Saturday, September 25, 2010

To Mentor, or not to Mentor?

That is the question.

A stranger walked into my shop one hot Florida afternoon. A friendly transplant from the New Jersey shores. He had searched for a boat builder, on the internet.  Someone who would teach and guide him how to learn the art of wood working. When he found our webpage he just walked in and asked me if he could be my shadow for awhile.  He told us his name was Mike and he did some sort of environmental work along the eastern coast. My wife and I dubbed him, "Mystery Mike."

Mystery Mike has become a good friend of ours. We shared a  passion for working with wood. When he moved from New Jersey, he and his wife Katie sold their small sailboat.  He wanted another boat.  My custom wood boats were a little over his price level, so together, we decided that I will provide Mike with boat plans, wood, tools, supplies, and of course my expertise; and he will build a my Shipwright Shop!

There is a lot to consider before launching such an enterprise. Liability is a BIG ONE. Time conflicts is another. How much money to charge, the length of time it will take, and how much material will cost in the end are very good questions I asked myself. The challenge, the interchange between the teacher, and student sharing a passion for wood working was too appealing for me to toss the endeavor aside!

So, Mysterious Mike has come to the Shipwright Shop, in between his (what does he do exactly?) work, and slowly has been building his sailing dingy. We are still wondering what he is going to name her? Mystery?  As we say at the Shipwright Shop, generally the name will eventually present itself.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

God is Good to the Shipwright Shop

Working in the shop with earplugs on; I don't hear much going on around my shop. My wife was hearing alot of rustling around; spooking her. Come to find out I have mice in my shop!

My wife has a ornery cat up in North Florida named Thorn. I thought he would make a great mouser for my wood shop. She, however, disagreed not wanting to uproot a 12 year old cat.

We decided to head out to the 10,000 islands South Florida one weekend a stow away slipped through the large wooden doors to my shop. Through 100 degree temperatures in the shop with no food, or water, this small creature about 5 inches short hung out until we returned.

A gift from God? Perhaps. We are going to call him "Slayer".

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Brotherly love

My brother Phil arrived for a short Florida visit. He lives in Naples and is a communication professor by trade. He probably spent about 1/2 day in our family's huge home in Naples, alone. This is a big feat for someone who loves....well, let's just say....communicate. He eagerly drives down to my humble woodshop looking for company and I put him to work. He helped me sand on my new boat project, "Corky III". In about 95 degree weather in a suit like you might wear on the moon; he held up like a rock. Now that is brotherly love!