I grew up in a cabinet maker’s family. Dad was so good that his family’s business, Jacoby’s Furniture Factory, did repair work for President Eisenhower’s farm near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. I helped my Dad in his shop when I grew up so had a comfort zone with tools.
Twenty five years later, after I was married and had a family, I decided to knock a wall out to enlarge our living room while my husband was traveling in Europe. Before he left, I told him what I was thinking. He didn’t believe I could do it and discouraged me, I believe, because he is a scholar and has no skills in woodworking.
So … on the sly, I bought the tools and hid them until he left – a rotary saw, small table saw, drills, an electric sander, and so on. The first few days, I studied the manuals for safety. Then I went to the lumberyard and purchased the materials needed. With a professional’s help, I proceeded to knock out a wall and enlarged our living room. That made it half again as big and provided space for an office area. I used the extra week building ceiling to floor bookshelves to accommodate our many books since we are both college teachers.
A few weeks later, when my husband came home, he was stunned. In the years since then, he has brought students, colleagues, and friends to the house to show off the results of my labor.
If you have a hankering to do carpentry work, by all means, DO IT! Pick professional carpenters’ brains, get books for beginners and read them, and take a course on safety at your local vo-tech or junior college. Try smaller projects first, and then move on. Learn all you can so you do it right. Have fun!