by Lon Schleining
Residential - Marine
In the photo below, I'm at one of the Smithsonian's warehouses just outside of Washington DC. I'm posing with one of the boxes used by the Apollo Program to hold moon rocks for their journey from the moon back to Earth. I was in Washington DC researching my first book; Treasure Chests.
Writing a book is a tough job, but... well.. you know the rest.
After a stint in the Air Force I went to school on the GI bill acquiring a degree in Government from the California State University at Sacramento. One of the highlights of school was doing an Internship at the California Legislature. I spent a few months working in March Fong Eu's office when she was in the California Assembly. Great fun.
I came to woodworking fairly late in life. One day a cabinet maker friend called to see if I'd like to build a wooden staircase for a good client of his. I, of course, said "SURE" and just like that launched my professional woodworking career. Yes, if you're wondering, it happened just like that.
That was 1978, the year I began building staircases in Southern California. I've built several hundred projects so far, including my share of one of a kind custom designs.
Starting in 1995, I began writing for Fine Woodworking and Fine Homebuilding Magazines. About that same time I began teaching woodworking classes at Cerritos College. It was great fun. I miss it a lot; especially all my friends there.
In 1998, I began to travel with the Woodworking Shows teaching seminars. I hadn't realized how much I love to travel. I just never had the time or the money. I've been off the road for several years, but wow what an adventure. Travel does take its toll, but Frequent Flier miles are a wonderful perk! We've been to Italy twice and Paris once business class, no less on miles!
I have some 60 or so articles in print now, including an article on building a replica of Thomas Jefferson's writing desk for Fine Woodworking. The Smithsonian commissioned me to build a replica for their collection. The replica I built for them is now at the Smithsonian's Castle Collection in Washington, DC. Taunton Press sponsored the project with a very generous grant. Here's a link to see the original. In 2000, I was named contributing editor for Fine Woodworking.
My first book from Linden Publishing called The Complete Manual of Wood Bending covers steam bending, bent lamination and curved milling encompassing much of what I've learned the hard way about working with curves for almost 30 years. It's been in print since 2002 and much to my delight (and that of my publisher) it's still in print and selling briskly. (See Bookstore Page).
My second for Taunton Press titled Treasure Chests; The Legacy of Extraordinary Boxes was published in 2001. The softcover version is still in print, I'm happy to say. I bought the last copies of the hardbound edition. I have a few for sale on the bookstore page.
In 2004 my third book was published, also by Taunton Press titled The Workbench; A Complete Guide to Creating Your Perfect Bench. The book is doing very well indeed and is about to be released in paperback.
As I write, I'm working on a new book for Taunton Press. Stay tuned!!
One of the workbenches I built for the workbench book appears on the cover of Fine Woodworking's Tools and Shops issue 2003.
These days I travel a lot less than I used to, but I still enjoy visiting woodworker's groups nationwide teaching workshops and giving presentations. If your club might be interested, shoot me an email. firstname.lastname@example.org
Every other summer or so, I teach at the Marc Adams School of Woodworking www.marcadams.com in Indiana. It's such great fun there it's amazing.
My wife Anne and I live in San Clemente, CA. It's a little beach town on the coast about half way between Los Angeles and San Diego. I do a bit of surfing at San Onfre, Anne cooks amazing dinners on the beach and we take our dog Tutta Bella along so she can body surf, dig holes in the sand and throw sand on our dinner in the process. Hit the link to get the latest surf report.
If that weren't enough, I maintain my own woodworking shop in Laguna Niguel, CA specializing in staircases, furniture, boats and assorted gizmos.