How it all began…
It was an exciting time. I was 9 years old and Christmas was right around the corner. One cold night, my dad and I braved the snowy roads and drove to Grandpa’s house. Dad needed to use Grandpa’s workshop to build a last-minute present. I was lucky enough to tag along.
As we entered the shop, we were welcomed by the pleasant smell of freshly cut pine. Cottonwood logs crackled in the old, cast iron stove. Tools, large and small, filled the area. Boards of all colors and sizes were stacked in neat piles. Grandpa always kept his shop clean and organized, and tonight was no exception.
After a warm greeting by Grandpa, Dad dove into his project. Grandpa adjusted his glasses and asked, “What are you going to build tonight, Lars?”
The question took me by surprise. The power tools both fascinated and terrified me. I wondered if I was too young to build anything. “I dunno,” I finally said.
“Do you have a present for your brother yet?”
I lowered my head. In the process of thinking about all of the presents I would be receiving, I forgot to think about what I would be giving. “No,” was all I could say.
Grandpa didn’t seem to mind. He simply said, “I can help you make a present for him if you would like.”
The smile on my face was all the answer Grandpa needed.
He hurried over to a shelf and pulled out a book. He mumbled to himself as he thumbed through the pages. After a minute or two, he pulled off his glasses and then motioned for me to come close. Pointing to a black and white picture, he said, “We’re going to build that.”
A toy car. Wow, that sounded fun. We were going to build a car all by ourselves.
Grandpa selected the wood and then guided me every step of the way as we made a present for my brother. The car turned out perfectly. The wheels spun fast and the design was sleek. We used tung oil for the finish, which is a smell I still like today. I liked the car so much that I almost kept it for myself. Almost. In the end I gave it to my little brother. He loved it.
And that was my first introduction to woodworking. I’ve been hooked ever since.
I hope you enjoy Woodplay. It’s mostly just a place to showcase some woodworking projects and to talk about aspects of the trade.