Speaking of Wood: Dale Folan

Welcome to Speaking of Wood! It’s really important in any kind of art to build a community. One way I’ve tried to build community with wood working is by interviewing creators and sharing about their careers and path through wood working. This week’s guest is Dale Folan, a wood worker from Florida. All of the pictures in this article were shared with me by Dale and are some of her original pieces.

DM Woodshop: What is your name? If you have a website what is the internet address?

Dale Folan: My name is Dale Folan.

DMWS: Where are you located?

DF: I am located in Port St. Lucie, Florida.

DMWS: Are you a member of any woodworking groups or organizations? This can be professional groups, local groups in your areas, Facebook Groups, etc. 

DF: Just Woodworkers Anonymous online.

DMWS: How long have you been woodworking, and what was your first experience with it?

DF: I started woodworking shortly after I retired, about a year ago. I took Steve Ramsey’s online Weekend Woodworking course. He shows how to set up shop for under $1,000 and the first build was a workbench which came out great.

DMWS: What kind of woodworking projects do you primarily do?  Why are you drawn to this kind of woodworking? 

DF: I primarily make furniture – below is a coffee table and a small patio side table.  And I recently made this food dish for my daughter’s new cat. I may expand to other types of projects but for now I have a lot to learn about making furniture so I’m focusing on that. And I like that furniture is practical and I can fill my home with things I’ve made myself.

DMWS: Are you an “unplugged” woodworker or do you use power tools?  What is one (or more) of your favorite tools? 

DF: I love power tools! I used to be intimidated by my table saw but I’ve come a long way and am comfortable with it now.  I’ve been making different jigs that make it even more fun and useful so that’s my favorite right now.  I bought a handheld router and planer which I’ve only fooled around with a little bit so my next project is to learn how to use them.

DMWS: What are some things (may or may not be tools) that make up your ideal shop space? 

DF: I made a workbench, a lumber cart and a few stools for the shop, which is really my garage – cars have been relegated to the driveway.  I look forward to fully clearing out the garage so I can organize the shop better.

DMWS: Who are some woodworkers who have had an impact on your work or your woodworking education?  These can be people from any style or branch of woodworking. 

DF: My grandfather and my uncle were woodworkers and made beautiful furniture and I always admired their skills. Steve Ramsey’s Weekend Woodworking class and other videos really inspired me to learn more. I’m amazed at all the talented people on YouTube who produce instructional videos – they’ve all had an impact on my woodworking education.

DMWS: What would you say has been your biggest success as a woodworker?  What has been your biggest struggle? 

DF: I guess the biggest success is that I’m still at it and haven’t wasted all the money I’ve invested in tools! The biggest struggle for me is to be patient and think things through before I start cutting or gluing or screwing things together.

DMWS: What advice would you give to people who are just getting started in woodworking or interested in getting started? 

DF: Check out Steve Ramsey’s website and learn how to set up shop for under $1,000. Be patient, take the time to measure and measure again. If you’re interested in it, just do it – start building something and with every new project, you’ll learn something new.

DMWS: Is there anything else you’d like to add? 

DF: For me, woodworking, like other art forms, is a relaxing, fun, satisfying way to spend my time. I’d recommend it to anyone looking for something purposeful to do. As a female, I’m glad to see there are a number of talented women on YouTube who make instructional videos, which I appreciate. Thanks for the opportunity to provide my input here.

Recap

I really like what Dale said about taking the course by Steve Ramsey. I haven’t taken that course, but Steve was one of the first YouTube woodworkers I discovered when I started getting into woodworking and he is definitely a great resource for beginning and intermediate woodworkers. If you’d like to read a little more about Steve Ramsey, check out my article here.

Thanks for reading, and as always if you found value in this article please consider sharing it with your friends. We can build this creative community together!

-S.A.

Author: Sam Adams

I am a musician, educator, and composer based out of Kentucky. I also dabble in wood working.

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