Jeff Hamilton, Hamilton Woodworks

1. What is the #1 most played song on your ipod/audio device of choice? I love IHeart Radio. I am an old head banger at heart, Metalica, Soundgarden, Iron Maiden, The Cult Etc. I like to listen to loud music when I am in the shop and I get in trouble with the wife she yells “Turn that down, the whole neighborhood can hear it. it makes me laugh.

 2. What is your favorite food? Authentic Mexican food. There is a little food truck across town that has the most wonderful food I have ever eaten. I find great pleasure in taking people there and getting them hooked on it also.

 3. Who is your celebrity twin? As far As I know there is not one. Thankfully the good Lord broke the mold when I was born.

 4. When you were five, what did you want to be when you grew up? A fireman, I loved “Emergency” a show from the early 70’s 

 5. If you could live in any time period in history or future, when    would it be and why? I would love to live in the future. I am a Trekkie at heart. To have a Holodeck would be awesome

 6. Who is your role model, and why? My Father, Harry Hamilton. Just to be able to follow in my father’s footsteps is a great honor.

 7. What is your “day job?” What does a day in your life look like? I work for a major telecommunications company as an engineer, where I have been employed for the last 25 years.  I leave home for my real job around 6:30 AM and return at 4:00 PM take a 2 hour break to spend time with the family then it is off to the shop to crank out gauges. I usually work 3 Hours a night during the week and at least 16 hours on the weekends.

 8. When you aren’t working or making stuff, what do you love to do? I love to go trout fishing with my son Connor. 

    What do you hate to do?  I absolutely loathe painting.

 9. What would your dream life look like? I would love to retire from the phone company, Have employees that I could trust to make my tools to my standards so I could travel the country going to trade shows. 

How do you see your life moving towards that dream in the next year? Getting closer to the goal but I still can’t let it go yet. 

The next five years? Retired from the phone company. I hope to lay the ground work for the Hamilton School of Woodworking in Northwest Arkansas. I also hope to have help with the tool making division that I can fully trust to keep my high standards.

10. What has your greatest success in life been so far? Being a father by far outweighs anything I can ever accomplish in the business world. 

11. Was there a mentor/inspiration that taught or guided you to become a maker? Marc Adams

 Or what was the catalyst that lead you to start making stuff? I attended a joinery class at Marc Adams School of Woodworking, fully intending to become a better woodworker, I arrived at home with a dream of being a tool maker.

12. What’s the coolest thing you have ever made? My first panel gauge. I still don’t know how it works, it just does.

13. How long have you been seriously pursuing making stuff and perfecting your craft? I started in April 2004 

14. When do you have your best ideas? at night while I am sleeping  What inspires them? Unknown I just dream stuff up in the middle of the night and try to tell my wife about it but I don’t think she really cares at 2:30 in the morning

15. Who are some of your favorite makers? Larry Williams & Don McConnell of Old Street tools, Dave Jeske of Blue Spruce toolworks, Mark Hicks of Plate 11 Chris Kuehn of Sterling Toolworks,and Scott Meek ETc. There are so many more

16. Who is your biggest fan? I hope it’s my Wife Kristi

17. What brings you the most joy? My Kids

 What gets you really excited? When something actually works like you want it to.

 What makes you laugh? Stupid jokes

18. What do you wish someone told you when you first got started making stuff? (Or maybe someone did tell you and you wish you had listened)? The funniest thing Larry Williams told me back when I first started” you show me a rich tool maker and I will show you a toolmaker that has a wife with a damn good job!!!” It was really funny at the time and it has proved to be quite true.

19. Any other advice for people wanting to follow in your footsteps? Be careful what you wish for! While I truly love what I do (making tools) tool making consumes my time in the shop I can’t remember the last time I made a piece of furniture. Like I told my good friend Chris Kuehn “you are no longer a woodworker but a toolmaker you are.”

Posted on November 11, 2014 .