Welcome one and all to my new website and conversation page www.specialtywooddistributors.com/blog.
Seems like everyday someone hits me up with a question about wood, so I thought I would (wood??!!) start with a little background on how I got started and what my passions are about what I do.
In grade school, they used to have various trades to teach young people how to do things. Wood shop, building construction, metal shop, small engine repair, home ec., etc. This was how I found a passion for wood working. I was given exposure to a wide variety of ways to create things and found I really enjoyed seeing what a piece of wood looks like after it was finished. It was also pretty cool to me that this former tree could be made into something I could use for years, even generations.
After grade school, they made me grow up. Damn. Why do people do that to kids? Anyway, I got a job at a lumber mill and learned all about how the boards were made and from what trees they came from and how when the Master Sawyer got pissed at me he would throw a running chain saw my way. Oh what fun. Oh yea, it was in the winter in New Hampshire too. Really fun stuff! Anyway, I got a beautiful piece of knotty white pine off the blade and made my first table. Coffee table with a live edge. This served as our coffee table for years, but is now “retired”.
Each year I would gather a new machine and make stuff. So, fast forward and we no longer have a garage. As you can guess, its now my shop. So, because I have this “hobby”, I had to support it by getting a job in the real world. I don’t recommend it, but it was necessary to pay the bills. Then, “Oh, sorry, we don’t want you anymore” happened and I lost my job. I’m sure this has never happened to any of you too, right? People I knew (friends and family) encouraged me to sell the stuff I make. So, they helped me set up a shop on Etsy and the ride began. The day we got our first sale, about two months into it, was awesome! I look back on that time now and think, boy did that stuff really sell?
So, here I am, now retired from the employee working world to taking a simple piece of wood and seeing the beauty that God created. So much more gratifying than the constant criticism of the daily grind. The enjoyment I get out of seeing what this wood looks like after it has been resawn, or after the final finishing coat has been applied, or hearing a client ask me about making something special and turning that special product into another product for our shop.
I think I inherited my Dad’s genes (and maybe that generation’s genes) regarding making things. My Dad was a part of the generation that went to war (WWII). When those folks came home, they had seen enough destruction and suffering, so they set out to build a life for themselves and their families, and in turn, build this country. I guess making things rubbed off on me. As we started seeing much of the products we use be made in other countries, I decided to make my own stuff, mostly because the stuff being made elsewhere sucked and I thought I could make it better. So I did.
This new website is a byproduct of that thought process and its also my dream. We sell unique and reclaimed wood for woodworkers, hobbyists and designers. I have been working with wood in some form or fashion for about 40 years and I never tire of seeing what the grain looks like. And, like you, I still have questions and am always learning, so if you do have a question or two, send it my way and I’ll talk about it and if possible, try and answer it for you. The amazing thing about this great club of wood workers is we always are eager for knowledge and are willing to try and help if we can. So, I hope you enjoy this small bit of history and I hope you spread the word about us and our new website: born of a layoff and rising to success. Taking lemons and making lemon aide! Enjoy!