A Father’s Helping Hand – Building with my Dad

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I have many memories of building things with my dad over the years starting from when I was young.  Whenever there was a project to be done around the house, my dad would always include me and let me work alongside him.  I learned a lot of basics about building that way and I always enjoyed watching him do things that I was still too young to do.  One of the projects we did together when I was about 11 was build a new deck at my grandparents’ house.  I remember learning a lot about how the framing was done underneath and how the deck boards were laid out and installed.

Building with Dad - Father's Day Construction Story - Deck

When I was 13, I became interested in woodworking.  My dad provided tremendous encouragement and support in getting started.  When I wanted to get my first workshop set up, dad helped me clear a spot in the basement.  Once we had space to work he helped me build my first workbench.  We built the bench out of 2×6’s and screwed and bolted it together.  The bench was fastened to the wall at the back so it was an extra-sturdy bench, which gave me a great start to my workshop.  He helped me buy a benchtop bandsaw, drill press and scroll saw to mount to the new bench.  From there the workshop grew and expanded, with dad always giving me a helping hand whenever I needed it.

Building with Dad - Father's Day Construction Story - My First Workshop

The biggest and one of the most memorable projects that dad has helped me with is my current workshop, which was built three years ago.  He helped me with all the framing right from the floor to the roof.  The shop is built on posts with a wood-framed floor; the roof is framed with 2×8 rafters so there was a lot of framing to be done.  My dad spent two weeks helping me get the shop framed up and sheathed in.  He also helped me on a couple of weekends to get the drywall hung and to build the front steps.  We had a lot of fun working together on the shop and I couldn’t have done it without him.

Building with Dad - Father's Day Construction Story - The New Workshop   Building with Dad - Father's Day Construction Story - The New Workshop

If it wasn’t for my dad, I wouldn’t be the woodworker and builder that I am today.  He has always lent a helping hand whenever I’ve needed him and has encouraged me in all my building endeavors.  As we recognize and show appreciation for our fathers this month, I’d like to say a big thank you to my dad!

Share your favorite memories with your dad in the comments section below.

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Dan Pattison is the owner and operator of Fox Hollow Fine Woodworking. He specializes in custom cabinets, furniture, and interior trim work. Dan has 13 years experience as a woodworker…Read more

11 comments on “A Father’s Helping Hand – Building with my Dad

  1. Rob

    Awesome story! I can’t say enough good things about my father and the skills he passed on to me and/or encouraged me to develop! I wouldn’t be who I am today if it weren’t for him!

    1. Lon

      What a great story Dan. I wish my Dad and I had those kind of times too. His health and my earlier interests in life did not make that possible. You are blessed.

  2. Steven

    Great story and awesome dad you got there! My dad can’t hang a picture and I’m not real sure where I got my knack for building but he is my biggest fan. I’d say I got my business sense and great math from him but in construction that’s the end of it haha.

    He does show up on every new home build I do to check it out and say how proud he is of me though which is great!

  3. Brian

    Very nice story Dan, thanks for sharing, my dad was a manager at the old Eaton department store, downtown Montreal, he was not considered a handyman whatsoever, I guess I pretty much learned my skills on my own, that being said, he has always been there for me regardless for what I needed, I do recall he came out to my first apartment and helped paint it, actually he did most of the painting, he was a hard working man, miss him always.

    Thanks for the great story.

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