When I met Annette Amadin I learned, right away, the importance of a never ending cycle of organizing, cleaning,
decorating, and improving dust collection in the shop. She jokingly shared that, "Being a woodworker basically
involves reorganizing your workspace until you die, so my space is a continuous work in progress."
Situated in Cincinnati, Ohio, an engineer by day and a hobbyist by night, Annette of 513 Woodworks
is the epitome of a lover of the craft of making. Woodworking is strictly her creative outlet and she is
very serious about her tool game.
Annette Amadin is a world traveler. Born in Nigeria, she has visited all seven continents. Her understanding
of culture and diversity has spilled over into her thoughts about appreciating power tools and
respecting the process of creating. Leaning on the knowledge of others to get going in her craft,
Annette enrolled in the Marc Adams School of Woodworking, where she regularly attends classes to hone
her skills, and today, her skills and knowledge will blow you away!
After purchasing her home in the Spring of 2017, Annette noticed her garden soil needed something
more. Raised garden beds would be the solution. With the high prices of such a simple design, she set
out to build her own, and there was no turning back after that. It all started with a miter saw and with one project after the next, she continued to challenge herself to build something bigger and better, including a workbench and outdoor furniture to
accompany her firepit. With each new project she added more tools to her collection and got more social media shares. In January 2020, she
decided to create a dedicated Instagram account, 513woodworks, to display all of her her projects and discovered there was a
large, tight-knit maker community online. The name is a nod to her area code in Cincinnati.
Her two-car garage is a fully dedicated workshop and home to some heavy-duty
machinery: A SawStop table saw, Delta miter saw, Laguna bandsaw, Dewalt scroll saw, mini lathe, and Shapeoko CNC, just to name a
few. She is a self proclaimed, full-fledged tool addict, and hopes to add a laser and welder to her arsenal soon. "As my own personal maker space/sanctuary, I now park
my car in my driveway, so my workspace is the entire detached 2-car garage. In the past year, I put in
foam insulation panels in the roof and batting insulation in the garage door panels. The quarantine
period in the early days of COVID-19 really proved exactly how important having this space is to me and
my well-being. To fully make it my own space, I painted the cinder block walls a few months ago."
One of the largest projects she has taken on in her 100-year-old home is remodeling her closet: "During
the process I discovered the floors were uneven along with a host of other issues. After I started
framing out the closets, I realized that the space would be too crowded if I were to stick with the
original plan, so midway through, I had to change what was to be floor to ceiling hanging space into
a waist high set of drawers. Even though I'd laid out painters tape on the floor to get used to the
footprint of the closet, I had to reduce the depths of most of the built-ins after I'd started framing out
the closet because it would have been just too crowded. Long story short, I overcame the different
challenges by staying flexible and adapting my plans as new issues came up. Sometimes, I had to step
away and do something else to clear my head before returning to create a new game plan, but, in the
end, I ended up with a master bedroom closet that I absolutely love!"
As a practical builder, Annette does not reievent the wheel, though there are times when she joins together parts of
several different plans: "I have no problems using available plans (free or purchased) because I strongly believe in
reapplying and optimizing/adapting to suit my particular needs. This is
fun! Not work! If I don't find a plan that I like or need to make significant modifications to a plan,
I'll do a rough sketch on paper to make sure I have the key dimensions that I want and then I tend to
make the rest up as I go along." The spontaneity of her work produces some epic projects such as 3D
printed lithopanes, acrylic pens, and massive trestle base tables.
For now, Annette doesn't do commissions as she wants to keep her hobby fun and stress free. She
celebrates the fact that being a woman of color and a woodworker is unexpected and often
underestimated. She loves when she is able to change someone else's perspective of what a
woodworker should look like.
With a calm outlook on the horizon for her making journey, Annette can be an inspiration to all of us.
She says woodworking is "an amazing skill set to have with so much room for growth, diversification
and continuous development and something that could truly be a lifelong passion. I'm still astonished
when I create something – it's such a powerful feeling. I love the variety of projects that woodworking allows me to make as
well. From one day to the next, I can choose to turn a pen, build a planter, make a cutting board, build a
table, make a sign, carve a spoon, make a box, or build a shop cart – the list is endless."
Her advice to fellow woodworkers is especially geared toward those who are intimidated by some of the machinery we use in woodworking...she says "invest
time to understand the safety requirements of the machines, but then embrace using the tools! Watch
videos, take classes, connect with others who have the skills you want to build, then just do it!"
You can join Annette on her journey on Instagram.
You can find out more about Char and her woodworking by visiting her website and by following her on Instagram.
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