As a kid the only way I could spend time with my dad was working with him, since he worked a lot.
When I was around 12 years old he started showing me woodworking. I remember hanging cabinets doors and I thought I was the coolest kid around. He later started showing me wood turning and I started making these small bases for a trophy company, I think I was getting paid .25 cents each, but I could do like 40 in 2 hours after school, at $10 bucks a day I was filthy rich! Once I was in high school I think I knew more than the teacher. Everyone was always wondering where I would get all the different router bit details. So yeah, I have always enjoyed working with wood.
I started working at Sunland Wood Products part time in 1995– and stayed there until 2013. I would usually work on Saturday’s or in the summer time. I would sweep and clean the shop and be someone’s helper when needed. Once I started full time I was a delivery guy, so I would ship all the doors and windows that were being built. A year later they put me in the shop where I started building door & windows. Start to finish process where I would take rough lumber, joint it, plane it, shape it and build the door to spec. Later I learned how to make radius moldings (curved moldings) case, base and crown details. As the business grew I was promoted to work as an estimator/manager, I learned how to do take offs from blueprints and make door & window list, so I could quote it accordingly. By this time, I was in college and was taking a few drafting classes, I learned AutoCAD 2001 well enough where I was doing all the shop drawings on the AutoCAD. By this time, I was involved from quoting the job off blueprints, making shop drawings, ordering all the material needed, overseeing the manufacturing, ordering hardware, and glass that was needed for every job.
It’s because of my dad that I got involved in carpentry.
He himself worked at Sunland from 1972-2015 when he retired. I learned a lot from him from the different materials to making all kinds of stuff (doors, windows, custom moldings, a little wood turning) and of course it’s made me handy around the house. To this day I still get a few customers here at VLC who knew my dad and always ask on how he is doing. Jeff Niedermeyer actually sold my dad lumber back in the late 70’s, Jeff was one if the first Salesmen I met when I started and not once did I think I would be working for Valencia Lumber, but I’m glad I work here.