Jon Femenella is a Forest 2 Home community member who is actively serving over seas in South Korea for the United States Army. While in South Korea, Jon has spent his free time honing his woodworking skills with some Forest 2 Home lumber and hand tools!
Woodworking is my passion-it is my ultimate stress reliever and relaxation outlet. Wood does what you want it to do; you can cut it, bend it, shape it, and pretty much do whatever you want to it. The art of taking a piece of wood and turning it into a piece of furniture, or something you can use on a daily basis is ultimate satisfaction. Looking from where you started and then seeing the finished result of what you made by hand is awesome. Another incredible part about woodworking is that you can never stop learning. There is not just one way to do or make anything; there are countless tricks, techniques, designs, and projects out there for you to take on. You can never know everything about woodworking-every day you will learn or see how to do something new.
Being in the Active-Duty Military for 13 years has been an honor. But after a long day at work, I come home and work in my shop, making various projects or trying out new joinery techniques to better my craft. Since being overseas again, I have taken the time to educate and teach myself things I wish I learned a long time ago. By doing this now, woodworking helps me to keep a sense of balance and creativity in life.
I have gotten into hand tools and different joinery techniques since being abroad and the hand tools I’m using are just like the old timers had and used for their craft. Before the age of power tools, hand tools and manual labor went into every piece of craftsmanship. I believe that learning the roots of hand-tools and woodworking gives you a deeper appreciation for the craft and a higher level of satisfaction. Antique tools are what people started using and they still hold their weight today. There is the history that comes with them; learning when they were made and their function is so intriguing.
A few months ago, I visited my 93-year-old Grandfather, who gave me permission to take any of his old tools since they were no longer being used. I walked away with 5 antique Stanley hand planes, squares, clamps, chisels, and several other tools. My Grandfather bought these tools new in the 1940’s and 1950’s and it meant so much to me to use the same tools he did when he was woodworking. The history that is right there is special, and I will never forget it. One day I will pass those tools down to my children and tell them their lineage and history.
Woodworking is my happy place and a strong part of my mental health balance. When I am in the shop or building something…that is my time. A time to focus and let my creative juices flow. It is important to have something to help clear your mind and decompress. Woodworking is my nirvana and I know I can always escape for a bit when making sawdust.
Take a look at some of the incredible work Jon has done while overseas! And to see more, take a look at Jon's Instagram page @txyankeecompany, where he shares updates, new projects and techniques.