Many 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).
No, 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?