About

This a journal of my adventures learning my way in hand tool woodworking.

Ever since I was a wee, nerdy lad, making things has always fascinated me. Creating something with my own hands was indescribably satisfying.

I watched Norm Abrams’ New Yankee Workshop when it originally aired. I loved that he made all those wonderful things from a pile of wood. Sadly, I had neither the money to afford even some of those power tools nor the space to put them. So I dreamed …one day…

I learned some carpentry from a friend helping him work on his house and later a store he opened. And still later, renovating my sister’s bathroom. It helped scratch the woodworking itch.

A few years ago, I injured my back on a rescue squad call. I ended up needing surgery… spinal fusion sucks! While recovering from the surgery, I discovered, thanks to the Net, hand tool woodworking.

I bought and inhaled Chris Schwarz’s book The Anarchist’s Tool Chest. What an eye-opener! Woodworking without power tools. (Who would’ve thought! 🙂 ) I gathered the small basic set of tools listed in the book. Most I found for sale cheap at local flea markets and garage sales. Here was something I could do in my limited space, within my physical limitations and not require as king’s ransom. Cool!

Right now, the part of woodworking which appeals to me is making furniture. Because of the surgery, I am not as flexible nor can I lift the weight I used to. Really large pieces of furniture are out. That won’t stop me from trying smaller projects. Chairs look interesting, Windsor, Welsh stick & rocking chairs look appealing. I always wanted a nice rocking chair. 🙂 I want to make things which will still be usable in 100 years.

Besides woodworking, other interests include, in no particular order: woodcarving, (a natural woodworking rabbit hole extension 😉 ), Amateur (ham) Radio (callsign: KC2WZ), computers (Linux rules!), photography, astronomy, gardening, quilt making, knitting, hiking and canoeing, Tai Chi Chuan (for the gentle exercise benefits not as a martial art), music (everything except Disco).

I am learning the Irish language. I can speak and read at a beginner level and working to become fluent. Related to this, I love Irish and Celtic traditional music. I am learning (self-taught, so far ) the tin whistle, Irish flute and fiddle. My playing is not yet worthy enough to inflict on others—except my doxie. And she has her own opinion. 🙂

I am an EMT (Emergency Medical Technician). I ride at my town’s all-volunteer rescue squad. It is a wonderful, rewarding way to give back to the people of my Town.

I’m writing for my own amusement/amazement. If others find it interesting, amusing or amazing, all the better.

Thanks for reading. Pay it forward.

Benchdoxie