Highland Woodworking Wood News Online, No. 152, April 2018Welcome to Highland Woodworking - Fine Tools & Education Learn more about Highland Woodworking View our current woodworking classes and seminars Woodworking articles and solutions Subscribe to Wood News
Here's My Woodworking!
By Les Hastings
Wichita, KS

I've been making things out of wood for most of my life. From gluing and nailing things together at a very young age in my Dad's little workshop to the present. I made my first real piece of furniture in 7th grade wood shop. It was a walnut bar stool. The legs and the seat were turned on the lathe. I still have it but it's in pieces right now. Plan to get it put back together sometime.

I went to work in construction full time at 16 years old. Built houses and commercial buildings. Roofed, poured concrete and pretty much everything in between. I started building small pieces of furniture at that time as well. I had my own construction business for about ten years in my hometown of Parsons, Kansas.

In 1991 I came across an ad in the Wichita Eagle newspaper for a furniture maker. I drove the two hours to apply for the job. I basically begged for the chance to work there. I offered to work for a week with no pay to prove l could do the work. I received a call two weeks later wanting to know if I still wanted the job. YES! About 1-1/2 years later I was running the shop of 5 builders, including myself. We built high-end furniture and cabinetry of all kinds and styles. Unfortunately, that shop closed in 2012. Since then four of us that worked there still work together for pretty much the same clients.

I taught myself pretty much everything I know. I tell everyone I get paid to do my hobby and learn at the same time. Dan, the owner of the company I worked for would come with a picture of something and ask if I could make it. I'd just say sure and then figure it out later.

These days I'm trying to make it into retirement. I still help the guys out when they need it, but trying to focus on making and designing things that I've wanted to do for years but never had the time.

Below are some of my small furniture projects:

My small workbench in front of the Studley Tool Chest

Below are more of my projects:

You can visit Les' Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/les.hastings1. You can also view his Instagram page at @les.hastings1

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