Humanity is not lost

Something I've heard quite a bit about as I started with this school was how we as a society are lost. That there are no vocational opportunities, that our country (stereotypically) looks down on things like carpentry etc. It's said as support, support in what we are trying to bring to the community and beyond and I much appreciate it. One of the driving factors behind this school was me hearing from dads, moms that their boy and Girl Scouts couldn't do projects needed for badges because the parents couldn't help or didn't have the tools. One thing we'll have here is nights that they can come and use the equipment for free for this very reason. We as humans need to do more for others. Another thing I hear frequently is how we need to get our kids doing something besides looking at their phones. As a person who worked with hundreds of teenagers for decades, I tend to agree with that as well. Today though I experienced something I'm hoping I can put into words. I attended a funeral today, one for a retired Marine, and who was also a local sheriff deputy and much much more. Typically I wouldn't come back from such a day and feel joy. Especially in a situation like this where the family is an absolutely amazing group of people. One I'm very lucky to have any association with let alone call them friends. I saw many people I knew, and many I didn't come together to show true respect and give the man and his family the honor they so truly deserve. I saw people pull over their cars for a very long procession. Some getting out and saluting. Some taking off their hats. Some holding their hand over their hearts. Construction workers stopping their work to let the procession go by in peace and stand respectfully. These people didn't know this man, what he did or who he was yet they showed empathy to the family and friends. Because he was as Marine he was buried at the Rock Island Arsenal in Rock Island Illinois. I saw hundreds of civilians and military people come to the road to show their respects to a man they didn't know but clearly appreciated. I had a person look at me and see how I felt and just touch my hand during the ceremony. What does any of this have to do with woodworking? Well honestly not a whole lot but it does have to do with the reason behind the school. The world in my opinion comes around and goes around. What things we used to do and believe in I think we will once again. This school was focused on that premise. The people want to work with their hands and build things. We may have as a society lost that focus but it'll come back and we're here to help stimulate that. We're here to stimulate giving in the community and being there for others to pursue their interest and dreams. Today I experienced a little of what I thought we as a society had lost. We tend to be a ME society but the actions I saw today showed so many people giving to those they didn't even know. Because it was the right thing to do and what they felt. A heart felt salute today to those that serve the people of their countries. A heart felt salute to our citizens who support and salute those that do and have served. All is not lost my friends. "You manifest what is before you". Manifest the best in each other too.

Why we're here.

Sounds Foundation Woodworking Academy was started on the premise that we could bring people who enjoy creating and building things together. Through the years I've been to many woodworking courses and I always hear very similar stories. People have a passion for building things but don't have the knowledge, or tools to do what they'd like. Some people don't want to make the investment into tooling having little experience, and some are intimidated by the idea of starting on their own. Hence the Sound Foundation Woodworking Academy. 

My involvement in woodworking started when I retired from racing sports cars and took up playing the guitar. I found that though I didn't know it, I had been taking pictures of one particular guitar at concerts even before I had an interest in playing. Once I started playing it just made sense to have a guitar like it. So I went out to buy it. Unfortunately through research I found it was a one off custom guitar so it wasn't available. I sought out custom builders but none could come through with it. I love to learn so I decided well, if I could build race cars I could certainly build a little guitar and went to school. Kind of a lofty endeavor a guitar being my first woodworking project, but I didn't know any better. Fortunately.

My 3 week course ended up with my first guitar taking just over 300 hours to finish. During that time the person who designed the guitar, Jonny Lang, found out I was building it. He graciously met me, was genuinely interested in seeing it and was amazing playing it and letting me play the original. We need more people like Mr Jonny Lang in this world. It was a dream come true for me.

I had such a wonderful experience with the guitar build that I then sought out learning other skills and found the woodworking community an amazing place. The people I've experienced have been outstanding. Extremely helpful, non judgmental, and passionate about what they do. This inspired me to become more and more involved and I saw an opportunity to share and bring people together by building a school. We'll have multiple levels of classes. From open free nights with Boy and Girl Scouts where they can come in and use the facilities to build for their merit badges, all the way to week long classes like learning how to build your own workbench. In between we'll have joinery classes, like hand cut dovetails and mortise and tenon. We'll have cutting board classes where you can design your own cutting board and build it. Classes to learn how to sharpen all your hand tools and we're a place you can purchase some of the best in the market. Two of my favorite classes are the Japanese tool chest class, and the Dutch tool chest class. I happen to like tools, but I love how these two encompass a lot of different skills sets and are useful as well once built. Some of the bigger classes starting first of 2020 will be end tables, stools, and hope chests. We'll be adding classes throughout the year and taking input for what others would like to see. Send us an email with your suggestions!

We hope to see you soon after our Grand Opening coming this July.

Let's build something together!
Mark Luna
Owner/founder