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The “J” Waggoner’s Family Woodshop

This is the “J” Waggoner woodworking family of Frankfort, Indiana. Why the “J”, you might ask? Well the six “J’s”, left to right are,  Jalen (12) , Julie (Mom), Jeff (Dad), Jordan & Janae (17 year old twins), and bottom center is 9 year old Jaida. This is certainly a tribute to “the family that prays together, stays together”, although Jeff likes to say,”the family that woodworks together, makes a lot of firewood together!”

Jeff and Julie decided early on that they wanted their family to be involved and doing things together. First came God and church, then came woodworking!

Jeff’s initial woodworking experience started with his Grandfather, Bernard in Parkersburg, West Virginia. Bernard built gun cases from cherry wood and carved stocks for muzzleloaders for hunting. Jeff found, and has kept a year 2000 edition of the Woodcraft catalog from his Grandfather’s house, in which he purchased his first Jet mini lathe (item #147823). Jeff started watching The Woodwright Shop with Roy Underhill, and began his collection of tools and machines, all from Woodcraft, including a Delta Unisaw (item #412985), Delta drill press (item #834556), Delta band saw (item #821822) with a Kreg fence (item #146050), a Powermatic hollow chisel mortiser (item #828840), a Powermatic 15″ planer (item #823889), a Delta 8″ jointer (item #825368), a Jet slow speed wet sharpener (item #834660), a Dewalt compound miter saw (item #839792), an 8″ bench grinder (item #150780) with a wolverine jig (item #125676), an Earlex 5000 series HVLP spray station (item #147650), and a few Woodriver #4 planes (Item #150874).

As his first project 10 years ago, Jeff built and refurbished the attic into another bedroom. Jeff claims, “When making the handrails, posts and spindles, I didn’t have any good tools and I didn’t know what I was doing. It is all made from 2×4′s and 2×6′s.” 

Jeff has also made kitchen cabinets, a back entry oak staircase (both from Julie’s honey-do-list), and is currently working on a new woodworking bench…

Building a woodshop from his garage in the Spring of 2008 and completing it in 2009, he soon found that his personal woodworking (and Julie’s honey-do-list) would take a back seat to his four children’s ceaseless projects. Speaking of the honey-do-list, the list maker Julie, is a decorator, both at home and for others (click to enlarge):

Jeff trys to sneak into the woodshop, but the kids soon follow with the typical, “Hey Dad…can you help me with…”senario! Each of his children have their own woodworking interest.

The youngest, Jaida, is an architect in her own right, designing doll houses and helping Dad build them:

Jordan is into writing and also reads a lot, so his woodworking passion parallels into making a writing desk. In 2009, Jordan created a bench top workbench (shown below) and competed in the regional and international Accelerated Christian Education student convention sponsored by his Frankfort Covenant Academy School. Jordan took 5th place in regionals and 6th place in the international competition…

Janae is an artist and likes to carve table cabinets with inlay and veneering. She also competed in the regional and international Accelerated Christian Education student convention last year, taking 5th place in the regional, and 3rd place in the international competition. She is pictured with her missionary 5 compartment candle box entry below, and a video showing the compartments…


Last, but not least is Jalen the traditional craftsman, who likes all venues of woodworking. Here is Jalen and his projects. In the first picture, Jalen and a friend made these items for a school fund raiser, selling them for $40 dollars.

His perfectionistic qualities parallel those of Rob Cosman, Jalen’s mentor. Jalen has been following Rob’s techniques through books and DVD’s (item #835723) for some time. Here is Jalen teaching his brother Jordan, the “Cosman way” of proper saw techniques when cutting a dovetail and using the Cosman saw (item #843975). Jalen says, “That’s right Jordan, just like Rob taught me, pinch the saw with two fingers, not just your thumb up against the saw for guidance”…

About a year ago, Jeff was searching for a saw for his son Jalen. Jeff sought out the expertise of Woodcraft in Indianapolis with owner Chris Rowland and manager Mark Wolfe. Initially Jeff purchased an inexpensive saw from Mark, but found it did not do the job he expected. Returning to Woodcraft, Chris set Jeff up in the classroom with 6 different saws, and had Jeff test each one. Jeff ended up choosing the Rob Cosman dovetail saw because of the smooth sharp cutting action, and the simplistic motion required to use it.

During the visit at the Woodcraft store, Chris called Rob Cosman, and Rob spoke to Jeff about the saw and about his son Jalen being a fan of Rob’s. Rob gave Jeff his cell phone number for a surprise call to Jalen later on that evening. Returning home, Jeff gave the saw to Jalen. Jalen immediately made a bee line to the woodshop and started using the saw. Jalen could not believe he now owned the Cosman saw he had been reading and viewing about.

Jeff called Jalen into the house and preceded to call Cosman, not telling Jalen who he was calling. Putting the call on speakerphone, the voice over the phone said, “Jalen, how do you like the saw?” Jalen responded, “this is the best saw I have ever used.” Rob said, “Jalen do you know who this is?” Jalen said, “no.” Rob responded, “Jalen, this is Rob Cosman!” Jalen couldn’t believe it! 

The conversation insued and Rob challenged Jalen to practice with his new saw, and when he felt comfortable with his results, Rob asked him to send pictures of his dovetailing, and Rob would put them on his website. That was in May of 2010, and Jalen had not sent any pictures to Rob.

The next month was the Woodworking in America Show in Cincinnati. Jeff and Jalen attended, knowing that Rob would be at the Woodcraft booth. Jeff walked up to Rob to get a picture with his son and said, “We bought your saw.” Rob immediately said, “You are the guy I spoke with on the phone” and looking at Jalen, stating, “No excuses, where’s my dovetailing pictures?” To Jeff and Jalen’s surprise, Rob remembered them both!

"Where's my dovetailing pictures?"

Woodcraft was there to capture the story and these pics:

As always Rob, it was great seeing you, and thanks for taking the time to care!

Waggoner Family, thanks for the story… keep on woodworking, it’s the family thing to do!

Check out the Waggoner’s woodworking website, www.planeoldwood.com by clicking on the banner below. The kid’s would really appreciate all you woodworker’s out there, giving them tips on their projects, so check in on them and give them a hand.

Auf wiedersehen…Frank
Woodcraft believes there is no area of operation more important than the health and safety of our employees and customers. Safety first: Wear the proper personal safety equipment: always wear eye and face guard protection. Wear proper apparel, avoiding loose clothing, and all jewelry. Use safety guards provided by the manufacturer, keep work areas clean, be alert and attentive, don’t over reach, don’t force tools and keep fingers and hands clear of sharp edges. Woodcraft always recommends the use of safety gear in the shop and using all tools and machines to the manufacturer’s specifications.