As Master tells it, here's how he got into woodworking and why every feeder is a special project to him.
My Father was the son of immigrants from the Austro-Hungarian Empire. He started his career working for my grandfather who had a contracting business. He eventually changed directions, but the seeds of his love for woodworking had taken root. He honed the basic skills my grandfather taught him and, when time permitted, he crafted furniture for my mother and others. Woodworking was his passion until, at 91, he could no longer climb the cellar steps from his workshop.
I descended those stairs into our cellar workshop at an early age, and I fondly recall being his “helper.” I was the “helper” for a reason. My Father was fanatical about quality and perfection. Although we lived comfortably, money was always budgeted, and what we did had to be done right and had to last. We didn’t have many power tools back then, but we were lucky enough to have a planing mill close by whose owner was our neighbor and friend. What we couldn’t do at home was easily accomplished in his sophisticated shop. That is where I developed my understanding and zest for tools. In fact, when that mill finally closed, I acquired some of its tools and equipment.
Education was a luxury that was not available to either of my parents, but they wanted more for my Sister and me. Although my law/business career devoured much of my time, woodworking inevitably became my passion. My first shop was in the dirt floor basement of the apartment where my wife and I started our married lives in 1974. That was two shops ago. Over the years, I continued to acquire various tools until I had created a full-service shop. I would like to think that it is a miniature reproduction of that planing mill near my parents’ home.
My Father and I continued to work as a team for 25 years. Only this time, we whiled away our free time in my shops and in our new-found interest in cutting and milling hardwood trees with another family friend who owned a sawmill. I started my substantial collection of aged hardwood lumber. It was also during this time that my woodworking skills were refined to run the gamut from basic construction to building reproduction furniture, and my Father, my mentor, became the “helper.”
So, after my first career ended, I decided to turn my avocation into a vocation, and The Fawski Woodworks was born. My Father is gone now, but the lessons and values he instilled into me are my cherished gifts. Every day as I enter my shop, walking down our cellar steps, I fondly recall the path to my Father’s shop in my childhood home.
Thanks for the memories, Pop. Frank
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Fawski Woodworks. All rights reserved.
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