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Beth Ahabah Voices: John Marshak: Thoughts About My Passion: Woodworking

April 10, 2017

by John Marshak

When one is as enthusiastic about woodworking as I am, it should be easy to share thoughts on the subject. However, as I started thinking about this article, too many thoughts flooded my brain. What is most important to share? What would others want to know?

With that said, I launch into the topic. I find woodworking so satisfying for two reasons. First is that it produces a tangible product, one that serves a function. Second is the logical thought necessary to achieve the product. I have come to the point in my life in which I don’t need additional belongings. Thus I either give them away or charge only for materials used. So it must be a logical and logistical challenge that keeps me motivated.

From first expression of the need to be filled, to the last coat of finish, there are a myriad of steps to be take. Like the old analogy, most of the time you can’t put a shoe on before the sox.   So, a decision has to be made as to what is to happen first in order to avoid having to go back, later, and do it again. This is usually creating a sketch with relative sizes on it. Now they do have a computer program that draws the objects for you. I am from the ‘old school,’ and make a decent hand-drawn sketch to demonstrate what the finished product will look like. At this point, I solicit input/approval from the person making the request. In this way, we both will be satisfied with the finished product.

So as not to weigh this article down with the many steps that follow (which can be the subject of future articles, if there is enough interest shown), let me move on to something most people with an interest want to know: what machines have I at my disposal to take the various steps.   It is important to note that I have had an adult life-time to accumulation them. There is a 10” radial arm saw for making precise cuts to length. I have a 10” table saw to rip stock to precise width. The 6” circular saw is used to cut 4’ x 8’ sheets into useful pieces. The saber saw and band saw make curved and internal cuts. I have a shaper that produces decorative profiles in a piece of wood. The 6” jointer produces precise (right angle) edges for making the best glue joints. The 10” plainer takes rough cut lumber and gives it a smooth surface. My router is useful in making any number of decorative cuts, such as lettering. I can go on but I think my point has been made. I have a very complete shop for working with wood.

I will close with an invitation. As I have in the past, my shop is open to anyone with an interest or even a project. A number of Brotherhood members have already taken advantage of my experience and facilities. I welcome more.

 

Editor’s Note:

“Voices” is a series written by and about the members of Beth Ahabah. If you would like to submit an article about a friend or family member at Beth Ahabah, or your own adventures, avocations or interesting career, please contact Lori Allen in the Temple office at l.allen@bethahabah.org.

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