My Woodworking Projects (some of)

  My introduction to woodworking, as for most of us, came in 8th grade shop class. 

Mine was was taught by the finest of shop teachers.

An older man with steel-rimmed glasses and thinning hair, a little pudgy, rigorous in the rules of shop safety, fussy in his attention-to-detail, he demanded the same effort for his class that we little pukes gave to our math, English and history classes.

Actually, more effort. A careless error in history class could lose us a couple points off a quiz. A careless error in shop class could lose us a couple fingers off a hand.

Here's the only project I did in high school that's survived my many moves in the military: a simple wooden box. It's about 5" high, 12" wide, 8" deep and lined with red velvet cloth from my father's fabric shop.


Over the years I've built a few simple projects, nothing of much difficulty. Some were done in the garage, some when assigned to a post with a woodworking craft shop.

I make no claim to being an expert woodworker. In fact, just the opposite. You will not see here any examples of craftsmanship or design.

Speaking of design, I've yet to build a project from plans. All my projects come out of a need to be filled: something to hold the home stereo and TV...bookcases around a fireplace...carts in the garage...a footrest under a desk...a rotating rack to hold over 600 CDs and DVDs and even some LPs.

I plan my projects, sometimes for weeks, constantly refining, trying to anticipate problems with the design, trying to determine the best way to keep the construction both simple and strong.

Sometimes I think I enjoy the design process as much as the cutting, assembling and gluing process. (I know I don't enjoy the sanding and finishing processes, important as they are.)

My career in the Army, then post-retirement jobs, have kept me from more projects, but I know that's just a poor excuse for not managing my time better.

I do hope that woodworking will gain more importance when I finally retire. It'll help my mind stay active, get me from underneath my dear wife's feet, and provide heirlooms (yeah, right) for my children to fight over (who's not stuck with it).

Until that happy day, here's what I've done recently: