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  • John Jeong

Edgemont Hobbies: Carpentry with Dr. Good

Ever wished you had an interesting hobby to call your own? Are you on the hunt to invest your time in something new? Look no further. Announcing Edgemont Hobbies, a brand-new series of articles detailing the unique hobbies of Edgemont students and faculty. Hopefully these articles will help you find your own hobby to pursue—plus, they’ll feature insightful interviews and personal statements from the hobbyists themselves.

For the first article in this Campus series, the highlighted hobby is carpentry. I conducted an exclusive interview with our special guest, Edgemont’s resident carpentry hobbyist: the iconic Dr. Good of the science department!

Q: How did you first get interested in carpentry?

A: It started when I was a very very young person; my father used to do carpentry as well, and I would try to do what he was doing and learned slowly.

Q: What kept you interested in carpentry?

A: Same thing that makes me interested in life. It’s interesting. It fits together.

Q: Could you tell me about some of your recent carpentry projects?

A: A number of years ago, I realized that I wanted to turn a half-bath into a full-bath. So what I had to do was tear out all of the old plumbing, which meant the sink and the toilet and to move a wall to make the space bigger and to rework the plumbing so that the pipes could be concealed in the ceiling and, then, to build an enclosure for a tub and an enclosure for the toilet and a place for the sink. Which I did. I rebuilt a bathroom, I turned a half-bath into a full-bath, I moved walls, I put up drywalls, I did the finishing carpentry on the bathtub and the toilet enclosure, not to mention the ceiling and the walls that I built. I built a pocket door, which is a door that slides into the wall. That required some doing, but that was fun too. Two years ago, during the first pandemic year, I rebuilt the downstairs deck, which meant I had to find a way to make what are called sleepers, which are just boards that sit on the ground, to be angled properly so that the deck itself was level with gravity. Which I did. And this past summer, I rebuilt my upstairs deck, which means I had to rebuild the staircase that led from the lower deck to the upper deck as well, so I rebuilt the floor and the railing for the upstairs deck. So that’s my recent encounters with carpentry. In the past, I’ve built bookshelves and tables, and more tables, and more bookshelves. I also like building wooden models, and I built a wooden model of the HMS Endeavor, which is James Cooks’ ship that he took to map Australia and New Zealand.

Q: What is your favorite thing about carpentry?

A: Seeing the final product. Seeing that everything fits together the way that you had planned, making a plan and being able to fit everything together so it comes out the way you had envisioned. When I rebuilt the bathroom, I had to rebuild most of the plumbing in my house to rework where the pipes went, because it was built in a very odd way, and in fact this is more plumbing than carpentry, but they had constructed the plumbing wrong. They had not vented it properly, so I had to reroute where the pipes all went. And my biggest pleasure was flushing the toilet and it flushed properly the first time, and I was pretty pleased with that.

Q: What is your least favorite thing about carpentry?

A: My least favorite thing about carpentry is…dull saw blades.

Q: What is some advice you can give to aspiring carpenters? (How to get started, some potential pitfalls, recommendations)

A: Measure twice, cut once.

Q: What carpentry projects are you planning to undertake in the near future?

A: I particularly like red oak to work with. It has a warm feel and a nice texture. I have a fair bit left over from other projects and I am thinking about a case for the HMS Endeavor.

Well, there you have it, folks. If anything in this article struck your fancy, consider carpentry as a potential hobby. Catch Dr. Good for any further questions on the matter in B3, where he teaches AP Biology and Neuroscience.

Happy hobbying, Edgemont!


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