Ramblings from a South Central Texas Wood Butcher #13: My Wierdest Wood Working

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I’ve been wood working since I was a kid, but it wasn’t until adulthood that I really took off with it. Just a bit ago, I was thinking about some of the work I’ve done over the years. My mind drifted back to the early ’90’s. I was just back into education, having taken a year of to get a “Real Job,” which didn’t work out, and had just scored another shop teaching gig.

Right before getting the teaching job, I had been working at a cabinet shop that had been approached by a plastic forming company, looking for someone to build molds for them. I was given the info, as the cabinet shop owner was not interested in the gig. I contacted the company, and found out what they were looking for.

Turns out, they vacuum formed boat dash inserts, for several boat manufacturers. I told them I could do the work, and they gave me the job. I’d never done anything like this before, but hey, I was willing to give it a try.

The boat manufacturer would cut the dash and glove box sections from a boat, and drop it off at the plastic molding company, I’d pick those up. From those pieces, I’d build up wooden versions of each side, then I’d design and submit a drawing of the inserts, based upon how many gauges and sizes. When the design was approved, I’d then build up the design on the “bases,” allowing for the 1/8" plastic thickness, and draft, so that the parts could be pulled.

This was back before digital photography, and for some reason, I never shot any film of the projects I did. Sure wish I had. Pictures would much better show what I am describing. Shame I never hung on to any of my sketches, either.

I wonder how many projects I’ve done over the years, that I don’t have pictures, or even memories of.

-- Keith "Shin" Schindler

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Yes, that is too bad Keith. One of the great things about the digital age and having cameras in our mobil phones is that we don’t miss getting those photos anymore and they can be easily stored too.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway

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