My love for woodworking started when I was 13. As fate would have it, my family made a move late in October from Central California to Southern California, not a good time in my life. I had been to numerous schools due to many moves we had, as well as school districts being redrawn, and now it wasn’t us moving across town, but to a completely different part of the state, away from friends and family.

Then as I’m sure it is now, you are required to take certain classes in school so as to have a well-rounded education. One of those classes is an elective of your choice. I don’t really remember if I really had any say as to what elective I could choose, (I have always assumed that), due to attending a new school with the semester well under way, the only elective class that had room was woodshop. This was my first recollection of being exposed to some pretty cool machinery at the time, and then being able to use some of that machinery to build class projects.

Rob BaldwinAt the time I really didn’t think anything of the, what we built, but during my early years of graduating high school I quickly had an appreciation for what I had built, and a sense of thankfulness of the 2 woodshop teachers that had instilled a love for woodworking.

Fast forward through a couple of decades to where I was a couple of years ago when I came across Blue Ox Mill Works documentary on YouTube. It was then that I realized what I would like to provide others that share a similar story as mine.

During the summer of 2015 I paid a visit to the Blue Ox Millworks in Eureka CA. from which I gleaned my inspiration for First Stone. During the tour of Blue Ox, the owner Eric Hollenbeck had mentioned that in 2010 he had a reunion of sorts from past individuals that he had hosted the previous 10 years. A total of 55 people attended and not one of them was a carpenter. The lesson there is that it is not so important as to what field young adults are instructed in, but the time devoted in building their self worth and esteem, which in turn establishes a foundation in strengthening a strong moral character.