Closing My Doors And Opening Others


In June of 2018 I was contacted by the Salem-Keizer School District in Salem, Oregon to set up a new woodshop program for Parrish Middle School and teach future generations how to problem solve, develop critical thinking skills, design, and build. I accepted and now I am a woodshop teacher.

My schedule is tight, I don’t really have time to share online these days. But, there are good things to know: I am igniting a fire in future generations, and I see that fire burns hot. AND – the Oregon Department of Education actually is focusing on hiring professionals from the trades to teach trades. How exciting is that? The state of Oregon actually recognizes the value of the trades as a pathway to success as an adult!

So, I have closed my doors in Montana as the American Craftsman Workshop, and I have walked through another door that opened to become a teacher for future generations.

Take care-

Your friend in the shop,

Todd A. Clippinger
Share the Love – Share the Knowledge

Todd A. Clippinger Share the Love - Share the Knowledge


Best of luck in your new venture Todd.
I started a small scale school of French marquetry this past fall and after the first class I am hooked. I find it is even more rewarding to pass on the knowledge than it is to create a new piece.
This is a brave step for you and I will be pulling for you.

The early bird gets the worm but its the second mouse that gets the cheese.

shipwright – Thanks man! That is really cool you did that, I might be looking for pointers from you!

Todd A. Clippinger Share the Love - Share the Knowledge

Sorry it didn’t work for you Todd. making money from google takes a lot of energy and time. I have a friend who spent nearly 2 years putting quality musical content before making some. Anyway that’s the past.

A lot of woodworkers have been switching to a paying content model with some classes. I personally shun the paying website and prefer the real class.
My only suggestion would be to incorporate evening and weekend classes as I have notice that a lot of people who are not woodworker flock to the craft.
They all have day jobs so evening and weekends are perfect.
A lot of the students like to leave at the end of the class with something they built.
My teacher Jim, Made sure His students finish their projects. I was the only black sheep:)
Jim also made sure the women who attended the class are fully incorporated. By the third class there were more women than men.
he also called on his past students to say hello and find the time to chat. All PR I am sure you are aware of. The net result is all of them were repeat students.
I can tell you he is doing really good.

I wish the best in you new journey.

Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

Ian – I don’t know if you misinterpreted my post, but I have been doing remodel and custom woodwork since ’97. That has worked out other than it beats the crap out of my body. I am just tired of the constant push to meet deadlines, the mediocrity of others causing me unforeseen work, and I could just go on. I am just done with it.

Over the years I have helped and taught a lot of other guys, woodworkers and small contractors just starting out. I feel that it is time I simply exit what I no longer enjoy so much and see if I can’t just teach full time in one form or another.

I have looked at teaching in my own shop, but the reality is the cost of liability is insanely high the numbers don’t work out and I can reach more people online.

Todd A. Clippinger Share the Love - Share the Knowledge

I may have Todd.

I am sure with your experience and knowledge you have a lot to offer. Spreading knowledge is commendable.

Whatever format you chose, I wish success.

Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

Best wishes on your new endeavor. Be prepared though as previous customers are quite likely to try and get you working.
I am supposedly retired again but still keep getting orders for my scrollsaw cuttings. I have been trying to do what I want but they manage to keep me busy. Fortunately, scrolling is what I enjoy doing.

Whiteacrebespoke – I quit remodeling at the beginning of 2015 and moved to the shop. I build projects and do millwork, but then I have also been doing installs.

I actually started sharing and helping others several years ago, so this has been stewing a long time. I noticed, similar to your situation, it is easy to get dragged back into what I did not want to do.

I realized that if I wanted to make an real change, I needed to do something drastic. Turning 50 was also a mile marker in life that just makes me evaluate where I am at and where I want to go.

It pushed me over the edge to make the move.

Todd A. Clippinger Share the Love - Share the Knowledge

It isn’t always easy to take a new career path Todd. I think trying something you have been wanting to do will keep your enthusiasm for woodworking up and be a better future for you at the same time. I know you like to share your skills and knowledge with others so it seems like a great choice and I think you will make a success of it, especially since you know your subject so well. So good luck on your new path.

Mike, an American living in Norway

Know what you mean about turning points in your life. I hit 50, 5 years ago, but turning points came before, and after. I’m still trying to find my calling.

All the best in your adventures! Keep us posted.

Keith "Shin" Schindler

I remember looking at projects and saying, “Oh, that one must be a Todd A Clippinger” … and it was :)
You have always been a teacher, now you can focus on that. Exciting times ahead.

Toxins Out, Nature In - body/mind/spirit

Thanks MsDeb that is quite a compliment!

It is very exciting and I can hardly wait to wrap up the couple of projects that I am obligated to so I can focus on putting my classes together as well as share in general. I really miss the woodworking community and helping everybody out.

Well, I have a banquette to finish for a local restaurant, back to the shop!

Todd A. Clippinger Share the Love - Share the Knowledge

best wishes!

Toxins Out, Nature In - body/mind/spirit