For Sam, woodworking, like his first profession (music), is art. Early on he realized a musician’s life was not the way to raise a family. After marrying a “blond with her own tool box”, Sam got his start in woodworking through his father-in-law, John, a professional custom furniture maker. Sam’s love for the craft grew and he considered it as a potential profession.
As a musician Sam worked with his hands and woodworking was just another extension of that ability. Throughout the years he noticed many musicians turned to woodworking for fun and profit. Sam, however, turned to it as a way to support his new family.
After working a few carpentry jobs (mostly as a trim carpenter) Sam decided to open his own professional furniture shop and made sure it was located near his father-in-law’s in order to have access to his knowledge and experience. John gently guided Sam, but never did the work for him.
As a budding furniture maker, Sam often took commissions for which he lacked experience. He would immediately consult with John about the intricacies of building the piece in question. John would often limit his advice to a 30 minute session and then leave Sam to his own devices. In this way, after about a year in business, Sam had gained the much needed experience to be able to build virtually any project me might sell without consultation.
After hurricane Andrew hit Florida, Sam realized that cabinetmakers would be in greater demand than furniture makers. People simply needed kitchens. As a businessman he saw the opportunity to create a longterm business. Sam quickly retooled and geared his shop to the more production oriented methods necessary to build kitchens. This was a shift in direction that would last more than 30 years.
These days Sam likes to share his experience with younger (and older) woodworkers looking for answers to the same questions he asked his father-in-law. He travels the country with different woodworking trade shows and demonstrates HVLP systems and teaches spray finishing.
To see Sam in action, click here.