The other day I was rummaging around in an old box of scraps, and I pulled out a chunk of wood that I had completely forgotten about.
It doesn’t look like much, but I’m pretty sure it’s my first woodworking project (not counting the tree forts I built with my brothers when I was a kid). It’s a doorstop cut out of a 2X4.
I vaguely recall making this to prop a door open at a local church fellowship hall. I used only one tool to make it: a circular saw. Looking at the uneven surface, I recall that the sawblade was small (or I didn’t know how to adjust the depth), so it didn’t cut all the way through the 2X4. So I cut part the way through it, flipped the workpiece over, and finished the cut from the other side–very unevenly. I can’t believe I was happy enough with my work to put my name on it, but I must have been.
The only reason I share it here is that it’s the first project I signed and dated. I was a teenager back then. I’m pretty sure I “carved” my initials and the year with a flathead screwdriver and a hammer.
It was not exactly an auspicious beginning to my woodworking avocation, but in one respect it was a telling start. I represents a moment in my life when I looked at problem and came up with a solution that required only the tools and materials I had on hand. And while I now have a lot more tools and a lot more materials on hand than I used to, this is still the approach that defines much of my work. Whether it’s a need for a storage crate or a small table or a wooden spoon, I still delight in making what I need with my own hands.