Setting Out

About me: broadly, I am a woodworker; an activity that encompasses a variety of specialized practices.  I consider myself a furniture maker, or at least that was my intention early on, but a working career leads you into areas that you may not at first have anticipated. Writing a blog is an undertaking that is new to me, and as I learn I will likely be doing a fair amount of editing while learning to manage this site.

It was about seven years into my pursuits when it became apparent that I would be getting a lot more repair work than the custom design/build jobs I was pursuing. As repair quickly evolved into restoration, my lifelong interest in history proved helpful. I had the inclination to bring deteriorated pieces back as closely as possible to an original appearance so  research became a necessary aspect of my work. As a result, the purchasing of books has become a vice even worse than the I-don’t-have-that-tool-but-I-am-sure-that-I-will-need-it syndrome.  So, over the years my original goal of building fine furniture for a living was overridden by the more practical and available work of restoration.

The closest description or name I could find for my sub-genre of woodworking is Restoration Specialist. I have turned my hand to related areas of the trade, especially architectural woodwork where there is an overlap of my experience and knowledge.  As Pascal says in the (wonderful) film Big Night “I’m a businessman. I’m anything I need to be at any time” …and within the scope of my abilities, so am I.

More than anything else I have been lucky in the people whom I have met while on this path. Lucky to have family and friends who believe in me, generous teachers who shared with me the knowledge and skills that allow me to pursue work that I enjoy, and enthusiastic students, who lead me to reevaluate opinions and practices, in the process allowing me to become a better instructor and craftsman. And of course, my clients who have provided me with an opportunity to use all of this good fortune to practical ends.

It is likely that visitors to this blog will have varying degrees of experience. My plan is to orient much of the content towards novice woodworkers or restorers, with the goal of helping them move along their path towards many successful projects.

© 2018 Joseph Hoover. Sticks and Glue. All Rights Reserved.

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