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57505 Will Flor <electroman@r...> 1999‑02‑11 Bio: Will Flor
   Greetings, O Mighty Galoots.  I've been lurking
under the porch for a month or so now, and humbly
offer my bio in hopes that I may be allowed to join
your esteemed company.  I have my spitoon-polishing
rag a-handy, in case I make a mistake.  I've been a
woodworker of some type or another for
twenty-some-odd years (some of them *very* odd
years,) having made my ignoble entry into the realm
as a framing carpenter, and later as a worker in a
now-defunct pallet mill in the Missouri Ozarks.  As
should be obvious by now, I'm very acquainted with
tailed apprentices, and have used many a one.
   My transformation into a Galoot began soon
thereafter, whilst helping a friend with some
firewood cutting from his woodlot.  I noticed that
some of the logs we were bucking were walnut, and had
beautiful brown heartwood.  Upon mentioning that it
was such a shame to burn such beautiful wood for its
heat content, my friend gave me a bunch.  Of course,
I had no idea what to do with it, as my experience
was in nailing together SYP 2x4s and working that
most horrid of tailed apprentices, the dreaded
swingsaw (a Truly Evil Device I mention only to Call
Down a Blight Upon It.)  Soon thereafter, not knowing
any better, I ventured to what I thought was a
supplier of woodworking tools (K-Mart) and bought
some so-called chisels, made by what was then a
garage-door-opener manufacturer.  With these
"chisels", as well as a few other hand tools, I split
off the sapwood and began carving away in earnest,
eventually making some strange-looking craftsy stuff
(not pukey ducks - no, really!) like knife handles.
The rest, as they say, is history.  Yeah, the stuff
that put you to sleep in high school.
   Later I survived college, graduate school and
other Evil Tortures, and emerged as a software
engineer, a most non-Galootish profession.  Since we
in the software world construct intricate machinery
that has no corporeal substance whatsoever, I took
out my frustrations and creative urges by....that's
right....neander woodworking.  Okay, not *completely*
neander, but mostly.  Eventually I met a lovely
woman, soon realizing that she had a lot of
experience in woodworking as well.  When I found out
that she owned more planes than I do...well, I
couldn't let her escape.  She is, of course, my SWMBO
now; her experience includes theatrical props - she
was a propmaster for the Milwaukee Repertory Theater
for years - and working at a custom furniture
manufacturing/repair shop, working for clients from
as far away as Europe and Japan.  A really good
background, though not very Galootish. She's a bit
more Normite than I, but she's learning. ;-)  We live
in suburban Milwaukee, on a street named Craftsman
Drive.  I wanted to move to Lie-Nielson Avenue, but I
couldn't afford the neighborhood. ;-)
   We have a little SWMBette now, and she's eager to
learn the Ways of the Galoot.  A few weeks ago, one
of her little friends was over, and I showed him a
plane (a Stanley block plane of some type) and asked
him if he knew what it was.  Darned if the little
shaver (pun intended) didn't!! He didn't know what to
call it, but he knew *exactly* what it was for...and
he's only four years old!  Maybe there's hope for the
world yet.
   Anyway, we build furniture and boxes, do marquetry
and veneering, and are still very much
Galoots-In-Training, if you Esteemed Fellowes will
permit me to adopt that moniker.  Our main design
influences are Art Deco, Art Nouveau, and Arts &
Crafts.  As a final note, I'll add that although
there are a few p*w*r t*o*s around our shop (which
used to be a garage) over my life I've spent a lot
more on planes and chisels than on tailed
apprentices.  In fact, other than one which I bought
as a gift last year (so it doesn't count...yeah,
that's the ticket) I haven't bought a p*w*r t**l in
years.

--------------
Will Flor
New Berlin, Wisconsin

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