I first remember discovering wood plans when I was just a child in my Dad’s popular Mechanics Magazine and a plan to build your own tent trailer. It started a life long love of working in the shop and taking a pile of plywood and lumber and turning it into something of value. Although I built my fair share of projects from scratch – there was something about following a wood plan that provided amazing satisfaction. To this day I still have a passion for creating in my shop – there is something masculine about it that strips away all the social media and division in our world and lets a person get back to using their own two hands to create something of value to both themselves and others.
If anything the last 18 months taught me was to appreciate time. I came from a family that had deep roots in working with our hands. My grandfather was a tradesman all his life and as a Master Sargent in World War 2, his job was to build field hospitals closer to the front line as the Allies progressed through Europe one mile at a time.
When he came home from the war – he spent the next 20 years building homes up and down the same streets he built the house he raised his 6 children in. During that time he taught my father how to work with his hands and create from wood and as he grew older, soon my dad even thought was just in his early teens was doing mill work and cabinetry. ( My father had a lot more patience for finishing carpentry than my grandfather did ).
I was 7 when my dad first showed me how to use a jigsaw – and that following Christmas I received my first Black and Decker saw under the tree. Needless to say my mother wasn’t happy, although the Daisy BB Rifle I got for my following birthday made her even madder.
But that saw opened up my eyes to what a raw piece of wood, an idea and some know how could achieve.
To this day I still have the wooden airplane I built for myself with that saw.