Family Woodworking

Bear ShelfMany woodworkers have someone in their family who was a woodworker as well. They might remember hanging out in the shop with their dad, or their grandfather – or these days, their mom or their grandma.

In my case, both my grandfathers were woodworkers. Admittedly, there were aspects of this I did not cherish as much as I should when I had the chance – college students, for example, do not appreciate Grandpa’s sense of humor in starting the band saw, located in the basement shop directly below the guest (aka my room!) bedroom, at 7 a.m.

These days, however, now that both of them have passed away, I do put a high value on the woodworking I have from them which still lives on in my home. It’s not monetary value – no one in my family was ever named Maloof, and my grandfathers, while good woodworkers, were both definitely hobbyists when it came to “straight-up” woodworking (although one did make a living as a carpenter for a while).

Lazy SusanNo, it’s the value of having things that I can see and touch, and that my daughter, who never knew either of my grandfathers, can see and touch as well, that passed through their hands and their shops. Somewhere, I once read something about how all the people that you have known connect you to both the past and the future. My grandfathers’ woodworking connects my daughter to a century of which she has no memories, and my grandfathers to a century which only one of them lived to see. It’s possible these shelves, cabinets, lazy Susans, boxes and so on, may even connect them all to the next century through my daughter. I think that’s pretty cool.

How about you – do you have anyone in your family whose woodworking you remember? Do you still have any of it in your home?

Joanna Takes
Senior Editor

Spice Cabinet

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About Joanna Takes

Joanna Werch Takes has been at Woodworker's Journal since 1998. Her work includes writing and editing for many print magazine departments, among them the "Stumpers" mystery tool department. Joanna is also a frequent contributor to the Woodworker's Journal eZine. Joanna's previous experience includes work as a newspaper reporter. Her woodworking has consisted of small projects such as toys and a storage box. She is active in the Women of Today service organization.

3 thoughts on “Family Woodworking

  1. We did not have wood workers, but my dad was very handy. He could figure out how to fix anything. I am starting the legacy of wood working in our family. My skills have grown to the point that I am remodeling our kitchen with my own raised panel cabinetry in big leaf quilted maple. That’s the joy of wood working – common pieces in extraordinary wood or extraordinary pieces in common wood!

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