Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Get Woodworking - Better Late than Never!

I have some cool friends.

One of my cool friends, John, happens to have even cooler friends than I do.

My friend John is not a woodworker, but a family man who shares my hobby of playing trombone in a local big band.

As a good friend, he subscribes to my woodworking blog and claims he enjoys reading it.  Indeed, we often discuss my latest posts on the way to band practice.

A few months ago, one of his neighbors asked him if he had any ideas on what to do with her father's old woodworking tools.   John suggested I go and take a look.

I was in heaven.  There was a well used and maintained basement shop.  It was like a German woodworking time capsule.  The most important find in my opinion was a complete Ulmia hanging wall cabinet complete with all of the original tools.

A whole collection of planes, braces, chisels, clamps, and everything needed collected over many years.

During 'Get Woodworking Week' a small idea began to germinate.  Why not talk John into taking up woodworking as something he can do with his own kids?

What a perfect storm.  All the hand tools one needs for a hand tool shop including a couple of Swedish benches that will work perfectly for kids.

My plan is to be available to John to help him learn woodworking with his kids.

With any luck, some of the journey will be documented here.  I am hoping I can even get him to write a blog post or two about the progress.

I sent him a note today instructing him to think about where he wants his shop:  a spare bedroom, the basement, or the garage.  I know he doesn't want to invest a lot of square footage of his available space, as most of his space is already spoken for.

I have plans to help him design his shop, move the tools over and set up (including rehabbing and sharpening them), and even a couple of projects designed to achieve success and accomplishment for beginners and children.  From there, we will see what happens.  Whatever happens,  I think it is fantastic that he wants to give this a go.


  1. Sounds like the first step of a very intersting journey into the world of woodworking. I will stay tuned... :-)

    1. Hi Wolfram, thanks for the comment. I am very much interested in seeing what happens, too!

  2. Hi Brian,
    I've become the focus of your blog today.
    That was a pleasant surprise and I look forward to setting up a shop with you and to do some woodworking.
    My two youngest children are VERY keen and jumped at the idea.
    Another was cautious and said he did not want to because he was "afraid" to work with some tools.
    I love how the children openly express their concerns and fears like this and I told him that Daddy is also not good at tools and afraid to do some things too!
    I hope that once he sees what we are up to, he will want to join in.

    See you soon.

    1. I think it is great some of your kids are excited. It's also OK that they all are not. It will be interesting to see what they do.

  3. Always nice to see a good set of woodworking tools being put to use!

    1. Hi Bill! I agree. These tools look too nice to be sold off for 50 cents apiece. Or worse yet, turned into decorations or just thrown out. Stay tuned, I hope to put up some photos!

  4. Excellent article and idea Brian! John, kudos to you for accepting the challenge. You're giving your kids a gift that can be past down for generations to come. Three cheers to the neighbor for passing on her father's tools. I can't wait to read about the projects John and his kids build.

  5. Great idea! John - you are lucky to have this guy (Brian) wanting to help you and your children learn a cool and useful skill. He is a great teacher! I may be a little prejudiced as I am his Mom!

    1. I am, indeed, very fortunate. Both Brian and SWMBO have given us so much support and friendship over the years!

  6. Great idea.
    I am looking forward to seeing the pictures of the Ulmia tool cabinet.