This might sound crazy, but people do it. Everyone has something to offer—from the most recent addition to the family to the oldest grandparent. The key to understanding your own skills is to get to know your craft and see what comes naturally. And then, by getting the practice down in your own way, you begin to feel more confident that whatever you do, you’ll be able to do it consistently.
You can’t learn carpentry by doing what most people expect. They buy and install boards and boards and they buy and install boxes, and they buy and install furniture, and they buy and install paint and curtains and windows, and they never learn how to turn that into wood. They just buy the boards, the boards come from the lumberyard, and then they’re all cut, and they’re glued. What I did was a little different in my garage—I had a small shop for hand tools and saws and nails and something—and what I brought to the table was how to learn carpentry. It took a very long time to learn, and I had to practice it every day for years, and I didn’t spend all day teaching myself. But once I did, and I knew how and what to do, and how to put this into practice for the first time, I was able to create things that I never dreamed of building myself.
What makes wood work fun?
Wood is nature’s answer to technology, which makes wood work particularly wonderful. Wood itself is not a technology but rather a process. You’re not going to be able to build a skyscraper out of a box but I can tell you that I know how to build it. I can build it and I can build it well. What you’re doing is the same thing, except your skill will be different.
It’s not a matter of trying to do the same stuff over and over again just to create your own master plan. You use your experience to create something a little bit different. I can build a house differently from someone who’s built houses before me.
What makes wood work unique to the industry versus traditional carpentry?
The difference is that we’re doing this on a large scale. I’m learning how to build a house that I haven’t built before, so it’s not just a product to sell, and that’s exciting. And that’s an exciting opportunity to have in the world. I’m not an accountant or something, but I’m learning how to sell
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