Sunday, December 5, 2010

A Quick History of How I Got Involved With Woodworking

I was visiting my in-laws in Haddam Neck, CT. My wife, Molly, and I went to the shop of one her family's very good friends, Don Boule. When we went into the shop there was a sleigh bed that was probably 60% complete. One of the finials was carved, one was not. I distinctly remember asking 'how do you get from this to that.' Don smirked and chuckled.

Don showed us his kitchen, his dining room table and chairs, various other chairs and tables throughout his house, his built up crown molding, the stretchers and molding on his staircase, the highboy inside the front door of the colonial he built. He told us a little bit about each piece, including how he afforded himself the time after work. I was hooked at that moment.

On the drive back to Philadelphia I justified my new hobby to my wife. I bought a miter saw promising to install a chair rail, crown molding and shadow boxing.

(in current residence)

I then bought a router to make the molding.

(in current residence)

I soon called Don up and asked if I could spend a week in his shop sanding while on my vacation. On the drive back to Philadelphia this next time I bought a table saw, jointer and planer. I started to lock myself in my basement at nights with the intention of working towards an armed chippendale chair.

Flash forward approximately 8 or 9 years to late November, 2010.

I am now living in Haddam Neck, CT as a full time planemaker. I had brought a few pieces of Don's up to enter into the competition at the NWA Woodworking Showcase where I was hosting a booth in Saratoga, NY last year. Don and his son/partner Chris have been making a few pieces to enter (and they're both awesome). I intend to bring them up this year too.

While at my brother-in-law's house for Octoberfest, Don and Chris threw down the gauntlet when they asked me, “what are you going to enter?” I assured them that I don't have time, orders need to get out the door. Don again smirked and chuckled.

So here it is: 1 queen anne dressing table, 4 months to the deadline. Can it be done? More importantly, can I do it? (Chuck Bender is laughing somewhere.)


  1. OK so I need more info of how don instructed you to afford the time to do that.

    There was some middle parts from moving to CT from Philly and going from power tools to hand tools.

    Thanks for sharing on your blog!

    Chris K.

  2. I found that site very usefull and this survey is very cirious, I ' ve never seen a blog that demand a survey for this actions, very curious... coffee tables