My First Woodworking Project (I think)

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.

Doorstop 1996

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.

Doorstop 1996

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.

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3 Responses to My First Woodworking Project (I think)

  1. Joe says:

    Hmmm, I suspect a multi-laminate door stop with some carvings on the shapes and sides might be in future. Then both placed in a shadow box on the wall.

  2. senrabc says:

    Thanks for sharing. Perhaps your first project stuck around so long because you made it so useful. I also like how you can see past the looks and remember how it was in the making with your own hands that was important.

    Take Care,

    Chris from Florida

  3. Dave says:

    I can so identify with your sentiment; the satisfaction and joy of coming up with a solution that uses the tools and materials we have on hand. I’ve been a professional woodworker for 25 years, and still my designs are largely driven by what is right in front of me. Though I might get distracted by the vast array of tools out there for sale, and the designs we might accomplish with them, my mind settles and gets focused when I put together the tools and materials I already have on hand and really maximize their potential – pushing both myself and the tools and materials toward their highest and best use. I think this approach brings a spiritual aspect to the work, by honoring all the blessings and abundance that have come our way already, and celebrating whatever innate creativity we each have. Thanks Steve, and Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

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