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Thread: You *all* have better shops than I do!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Inside the Beltway

    You *all* have better shops than I do!

    Forgive any potential unseemliness, but I guess the etiquette is to introduce oneself. My name is Bill Lantry, and I work inside the beltway. A few years ago, Doorlink and I bought a rundown but pretty big house just *outside* the beltway, which backs up on the northwest branch of the Anacostia river, so even if we're in a big city on a foreign coast, it feels like the countryside in the west, where I grew up. I claimed the one car garage as my first shop, and I've been building it on the cheap since then. Just so you know, I have never yet managed to make a square cut in my life, so everything I make is crooked... but they're a little less crooked than they used to be. Doorlink and I have six boys, ranging from 22 to 2 1/2, so there's no shortage of things to be done. Right now, I'm trying to make my first bench... but like I said, it's on the cheap, so I'm making it out of hem fir... in other words, 2 x 4s...

    I've spent a bit of time on another forum, but the dissonance there is a bit much for me, so here I am: searching for peace and harmony and a little woodworking...



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Constantine, MI
    Hello William! Welcome.

    I, too, came her looking for peace and civility. I do not think you will be disappointed. You will also find a tremendous amount of experience here (something to which I contribute infintesimally) and great people willing to share their time and experience.

    Cheap is good! Don't downplay it. My first bench was a 36" x 96" monster with 4x4 legs, 2x4 stretchers and a face-to-face laminated SYP 2x4 top with 3/4" oak T&G flooring for a work surface. It was HEAVY. I built it over 30 years ago and gave it to a friend of mine when I moved west 12 years ago. He still uses it every day.

    Where "out west" do you hail from? Why are you 'in the beltway'?

    Don't forget to post some pictures of that bench when it's done!
    Host of the 2017 Family Woodworking Gathering - Sunken Wood

    “We all die. The goal isn't to live forever; the goal is to create something that will.” - Chuck Palahniuk

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    somewhere east of Queen Creek, AZ - South East of Phoenix
    Welcome and remember one thing we like pictures. The folks here are great and don't be afraid to ask questions. There always someone with the snwers. This is intended to be a Family friendly forum and we don't tolerate shenanagins..
    "There’s a lot of work being done today that doesn’t have any soul in it. The technique may be the utmost perfection, yet it is lifeless. It doesn’t have a soul. I hope my furniture has a soul to it." - Sam Maloof
    The Pessimist complains about the wind; The Optimist expects it to change;The Realist adjusts the sails.~ William Arthur Ward

  4. #4



    Welcome! This is a kinder gentler place, but we still like to kid each other so don't hold back.

    My first woodworking project was a coffee table built

    out of 2x2 that I glued up to make a BIG finger joint to join the top and legs. I was so green it never occurred to me that I had to make sure that the wood was all the same dimension! When I got to joining up the top and legs there was a whole lot of paring and filling that had to be accomplished -- can you say plastic wood?

    Anyway, it stayed with us for many years, 20 I think, before it was banished to the scrap pile.

    You'll find lots of support here, we look forward to your posts


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Lakeport NY and/or the nearest hotel
    what's a physical shop look like again? I forget


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Southern Georgia
    Welcome Bill...

    Not a lot of folks here probably know what "inside the beltway means"...but Denise and I sure do. We had a townhouse in Chantilly and a home in Warrenton before we sold both and moved south to Georgia a little over a year ago. We sure don't miss the urban "sprawl and crawl" of the NoVA/DC area.

    But I understand the feeling of countryside near DC if you're on or near the river. I spent many many hours fishing the Potomac...completely forgetting how close I actually was to all that mess!!!

    BTW folks...for those that might not know, Bill's referring to the Washington DC Beltway (I-495) of the WORST roadways I have ever had the displeasure to commute on!

    Now Bill, as for that first bench, there's nothing wrong with using construction lumber. Heck, my first bench in my big ole shop is made out of pressure treated lumber left-overs.

    Hope you enjoy your stay. Don't be afraid to ask questions, post pictures, make comments, or just sit back and watch. The choice is yours! Whatever you decide, glad you decided to join us...

    - Marty -
    Fivebraids, Inc.
    When you earnestly believe you can compensate for a lack of skill by doubling your efforts, there’s no end to what you can’t do…

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Placitas, NM in the foothills of the Sandia Mt
    Welcome Bill - glad you found the family

    I've lived inside and outside the beltway for 20 years. Used to live in Bowie, MD and worked downtown, so I probably drove near your place a few times. Two years ago I escaped to semi-rural New Mexico. The last month we lived there, my wife and I resolved never to go on the Beltway again - wasn't easy, but we enjoyed a few new back roads.

    By the way, don't worry about stuff being crooked. I'm taking a Fine Woodworking course in Santa Fe and getting grief because everything I make is square - they want me to be more creative.

    Anyhow, just jump in - its a good gang here and we are pleased to have you.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Mountain Home, Arkansas
    Welcome and congrats on the first shop. Don't worry about doing it on the cheap. If I revealed how much some of my tools cost, guys here would be bringing bags of groceries to the house.
    And, don't knock crooked furniture. If you try to sell, just mark it several thousands of dollars and call it art.
    Squared of stuff is ordinary, everybody does that. Not really original.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Houston, Texas
    Hey Beltway boys, I lived in Winchester then moved to Falls Church,Va. when I was working with disturbed boys, now I am one. But I like woodworking, does that count? Welcome William!
    I am a registered voter and you can be too. We ( registered voters ) select the moderators for this forum by voting every six months for the people we want to watch over this family forum.
    Please join me. Register now.
    Here is how

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Toronto, Ontario, CANADA
    Welcome Bill and don't worry we all have to start somewhere and I expect that most of our starts in woodworking were quite humble.

    And Marty, thanks for the explanation of what the beltway is. I did not have the fainest idea (even though I did live in the USA for almost seven years).
    Cheers, Frank

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