Everyone has their own reason for getting into woodworking. Some enjoy the creative aspect of making something from nothing. Some see it as an opportunity to make some money in a small business. And others might just like the idea of having a small shop to go hide out in. But for Scott Brader, he started woodworking for another reason. He did it out of necessity.
Back in 1994 Scott and his wife decided to build their own house. This is no small task to undertake. But knowing that they would be doing it themselves they could also save on money. Scott was able to learn some basic carpentry skills from library books, and as he puts it, “I learned a lot by trial and error.”
Scott was able to teach himself siding, electrical, roofing, painting, flooring, and finish carpentry. The house was completely floored with 6″ wide T&G pine. The trim was a country-style pine. Every piece of flooring and trim was cut with his circular saw and speed square as a fence.
Not being able to afford cabinets and such, Scott also ended up building a lot of bookshelves, storage shelves, and some simple cabinetry for the bathrooms.
Through the years much of what Scott originally made has been remodeled and improved. The house was not the only thing that changed. His tool collection has also grown. Scott has been able to upgrade to a 3HP cabinet saw and added a bandsaw, jointer, planer, miter saw, and a decent collection of hand tools.
Scott reflects back on that time and says, “That was 33 years ago and I enjoyed it so much that I slowly built up a nice collection of tools. I consider my small, basement shop to be my therapy space. I love to head down there to plan and build things for my family. Every project presents new challenges and opportunities to learn or improve my techniques. I have to admit that I’m really not very good, especially when compared to some of the beautiful pieces I see others post on social media, but I don’t compare myself to them. I embrace Jeril Vance’s philosophy of always seeking to improve on my personal best. “
When I asked Scott about his future goals he said, “I am currently working on hand cutting dovetails as I build a toy box for my grandson. To learn new techniques and skills I still rely quite a bit on following woodworkers on social media. I still build furniture pieces from time to time (when requested by my wife or kids), but generally, I prefer to work on smaller projects these days.
As for the future, I intend to keep doing what I’m doing. I refuse to take on projects for money because I think that would take the joy out of the journey for me. I also hope to keep learning new skills and improving on my existing skills as long as I’m able to be in the shop. “
I have enjoyed learning about Scott’s story of how he was able to begin his woodworking journey. Scott has shown us that with determination and effort we all can learn and grow our skills with knowledge. He also is a great example of the expression to ‘never stop learning’. Scott is a humble man, and probably wouldn’t want to show off, but I am posting pictures of his work to inspire us all. Thank you Scott Brader for being a woodworking motivator.
Chad Stanton – 8-27-22