My love of working with wood started at a very young age. I can vividly remember sawing boards in two and randomly nailing them together, making nothing in particular but just loving working with my hands. Then several years later I had my first real introduction to woodworking, and specifically cabinet making. It came in grade 10, when I took my first official woodworking class. I was hooked instantly!
I can still remember the smell of the shop when you walked in, that unmistakable freshly cut wood smell which still to this day instantly brings a smile to my face. I remember starting out using hand tools such as dovetail saws, planes and chisels to create simple wood joints. I can still feel the joy of completing my first hand cut dovetail (and passing the teacher’s “three shake test”). This may have been the exact moment when my lifelong passion began.
I went on that semester to build my first real piece of furniture, a tall microwave stand with a drawer and two doors. We started with our very own hand drawings (not knowing at the time but design was another one of my passions, and the reason I took engineering in university) and a pile of rough pine lumber. Over the course of the semester we learned about the different machines and techniques needed to turn that pile of rough lumber into a piece of furniture. I remember looking at the finished piece when it was done and thinking “wow, I made that”. It is something I am still proud of today and is actually still used in my parents kitchen.
As highschool progressed, my wood skills grew along with my passion. In all, I ended up taking a total of 6 semesters of woodworking. I build a variety of furniture for my parents house including a desk, coffee and end tables, and a captain's bed. When I finally ran out of things to make for myself I started building things for the school and mentoring younger students just starting out.
With no shop to work in and little time between university and working, I was forced to put my passion aside, but it never faded. Slowly over the years I started collecting tools, and machines to build a wood shop in my basement. Almost 15 years later I now have a shop of my own. My shop is my happy place, the place where I can go to relax, blow off steam or unleash my creative side and feed my passion. It is this shop where I hand built all of the prototype speaker cabinets.
My passion for wood may have began long ago but is still strong as ever. Now with the start of Riverwood Acoustics the smile inducing smell of fresh cut wood will never fade.