John Harden Design
A Woodworking Career Spanning Over 30 Years
As a child, my first memory of woodworking was fabricating crude boats to play with in the puddles and ditches of my neighborhood where I grew up in the Pacific Northwest.
In 7th grade, my boat building days were over, and I moved on to cutting boards and coat racks. I never looked at wood the same again. With an excellent high school vocational program, I learned the basic, fundamental aspects of fine woodworking that I still practice today.
After graduating high school, I began a career in residential construction (my previous experience did not apply). A few years of digging ditches, packing lumber, and framing walls finally lead to interior trim carpentry. For almost 20 years, I worked mainly on custom homes, building window treatments, walk-in closets, custom mantles, bookcases, and an occasional staircase. With the downturn in the economy in 2008, I had the opportunity to spend more time in my home shop (I got laid off).
While my career in construction was going strong, I kept my woodworking a hobby, collecting and milling local hardwoods for my own personal use. A lot of it was firewood, but you never knew what it may become. For a short time, I literally cut firewood and did small furniture projects. As the economy picked up, so did the jobs. Before I knew it, I was self-employed remodeling kitchens, bathrooms, decks, and custom pieces.
In the fall of 2015, everything came to a screeching halt (a table saw accident). In the time spent healing with the loss of one finger and diminished use of several others, I had a lot of time to stare at my woodpile. What do I do with this wood that is too small for furniture, but too pretty to throw away? Before I knew it, I had knocked the dust off my grandfather’s 9-inch benchtop wood lathe, built in 1942. It vibrated, rattled, and made a few noises I can’t describe--but it worked, for a little while.
The perks of joining the Siskiyou Woodworkers Guild enabled me to find a much-needed upgrade to my wood lathe. With all that, this is the beginning of John Harden Design. Please allow me to share with you the love of fine woodworking with my display of one-of-a-kind, hand crafted furniture and wood turning.