This morning I visited Purposeful Design in Indianapolis, a furniture-manufacturing facility that helps train workers with job skills while giving them a job. David Palmer, one of the founders, uses it as an opportunity to not only help people find work, but also teach them about God. They start and ending each shift in a huddle, reading Bible scripture and offering prayer.


Walking around the facility, as Dave was pointing out the table saw, buzz saw, jointer, planer, sander, nail guns, and piles of wood, I started to remember that I too used to be a woodworker. There was a time around 2004 when I wanted to know how to make furniture. This blog post is to help me remember.


One of my first woodworking projects was making wooden flags for a corporate client. It required me to buy a drill press, which took all of the money from doing the job. After that I began experimenting with making wood shelves. Eventually I realized I needed a router to help make the shelves more secure.


Once I had a router I got a woodworking job making custom trim around some old doors for an old home in Greenfield. I started looking into how to do mortis and tenon joints and how to make table-tops. My woodworking experience culminated with me giving everyone wood furniture gifts for Christmas.

Everyone hated them.

One person took the table I made and placed it in the woods under some white pines. Another person briefly displayed the small cabinet I made in their living room. A bench I made was donated to Goodwill. The corporate flags are no longer in use. Coincidentally I was the one who ended up throwing them in the trash when I later worked there full time doing business analysis work. It’s a small world.