My roots in woodworking began pathetically in Junior High. I took shop
class and darn near flunked out. I planed a board so bad with a bench
plane that the instructor had to put it back on the table saw to get the
edges square again. That was not very encouraging. I had more of a
penchant for metal working and became a railroad machinist like my
Being only 19, and about to get married, I knew I had to have a house.
I went to the bank to get a home loan but they said I did not have any
credit, so I cut my own logs, cut my own lumber on our sawmill and built
a "garage"until I could get enough money to build our real house. Doing
most of the work myself, I worked until midnight most nights building a
house for my bride. Somewhere along the way I learned that I liked building
Slowly I began buying woodworking tools as I needed them. First a radial
arm saw, and then some routers, drills and the like. As I gained more
tools, my skills got better and I began to build more complicated wooden
It was not until my grandfather began to pass down his woodworking
tools, that I got into model making. It was really by chance. He built
wooden toys, by patterns and by the thousands. I wanted the creativity of
building something more unique, more detailed than children toys.
As I began to bring home his tools one by one, I found with each one I
could expand the complexities, and get more detailed. When I began to
use his band saw and scroll saw with skill, I built my first wooden model. A
dual tired timberjack skidder.
By my recent standards, it was not much, simple really. I sold it to a friend
for twenty five dollars. It was then that I realized I could make money with
Since then, I have worked on hundreds of hundreds
of models. The earliest ones were simple models, but people in the
community began to ask for them. Mostly heavy equipment operators that
spent most of their lives in these machines. Bucket loaders, screens,
skidders, graders and trucks were built at a rather fast pace. Too fast for
much detail at first, but I was also learning.
Slowly my skills developed until what they are today. Each model I
complete is more detailed then the first, each showing more pride and skill.
Of course I do more than models. I have done an array of projects, but
my main love is building highly detailed wooden models. As my heart is in that,
I doubt that main focus will ever change. I also enjoy building unique wooden
As for my house, well I never did build the "real house". The garage
became too nice to turn back into a garage, so I still live in it, slowly
making the home more respectable with each home improvement project.
Like my woodworking ability, it has progressed slowly.
I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"