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222469 Darrell & Kathy <larchmont@s...> 2011‑10‑13 Bio Update
Time for an update to the Bio I think.  Last one was 2006.
Not that a lot has happened since then, but since Galootaclaus
is coming up I had better update the Bio anyways.

I started woodworking in 1990, when my wife Kathy took a
woodworking class at a local community college.  I read
her text book and said "Hey, I want to try that...".
The first thing I wanted to do was dovetails, and since
the standard power tool method cost something like $500
to get started, I decided to use hand tools.  And very
shortly discovered that there's No Tool Like An Old Tool,
and started sliding down the slippery slope.

Kathy and I share the shop.  This has the benefit of allowing
me to have a bigger shop, with the downside that I have to
share it.  There are always at least two works-in-progress
cluttering up the place.  Usually more.  Not that this is
a problem for me, at least not until the oldest WIP is mine,
and right now it's hers :^)

I've built tables, toyboxes, a sleighbed, windsor chairs,
shaker boxes, moldings, done carving, veneering,&cetera.
I've tried my hand at raised panels, sashmaking, coopering,
and a bit of blacksmithing.

I've made some tools.  SJBT smoother and block plane,
Hoosier Tools shoulder plane, stair saw, jointer plane,
bow saws, compass plane, travisher, spokeshaves, scrapers,
holdfasts, and so on.  Great fun.  I built a pole lathe
and turned spindles, bowls, and even a pen. I've picked
up a variety of hook knives and started carving spoons.

I thought I was at the end of the Tool Acquisition phase,
but every time I go to a tool sale, auction, or read the
FMM posts I end up buying something.  Especially molding
planes and spokeshaves.  The latest and coolest tool I
acquired was a Stanley 77 dowel making machine.  It is
just SO much fun to play with.  Now I'm looking for
projects that need a lot of dowels.

A recent big project was a media cabinet with linenfold
panels.  A good excuse to expand my carving chisel
collection even more.  I even started a second set of
carved panels for a smaller cabinet but that will
probably stay in the WIP pile a while longer.

Last year my Mom ordered two urns (boxes to bury ashes
in).  She's very practical, and wants things all arranged
up front, and my Dad won't even talk about it.  Hers is
now completed and his is a WIP.

Projects for the near future (2012&  onward) include
a four-poster bed, a hall table with shaded fans, bell
flowers, and stringing, and a couple of storage boxes
to practice dovetails again.

One of my favourite things to do in the shop are the
"work avoidance" projects.  Those little diversions
and side-trips that distract you from what you SHOULD
be working on.  That Moxon vice sounds like a great
diversion.  I'll have to pick up some more thick maple
or walnut for the screws&  nuts.  Might even make a good
Galootaclaus gift, eh?

When I first joined the Porch, one of the local Galoots
(Brent Parkin) organized a get-together.  It was great!
Then Esther and Tom hosted Galoot gatherings down in NY.
More fun!  I liked these gatherings so much I started
hosting my Galoot BBQ every August and December.  People
at work give me the most horrified looks when I tell them
I have invited strangers I have met on the Internet to
my home ;^)

Anyways, after 20 years I am finally starting to make
stuff that is staying in our house.  I've given away
nearly everything I have made except the chairs and
the kitchen table.  Now I can show guests stuff I have
made instead of just pictures!

Darrell LaRue
Oakville ON
Wood Hoarder, Blade Sharpener, and Occasional Tool User


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