The Genesis of a Woodworker

I have been passionately interested in woodworking since the winter of 2000. At that time I was laid off of my job and interested in exploring some new hobbies, so I picked up a book on retro furniture of the 1970's and started cutting plywood with a circular saw in one hand and hammering with the other, using 2" roofing nails I found. Oh, the sheer exhilaration when I showcased my first creation! It was a tiki bar, made from seven mismatched types of rough lumber and fabricated material, covered in cheetah print and stained with Wal-Mart brand "natural" color.

Since then, I have explored many other interests and classes of varying subjects, but invariably found my mind wandering back to woodworking. In early 2002, I began attending Azusa Adult Education classes in cabinet making programs and was astounded to begin to understand the beauty and incredible satisfaction of the enduring craft. I made my first miter cut and learned that a plane actually worked, if it was sharp and used correctly!

As I continued to learn tooling and wood etiquette, I took some time off from my sales job at that time, and went to work apprenticing for a local artisan, creating waterfalls and plastic furniture, thus learning my first experiences of working in a small production shop. Yearning for more knowledge, I discovered Cerritos College and began studying their woodworking program in the summer, 2005. Needless to say, I was absolutely thrilled at the breadth of information and machine tools available.

In the course of two and a half semesters, I found the confidence and inspiration to aspire towards becoming a furniture designer and manufacturer. For a short stint, I even partnered with a friend and rented out my first industrial shop space, slowly setting up a coherent and compact production area. Although that foray did not succeed, I am fortunate to be able to continue the craft on my own in the comfort of my home garage. At present, I do work full time in unrelated sales, have a family, and attend school in different subject matter. However, when any spare moments crop up, I spend them designing and building new custom furniture!

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