a 6" record vice attached. Red formica runs in our blood! But I didn't pick up the hardboard habit. Might look into it, could be the missing link.
 
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Wildman

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1958, using a hobbies fretsaw I made my first box / footstool. Inspired by my father who believes one could make anything if you set your mind to it, in a postwar era when everything was scarce and furnishing a home was often a conglomeration of DIY using recycled materials. What others would consider furniture who knows but everything was functional and stayed in use for a very long time, some pieces over 50 years to my knowledge.
 

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