Saturday, June 14, 2008

Nearly Wordless Workshop - The Arbor (brought to you by... my father)

As promised last week, below are the plans for the arbor portion of the arbor/bench project I built.

But before you look at them, I would just like to republish a related story I wrote about this arbor project back when I built it in June of 2006. I think it pretty much speaks for itself.

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FRIDAY, JUNE 16, 2006
My Dad Taught Me This

Over the last few days I've been working with my son on a garden project to build an arbor and swing.

As we worked shoulder to shoulder, it seemed almost instinctual to teach him how to accurately measure the wood, set up the miter saw, drill the holes and drive the screws.

I was never formally schooled in woodworking, electrical or plumbing repairs, yet somehow I am able to tackle these and many other types of projects with ease. So how is this even possible?

Easy. My dad taught me this.

My dad has always been the consummate handyman. And when I was a kid he would never work on something without first grabbing me and saying, "Jeff, give me a hand with this, will ya."

At the time I used to think he was incapable of doing it himself and really needed my help. But of course I know now why he wanted me there. It was because he wanted me to have the best of what he had, and this was how he was giving it to me.

And now, as I teach my own son how to build his first garden swing, I know exactly how my dad must have felt 30 years ago when he was showing me how to fix a flat on my bicycle or solder my first copper pipe.

He felt proud, hopeful, responsible and fulfilled.

So thanks dad, you've given me the gifts I have been using my whole life, and am now passing along to my children. They truly are the gifts that keep on giving.

Happy Father's Day dad, I love you.


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click to enlarge all pictures


Anonymous said...

This is what is missing from our society-the fix it/build it knowledge being passed on from generation to generation. Or just making something ourselves in general.

Happy Father's Day Jeff.

Jake Titus said...

Happy Fathers Day to you as well!

MYM said...

Aww ... love that. I envy your relationship with your dad & your son. :) Happy Father's Day!

Anonymous said...

Happy Father's Day, Jeff and Bill. I love you both.

Anonymous said...

My dad had the knowledge (he was at varying times a mechanic and a CDT (shop) teacher), but never passed it on to me. To be fair I probably wasn't interested in learning either.

As a result I still get him to come round and fix my stuff when it goes wrong. A situation that I'm aware isn't going to last forever.

Sam said...

I am pretty sure my dad wasn't trying to teach me anything when he said "son, my back is killing me, could you trim the hedge for me".

p.s. same dad as above (Dan)

Anonymous said...

I am blessed with wonderful men in my life, when I married Jeff I wasn't thinking "father of my children" and so to have provided my children with the best or the best in dads I am grateful for my blind accomplishment. Jeff you are truly awesome with our kids....thank you!
And Bill, I am so grateful that even though I live close to 1,000 miles from my family you have always made me feel like "one of your own". It is a true gift to love your children's spouses so well and I am blessed to receive that gift on a daily basis.

Thanks to these special father's in my life - you are both wonderful examples to the future father's Jeff and I are raising now...
Love Charli

cathouse teri said...

I know we all love your father. And we love you, too!

Happy Father's Day!

Anonymous said...

Wow! You make me feel like Tim Russert with all the kind words. Just remember your mother is the rock around here. Her love of music was a big influence in your life. Also remember to save a few kind words to say at my memorial service because I know love is supernatural. Pity the person that has never had the joy of a great love in their life. Our family has had more than others can only hope for. So thank you and your wonderful wife for the kind words of praise. There is no doubt your children will praise your good guidance and love in the future.--Dad

Unknown said...

Happy Father's day to all you dads.

Maureen said...

What a great relationship you both have. I too always remember the things my parents taught me. They continue to be some of the most important lessons I've learned.

Happy Father's Day, Jeff. To you AND your Dad.

Windyridge said...

My husband is also very handy and has passed the stuff onto my boys. They should be able to build their own house one day! The cabin has been a great learning experience for them too, fixing broken water lines, installing propane gas fireplaces, building decks and many future projects to come.

Windyridge said...

Oh and Happy Father's Day!!!!

Jeff and Charli Lee said...

chris - I agree... we need to keep the traditions alive.

jake - Thanks Jake!

drowsey monkey - Tis a good thing for sure :-)

jennine - Why thank you. I love you too... even if you do post half naked pictures of me on your blog.

dan - I'm sure you make him feel appreciated.

sam - Very funny :-)

charli - Thanks sweetie. It's always nice to hear things like this :-) Love you too!

teri - Aw shucks, you're 'barrasing me. Thanks Teri.

bill - Thanks dad. As usual, more wise words from a wise man. (notice I resisted using the term wise guy?)

gette - Thanks. Please wish iPastor a very happy Father's Day for me too.

maureen - Yes, I feel very blessed to have such a great relationship with ALL of my family. Unfortunately, I've learned over time (and blogging) that other people sometimes aren't so lucky.

windyridge - Good for him. Those lessons will definitely payoff someday. Please wish him a great Father's Day for me :-)

Michelle said...

Jeff, I'm so glad you're teaching your son. My FIL taught my husband nothing (although FIL can wire and carpet and tile and plumb and fix anything he chooses), which unfortunately renders my husband useless for many traditional husband jobs. My poor son unfortunately will also likely be sent unarmed into the world of handymanning.... Oh, and happy Fathers' Day!

Anonymous said...

I just had to stop by and tell you that I dreamt last night that I drove up to MN and my parents and I had lunch with you and Charli at McDonald's. We had a blast. :P Why McDonald's? I wish I knew.

Jeff and Charli Lee said...

michelle - It's really true. It only takes one generation of not passing down the skills for the family knowledge chain to be broken. Legacy is very fragile that way.

marie - Awesome! Makes sense to me. I guarantee that if we all got together somewhere we would have a blast! (my wife and I are big fans of yours)

btw, I'm sure we decided on meeting at McDonalds because it sits right on the interstate that goes past St. Cloud - and it's really convenient to get to. We're very considerate that way.

Mom Thumb said...

Bill is a natural teacher and story teller, other traits that he passed on to you.

wayabetty said...

Jeff, when are you coming over to do some work around here? I have "Tim the tool man Taylor", for a hubbie and a brother. My brother attemped to put up molding for my sons' bedroom, it's been over 2 wks and after 215 times of cutting it to still doesn't look right. So, when are you and your son coming?

wayabetty said...

I forgot to say "Happy belated Father's day" to you and that is one awesome swing!! Your son is very lucky!!

Roger Miller said...

I think my Dad got tired of trying to get me to enjoy the finer things in life, like woodworking and gardening and fishing. Guess what? My kids want me to do all of this with them now, and I haven't got a clue.

At least they are all excellent readers. :)