Woodworking has always been a part of my life--even as a child.
That probably was because woodworking was my father's main hobby, and he was more than happy
to share it with his two sons. Later, when I got out of college and was on my own,
I got into boating. In those days, all boats were made out of wood and, unless you had
lots of money (which I didn't) you had to do your own maintenance on your wood boat.
In the course of 17 years living with wood boats, I learned a lot about marine wood finishing and repair, as well as wood boat construction. In 1959 I bought a new Chris-Craft 40' Conquerer double-cabin cruiser, shown below left (factory photo). In 1962, I decided to modify that still-nearly-new boat to make it into a flush-deck cruiser. This required re-building the entire aft end of the boat to extend the top deck all the way out to the sides and to the transom. The result is shown below right. That took me more than a year of spare-time work.
House-building is another field where woodworking skills are valuable.
I did much of my own house-building--I have built four houses: The first one in Cherry
Hill, NJ; the second in Hack's Point on the Chesapeake waterfront in Maryland (which was a complete remodel--converting two houses into one); the third in Pilesgrove Twp, NJ; and the fourth is my present
house in California. I became enamored with redwood
and in my CA house, I did all the interior trim and much of the furniture in redwood.
The photos below show the four houses (clockwise from upper left).
Speaking of redwood, I now live in a redwood forest where there are many
fallen trees or logs left over from when this area was logged in the early 1900s.
Believe it or not, these logs are still usable for lumber--redwood does not easily
decay like other woods. When I moved full-time to CA, I bought my own sawmill (shown below, left). I have milled many redwood logs into beautiful lumber. For more about redwood,
I have always had a woodworking shop in my houses, but my time for its use was limited by my career as an electrical engineer. Of course, that changed when I retired and had more time for woodworking, so I wanted a real shop in California. I went all-out for a comprehensive woodworking shop, and built a 600 square-foot separate building for the purpose. The photo at below right, shows the interior of my shop.
With my experience in furniture-making, I started a business called redwoodWorks.com when I moved to California. I intended to make and sell redwood furniture to anyone on the Web. The furniture was displayed on the Web site and of course, was used in my home. I no longer operate this business. To see some of the products I intended to sell, click here, which shows pages from the now-closed redwoodworks.com.
The pictures below are a sampling of my recent redwood furniture. The two sideboard cabinets are in my dining room and the picnic table was made for a neighbor.
Another recent project is the making of custom picture frames. This is described in more detail here.