Steve Coles

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SteveColes

Steve
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Oh well, I guess I'll be the first to start this forum. Maybe, everyone else is too shy. :oops:

My name is Steve Coles, I'm 60 years old and I moved from San Jose, CA to Apex,NC 2 years ago to retire. I couldn't afford to retire in CA. :-({|= I had been the Computer software development business for about 35 years, the last 25 in the silicon valley (San Jose). Before that the Phila and Lancaster County areas. I was married twice. This one has lasted 27 years, so I guess, it'll last. I have one 35 yr old daughter and one 15 yr old granddaughter. I'm promised another grand child next year. =D>

I used to have two hobbies. I built scale models of sailing ships from the mid 1700s to middle 1800s, almost all warships. I built both kits and scratch built and both plank on bulkhead and plank on frame. I also built custom built high end PCs that were outrageously expensive. These were sold usually to people who wanted a fancy Modded machine and either did not have the skilland/or time and had more money than sense.


Woodworking:
I'm a newbie. When we moved to Apex, I wanted to build a large bench for my two hobbies, I found a plan for an easy to build bench out of doubled 2 x 4s and solid core doors. I modifed the plans to meet what I thought were my needs. Using a Makita CS and Ryobi chopsaw and a ryobi bench top TS and Ryobi cordless drill, I proceeded to make my bench and then got 4 x 8 piece of pegboard and created my tool wall. Even though this build was simple, I really felt a sense of accomplishment that I hadn't felt for quite awhile. I also saw the weakness in a lot of my tools.

After admiring my handiwork, I decided that I wanted a second bench on another wall and I needed al ot more cabinet space. I didn't want to build the same bench again and I never have attempted cabinets or drawers. So after some research, I found a set of plans in American Woodworker for a bench and cabinets that were sort of modular in construction plus to my eye they looked pretty good. There was a parts and tools list, included and I realized that I didn't have some of the skills or tools that were needed to make the parts with the modifications, I wanted to make.

At the same time, my wife asked me to make a special table to do her quilt layouts, etc. I realized what she needed was basically a drop leaf table with extra wide leafs. Her only requirement was that it looked like furniture when not in use. Currently, she was using two folding banquet tables pushed together and she hated the way it looked. I expained, if we could find the right size table unfinished, I could put a decent finish on it. But I was nowhere near ready to build something like that from scratch.

At this point, a few things became clear, First, I didn't really care anymore about building computers except for perhaps my family. And, I didn't feel like building any model ships right now. What I wanted to do was really learn some woodworking. So I am going about it like most things, whole hog. Reading anything that looked like it would help. Spending a lot of time on Woodnet and a few others. Making a pest of my self at the Raleigh Woodcraft, because there are several employees there that really know what they are taking about. And even better, were willing to spend unlimited amounts of time answereing questions and even teaching me how to do things. Doug, Tom, Jeff, and Walt, thank you. You guys are the reason, I've become a regular and dedicated customer.

So, I've been buying tools, learning to use them. My first goal is to finish building all the benches, cabinets, mobile bases in my shop. When I finish that, I'll move on to make my wife's table. As things get completed, I'll post pictures of each project

Steve Coles
 

Monty

New User
Monty
Well, it's good to see that you were able to escape from the Left Coast!

Just curious -- what made you settle in Apex NC to retire (besides cost-of-living)? Family?

Your description of your early woodworking experience sounds really familiar! Start with a MASTER PROJECT ("Oh, I can build that!")... buy tools... rearrange the shop... buy more tools... build a bench... build a cabinet... buy more tools... "now, what was that project again???"

:lol:
 

SteveColes

Steve
Staff member
Corporate Member
insomniac said:
Just curious -- what made you settle in Apex NC to retire (besides cost-of-living)? Family? :
Well, we wanted to be near a "high tech" center, so I could find consulting work, if we needed money or I or the LOML couldn't stand me at home. We eliminated most for cost of living reasons. That left Portland, RTP, and San Antonio. I swore, I'd never live in texas [-X So after visiting both Portland and here, we decided on this area. Mostly because lot sizes here bigger. As far as Apex rather than Cary or Raleigh or Durham or Chapel Hill was just a matter of finding a house at the right price in a neighborhood we liked.

As far as family, Daughter and grandaughter still live in San Jose. My 87 year old mother lives in south FL. As it turns out, living on the east coast has been another blessing in disguise, becuase my mother's health and ability to be independent when downhill very sharply right after we moved here and I or my wife have to go down there every 6 or 7 weeks. Since I don't fly anymore, that would have been pretty difficult from Portland or San Jose.

Steve
 

SteveColes

Steve
Staff member
Corporate Member
Someone else's turn

Ok, now that I have done my bit, someone else needs to start their thread on themselves. Come on, don't be shy. \:D/

Steve
 

DaveO

New User
DaveO
Nice to meet you, I loved your message while the site was down for repairs. It almost inspired me to clean up my shop, but instead I soiled it again. I'm adicted to saw dust boogers. Dave:smile:
 
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