Over the last five or six years I have been finding myself more and more interested in the Machinists trade. It stems from my obsession with antique woodworking machinery, while rebuilding them and investigating ways to make parts and do repairs. This summer I decided that it was a good time in my life for a change, so I'm taking a pre-employment machinists course with intent to become a journeyman.
Woodworking isn't my first trade, I spent the first ten years of my working life as an apiculturist. I grew up around honeybees, my earliest clear memory is being stung while watching the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. We didn't have a honeyhouse at the time, and my parents were extracting in the kitchen.
Beekeeping opened some interesting doors for me. After high school I earned my Certificate of Apiculture at Fairview College, Fairview, Alberta. From there I did some queen rearing and pollination work in California, worked for the largest honey producer in Saskatchewan, and maintained the research colonies and assisted students at Simon Fraser University.
After I returned home to Saskatchewan I decided to persue woodworking. It was my favourite activity by far in high school, I used to feel like I was getting away with a scam because I received credit for doing something I enjoyed. I managed after a lot of pestering to land a job at Works of Art Furniture, the finest local shop. There I've spent the last ten years loving my job and growing my skills.
The last few years have come and gone with a lot of changes. My boss sold his building and moved shop out of town, and has since semi-retired. The local economy is very strong, but was still affected by the recession. Prices for everything have gone up. I have two daughters now. Woodworking for a living was always a tough gig, and it's not getting any easier.
So, I've decided to make a change. I'll ALWAYS be a woodworker, it's far too deep in my soul to be able to stop. However, instead of being my source of income it will be my source of pleasure. I'm actually looking forward to being able to woodwork as a hobbiest, without the pressures of deadlines and profits. I have a head full of designs, techniques, and experiments that I'm excited to persue.
I know my background in woodworking will assist me in the future, and I'm sure that machining will lend me insight into woodworking. They are very similar trades.
I fully intend on maintaining my blog. I have several posts on deck, there are a few projects I haven't shown you and tools I haven't spoken about yet. Later on I hope to show a machinists view of woodworking, and share any revelations I may have. Don't leave yet, it's just getting good.
So, Constant Reader, wish me luck. I start on a new path.
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