George Vondriska

George’s First Woodworking Project

George Vondriska
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Duration:   2:43   mins

Thank goodness for Moms, who are so good at saving things from our childhood. In this case, we’re talking about one of the first woodworking projects that George ever made, way back in his junior high school days. Here’s a throwback to how George got started in woodworking, leading to what he’s doing today. Although it was a simple project, it included a variety of woodworking tasks, all done by hand.

For George, Mr. Mathis was more than his junior high shop teacher, he was a mentor, and had a huge impact on George becoming the woodworking instructor he is today. If you had an influential teacher in your life, please take the time to tell them about the positive effects they had on you.

The simple tray in this video shows the importance of holding onto some things your kids have produced over the years. How great it is, as adults, to be able to look at these items, and remember the paths they helped us get started on.

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6 Responses to “George’s First Woodworking Project”

  1. TERRY

    Me too. My mom and I made a shoe shine box from a wooden orange box 68 years ago. (Remember those? 1″ thick ends an 3/8″ thick slat sides. A dream collection of scrap wood.). It had a foot rest/handle, gabled lids that came together at a 45⁰ angle and a stain and shellac finish. I was given a major achievement award and I used it to explain who I am and what made me what I became.

    Anybody else’s mom introduce to wood working?

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  2. Gregory

    My grandfather used to sit on the front porch and whittle as he told stories to all us young pups. Me, wanting to be just like grandpa started whittling around 6 or 7. I got the smell of wooden dust from him and still to this day Enjoy it and often look back at those memories. I have a couple of pieces he did and a few I did with him as he showed me how to make it just right. He whittled up until the day he left us at the ripe old age of 97. When he passed I got his old wore out pocket knife that I carry to this day. Often wonder how many toys, yoyo’s, sling shots, spin tops this old knife as made with grandpas loving gentle touch. Thanks for sharing the trip down memory lane.

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  3. Kevin

    My mom kept my projects, too. When she passed I got them all back, A cutting board, a knife rack, and couple of other small things. Thanks for sharing.

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  4. mattnp2

    George, did that bring back memories! You’re a few years younger than me, but I had much the same experience as you did in Jr. High in South Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I wrote about it in a blog post last year -https://mattnp2.wordpress.com/2015/11/27/wood-shop/. Thanks for sharing that.

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  5. Ed Henderson

    Interesting George.. I do not have any childhood projects but I do have a wooden box made by my father back in the mid 1940’s when our family moved from one town to another. He made about 20 of them, different sizes, all with locks and painted. This one serves to store seldom used tools now but it is still just as solid as the day my dad made it.

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