Thanks to HorizontalMike for taking the time to do this interview.
1. What is your “inspiration story” — where did your interest in woodworking all begin?
While I took “shop” in junior high school, it did not go over well. When I made it to high school my counselor convinced me to go the “academic” route and not to take shop. I followed that instruction, though I was just an average student and many of my friends took shop. I missed that connection and that loss stuck with me most of my life. I always wanted to work with wood even though I never really understood why… Maybe because it was “natural”
2. Who is your woodworking mentor and why?
I would sooner say “what” is my woodworking mentor. I don’t always socialize very well, so woodworking for me has been an escape to privacy more than anything. I enjoy the interaction with other woodworkers, but on task specific subjects. Must be part of my hyper-focus that keeps me on-task. That said, I tend to read/peruse magazines and online material in place of a formal mentor-ship. And I think that gives me a greater opportunity to improve my skills, since I am not limited by the skills of a single individual (even though I have several I look up to and ask advice of).
3. Power or hand tools? … and why
I use BOTH. The basic lumber preparation and sizing is definitely easier with power tools. Where I find hand tools to come into their own realm is final fitting. Nothing beats the feel of using a hand plane or block plane to fit an assembled drawer into its assigned cubby/shelf, or to make a final adjustment on a M&T joint or miter.
4. What is your dream project and when do you think you will tackle the challenge?
Actually each of my projects are considered my “Dream” project. I choose/desire to build pieces:
5. What is the greatest gift that this craft gives you?
The greatest gift that WW gives me is that sense of accomplishment that one feels when a project is completed and looks better than one could purchase in the mass market. I am not talking about high level stuff, as there are several masters of the craft that I could never come close to matching. What I am saying is that I feel “accomplished” at creating the everyday home objects that any other homeowners from past centuries had to accomplish daily, in order to have and furnish their “home.” Building such pieces makes feel more a part of, and appreciate, that particular community and time.
6. What are your “words of wisdom” that you want to pass on to others, especially to beginners?
My best words of wisdom:
7. And with our community being so new, what do you look forward to, as a member?
WoodworkingWeb, while technically “new”, it is inhabited with several experienced and well meaning folks. We are all, at this stage of the website, its care-takers, and as such we need to be as flexible and generous as possible to help it succeed. What that means, is to focus on the woodworking and forgo your/our own personal “feelings” for the greater good of the website/community. IMO, staunch individualism has no place here. Those folks know the other place that allows that and they are welcome to go there to express their individualism there, not here. But then again, that is just IMO.
What I would like to see is:
And what would you, fellow WoodworkingWeb members, like to ask HorizontalMike, to add to his wonderful interview?
-- Toxins Out, Nature In - body/mind/spirit