I’m not sure. Some of my first attempts were with very simple designs and I think it’s a difficult area to get into for a beginner.
I still practice a lot of woodworking and I think I’m getting there. I’m always learning, experimenting and trying new projects, and I enjoy the process. My favorite woodworking tools are the mortise & tenon plane and the router.
What is the most difficult part of your woodworking career? I’m afraid I don’t know. Honestly, I have no idea. There are days, months and years of frustration that don’t really have to do with the process – the hard part comes when a project breaks – and it is very hard for me to give up, or think about that frustration. Maybe it’s because of my wife. It’s a long story.
How have you gotten around the lack of employment opportunities for self-taught woodworkers? I’ve gotten through it. I am fortunate in that I am the son of an extremely successful architect in Washington; he taught both me and my brother how to build with timber. We were successful in our careers, and I was a successful professional. I have no doubt, though, that it will not be the case with many self-taught woodworkers. People need to realize that education, hard work and perseverance are all very valuable things to have. So many things have happened in my life through self-education.
What projects have you completed to help teach you woodworking? I’ve built a small shop in our backyard. I started working on an exercise table that I had just purchased from a hardware store for about fifteen dollars. I didn’t have the experience for something that small, but I didn’t see why it had to be as difficult as building a home. I’m very pleased with how the work turned out. We had an incredible time building it, and we decided it was worth the investment. I still work with wood on other projects on a variety of projects; sometimes for my wife and sometimes to learn with her. I like doing that to support our passion.
How should people start approaching the design and construction of their furniture? There are many good and better resources out there. For example, you can visit DIY Woodshop in Atlanta and learn about various ways to build a chair or other piece of equipment.
It’s important to take an honest look at your projects. Do you care about that project and do you think that it is worth the
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