Erik Florip, Florip Toolworks

1.     What is the #1 most played song on your ipod/audio device of choice?

No Quarter- Led Zeppelin

2.     What is your favorite food?

A medium rare bleu cheese burger…so good!

3.     Who is your celebrity twin?

I relate with Nick Offerman on a lot of ideas.

4.     When you were five, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Fighter Pilot

5.     If you could live in any time period in history or future, when would it be and why?

Though the idea of living in the early days of America seems romantic, I choose modern day. I enjoy having reliable electricity, a 4x4 that requires very little maintenance, and the ability to order saw making materials on a Monday and have it on my doorstep the next day. I love all things old and often say “they don’t make things like they used to”, especially when it comes to old machinery, but things like the internet have a very high value. I wouldn’t be writing this if it was 30 years ago and I wouldn’t have been able to get to where I am today without technology.  

6.     Who is your role model, and why?

I consider my parents as co-role models for me. They are both great people and worked very hard to provide for me and my siblings when we were growing up. My dad started out working a minimum wage job to support my mom and four kids, and they now own two successful businesses.

7.     What is your “day job?” What does a day in your life look like?

I am a Sergeant in the Marine Corps. I am coming up on eight years of service and have had a lot of jobs during this time. I’ve floated to the other side of the planet on a ship, stood watch at 1 a.m. 9,000ft up in the Sierra Nevada Mountains when it was 25 degrees below zero, and I’ve led Marines on combat patrols through the poppy fields of Afghanistan. Suffice to say, I have not had a very regular day job. Lately things have slowed down; I get out of the Marine Corps at the end of the year so my new assignment is helping to run a recreational center for single Marines. It’s the first time I have had a set schedule in seven years.

8.     When you aren’t working or making stuff, what do you love to do? What do you hate to do?

When I’m not working I like to: go antiquing with my wife and daughter, go for a run, read, and plan. I have a simple life and I love it.

One thing I don’t like to do is watch TV or movies. I’ll watch an episode of American Pickersonce or twice a month but that’s my limit.

9.     What would your dream life look like? How do you see your life moving towards that dream in the next year? The next five years?

In my dream life I am enjoying a great family life as well as operating a successful tool manufacturing business. I am currently working with a woodworker/web designer on a website and have been collecting equipment as I can afford it. I hope to launch the website along with a small line of tools at the end of the year and continue to prototype and add tools as I’m able. In five years I would like to offer saws, chisels, planes, marking tools, and wood. I want everything to be manufactured in-house.   

10.  What has your greatest success in life been so far? Or, what does "success" look like for you and when will you have achieved it?

I consider Florip Toolworks to be my greatest success so far. It is still in its infancy but it has always been moving forward due to nothing less than hard work and sacrifice. I will consider my life a success when I have a business that runs itself, a happy family and, since I’m also a car guy, a lineup of my favorite rides!  

11.  Was there a mentor/inspiration that taught or guided you to become a maker? Or what was the catalyst that led you to start making stuff?

Woodworking got me to where I am today. It led me to old tools, specifically saws. After buying up some old saws I had to learn how to sharpen them. One thing led to another and Florip Toolworks was born. There is a lot more I could write about the process that led me to where I am today, but I just started a series of articles on that very subject. Visit  http://www.timetestedtools.com/erik-florip-introduction.html for more on the topic.

12.  What’s the coolest thing you have ever made?

I built a Krenov style cabinet out of cherry, carob, and padauk.

13.  How long have you been seriously pursuing making stuff and perfecting your craft?

A little over a year.

14.  When do you have your best ideas? What inspires them?

My best ideas happen when I’m under stimulated; I’ll pull out a piece of paper and start writing or drawing. The desire to create something new or something better drives me to think and re-think current tools or methods.

15.  Who are some of your favorite makers?

Isaac Blackburn, Glen Drake, Lie Nielsen

16.  Who is your biggest fan?

My wife,Temple.

17.  What brings you the most joy? What gets you really excited? What makes you laugh?

My daughter, she makes me laugh more than anyone or anything.

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)? 

Buy the biggest and best tools you can, especially when it comes to lathes and mills. It will save you a lot of time and frustration.

19.  Any other advice for people wanting to follow in your footsteps?

Do it and don’t half ass it. It takes a lot of time and effort but the payoff is something that nobody can ever take away from you. 

Posted on August 21, 2014 .