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I initially had the desire to be an author when I was in high-school. I had the same teacher for English both Junior & Senior years. That teacher’s name was Edwin Luther. "Little Eddie", as he was affectionately referred to as (he weighed 400 pounds), gave me some advice when I approached him one day about my interest in being an author. He told me to do two things first if I seriously wanted to be an author: 1- read a lot; 2- write about what you know about. Hence, my two books. I know a lot about reloading ammunition; considered his sage advice again, hence this column.

I have been earning a living as a carpenter since 1978, give or take. I consider myself a master of the trade. There is nothing related to the trade that I haven’t done or cannot do. My full working carpentry resume is six pages long. The short version of projects that I have been directly involved in is: 3 power plants; 3 sewage plants & one water treatment plant; 2 roller-coasters; several high-rise/large commercial buildings; 19 bridges; numerous restaurants & gas stations; 2 wire-wound, pre-stressed, 1 million gallon capacity water tanks; 2 years making custom cabinets & furniture; six portable/movable life-guard stands (totally constructed by yours truly); and last, but not least, 100s & 100s & 100s (get the picture) of houses; I have also built whole houses by myself. How many "carpenters" can say that? Considering this and my desire to enrich other’s lives I have decided to initiate this column. I will endeavor to offer helpful hints in this column on a regular basis. These hints are intended to give the neophyte and average homeowner insights that are not readily available. Each hint will be a useful little tidbit that I have gleaned over the years that the average person and many people who claim to be carpenters are either unaware of or choose to ignore. I have often implemented many of these hints in my personal projects.

From time to time I will have hints for other trades as well. I have considerable hands-on experience with plumbing and electrical work. Also, to truly be a "master carpenter" one should be thoroughly familiar with every aspect of all other trades; this is necessary when doing layout work. Finally, concrete is an integral aspect of the carpentry trade. Many of the larger projects I have been on involved concrete construction.

I will endeavor to offer at least one hint per month. -T.