A bit about me

Well I've been doing this woodwork thing for a long time. I don't feel a real need to quantify (that might scare me a bit) but I've been wielding saw and hammer since before junior high. In that time I've built some of everything; boxes, furniture, architectural elements, tools, shop implements. I just love wood and love making things and making them well. I'm mostly self taught through books, blogs and the hard road of experience but some high school wood shop and a couple of summers working with my grandfather in his shop taught me some lessons that you can only learn from working with others.

Around 2000 I moved into my first place and started to outfit my first shop that was my own, definitely oriented around machines. I had a nice deep one car garage that made a fine shop.  Did quite a few machine restorations at that time being on a budget and just starting out, but you learn a lot about mechanics and how to set these things up stripping down an jointer and a planer. After a couple years I had most of the standard stuff and was building some furniture in kind of a Stickley mission style.

After getting married in 2004 and moving to our current home built between 1880 and 1890 I moved from that garage into a smaller basement space. My overhead was low, literally around 6 ft. I got all the machines in there and started working again in a space around 13' x 14' with a little overflow space into an adjacent section of the basement. Lets call it cozy. It was around this time that the hand planes started to show up.

Don't know exactly how the hand tool thing all started, but I think I have to blame the joiner. Eventually you get tired of ripping 12" wide stock to fit it and I certainly couldn't fit a bigger joiner. So the hand planes came, and I used them, and the results were lousy, but I kept on keeping on. Then some saws showed up, and I used them, and the results were lousy, but I kept at it. Eventually the results got better and the machines got fed up and one by one they left.

Now days, I work mostly by hand, although I have some power tools since sometimes home projects require plywood.

Since around 2010 I've been working to help people discover new old ways of working wood and keep old homes going via presentations with the Western Pennsylvania Woodworkers and the Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation's Preservation Resource Center. I've also had my photography published in Popular Woodworking Magazine Issue #195, February 2012 in the Arts & Mysteries segment. In 2015 I became involved with the Steel City Folk School.