I grew up and graduated from high school in a small town in Arkansas with had a population of 505 people. I currently work as a Quality Control Auditor for Tenneco Automotive in Paragould, AR, which makes shock absorbers and struts for vehicles. I have been an employee of this plant for 35 years, and held several different jobs during this time.
My father was a handyman around the house and always wanted to learn to do woodworking. However, he was never in a financial condition to accomplish this. He didn’t even have a shop.
But my father taught me a lot of the handyman "trades," i.e., carpentry, electrical, etc. It was not until I was a young adult that my close friend (who had "wood" skills) and I built our first project of two pairs of Adirondack chairs. We built these with just a skill saw as that is all we had.
It was several years later that my woodworking interest began to spark and I began to invest in the better tools and a shop. I started out with a Craftsman 16" scroll-saw before I upgraded to a Dewalt Model 788 (a great saw). I have been woodworking for over 25 years now. I became more interested in the scrolling aspect 14 years ago. I love working with wood and initially felt that scrolling would teach me another art, "patience." And every year for a special occasion, my wife purchases the "tool of my choice," which has built up my tool inventory.
I started with the easy patterns so I could "practice" before I attempted the larger items. I watched every woodworking and/or scrolling TV show or videos on the PC I could find, and also researched woodworking on the web. The computer became my #1 ally as I joined several woodworking forums on the web and began "learning tips from the pros." Now I administer "tips." I never quit learning though. I found there are not many scrollers in the area I live in.
I like to make different things, and some things I only make one of a kind . I’ve built some large items, i.e., a workbench, a computer table, quilt racks, and even my 24'x30' shop (with some assistance of others). My favorite things to make now are Christmas ornaments, word art, and nameplates. Scrolling is my "winter hobby." and passion . My shop is air conditioned and heated but I prefer to scroll in the wintertime.
I give away most of the items I make as presents to family and friends. Recently, I began to sell a few pieces, for special requests. I choose not to make too many "for sale" items though because the demand for gifts is great. I plan on doing scrolling full-time whenever I retire from my current job; so I will sell more then.
Of importance to me is that my wife is very supportive of my "hobby," and is the main backer of my tools. She helps me out with the final details, takes care of any "repair" work, and ships as necessary.
Scrolling relaxes me and gives me a sense of pride and accomplishment. I love to smell the wood. I have collected so many patterns that there is no way I can make them all. However, it is nice to make what I can ...