This month, I'd like to introduce you to John Jay Smith, a member of our Facebook Page for WoodworkingWeb.com.
I asked Jay what his inspiration story is and he shared the following: "I think if someone has a true passion (gift) for woodworking, they were born with it. I have met people that wanted to learn woodworking, but they didn't have the gift.They were heavy into golf, hunting, fishing or many other hobbies, which there is nothing wrong with any of those hobbies, but if your going to be great at anything you have to make the main thing the main thing.
"My Grandfather was a hand tools only carpenter. I remember at the age of 9 or 10 his pickup had the great smell of sawdust. At the age of 12 we had a neighbor that had a shop full of tools; we became good friends. At the age of 16, I took 2 years of high school wood shop from a teacher that I greatly admired."
Jay has graciously provided us with a tour of his shop.
Some plans Jay has for his shop:
Continuing with his inspiration story, I asked about his mentors.
"In my early years my mentors were my high school drafting & wood shop teachers and my neighbor with the great shop.
"In 2012, I retired from a retail business that my wife and I built, owned and operated for 25 years. I have gone back to work for a millwork /cabinet shop. My mentors now are the two men that run the shop. They are both good Christian men that have many years experience in wood working.
"Some of my children have interest in wood working and I enjoy sharing my shop and knowledge with them. I'm hoping for a grand kid or two to share with."
More of our Shop Tour
Some of the equipment in his shop are:
I always have to ask -- I think it gives us a little more insight into the woodworker, don't you think?
Jay shared: All of my life I have had big build projects going outside of making a living ( too much on may plate) so power tools were the only way to go. I would like to develop my skill using more hand tools.
"I am actually in the middle of my dream project. About 3 years ago we bought an old office bldg. I am using over 2000 sq ft of the building for my shop. I have been laying it out, tearing out walls, running 220v wiring, buying equipment and building work stations. My dream is to start building one of a kind custom projects.
"At my age I am not wanting a production shop with employees, just a place to create and enjoy wood working."
Shop Tour, Part III
And, what is the greatest gift that woodworking has given Jay?
"When I look back over the last 55 plus years of my life, I see houses, retail buildings, furniture and other things that i have built that are still being used. This makes me feel good knowing that i have shared my craft with others and just maybe I have improved someone's quality of life.
To finish off our interview, what are Jay's "words of wisdom"?
"I would say to fellow wood workers:
Thank-you Jay, for taking time to do this interview and to give us a shop tour. We look forward to seeing your creations - and that completed dream project!