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25 Interesting Facts About Tools Editor Bob Hunter

In honor of WOOD Magazine’s 25th Anniversary, we posted 25 Interesting Things about each of the folks who put out your favorite woodworking magazine. Here’s my list:

Bob Hunter, Tool and Techniques Editor

Bob Hunter, Tool and Techniques Editor

1. I hate to even utter these words, but I might have too many clamps in my shop.

2. If I could have any job in the world, I’d travel and sing—hopefully much better than the off-key noise I make now—in a southern gospel quartet like the Gaither Vocal Band. And I’m not picky: I’d be happy to be either Guy Penrod or David Phelps.

3. I think collecting celebrity autographs is ridiculous. I’ve met lots of famous people, most of them athletes, and I’ve never in my life gotten someone’s autograph. I don’t need a signature to validate the experience of meeting someone. Instead, I just tell them I appreciate what they do and leave it at that. After all, doesn’t that mean more anyway?

4. Always a scrounger, I save every cutoff and scrap piece, especially the good stuff. Then I build small lidded boxes to give away as gifts.

5. I love history. I read about it all the time and watch a lot of History Channel, Discovery Channel, and PBS. I also love geography and reading maps. As a result, I don’t recall ever being lost; I have an instinctive sense of direction.

6. I’ve never watched “It’s a Wonderful Life” or “A Christmas Story,”even though they’re both shown nonstop each December. However, I have seen “Caddyshack”and “Airplane!” so often it makes up for that.

7. During the summer of 1986 I worked in a veneer mill in Edinburgh, Ind., building packing crates for the veneer. It was sweltering in that environment because of the dryers. To top it off, I shot a nail through my finger while reloading the pneumatic nailer. Fun summer. The next two summers I worked in a refrigerated food-processing plant. Quite a change.

8. I’ve witnessed six space-shuttle launches at the Kennedy Space Center. Almost saw a seventh, but it got rained out twice and launched as I was driving home through Georgia.

9. I cannot stand the taste of any diet drink. Give me sweet tea or Mountain Dew instead.

10. The first legitimate piece of furniture I made was a pedestal-leg, ash chess table when I was 15. I still have it.

11. In my family of eight growing up, we all liked liver and onions. Still do.

12. Like many woodworkers, I dread applying finish to my projects.

13. I can wink with either eye, not that I’ve found a useful purpose for that.

14. My first major in college was architecture. Near the end of my sophomore year I switched to journalism after a friend, who was sports editor of the yearbook, got me interested. That led me to sportswriting for newspapers, then later tool writing for WOOD magazine.

15. Before I was married, I had about 35 healthy potted plants in my apartment. My friends called it a rainforest and joked that the oxygen was so pure in there. Once a farmer, always a farmer.

16. I flew on a high-trapeze rig and hung from the catcher’s perch for an article I wrote for a newspaper. Now I have big respect for those who do this, especially the kids in the Peru Amateur Circus who gave me the lesson.

17. I own two hand planes: a Lie-Nielsen 102 low-angle block plane and a Lie-Nielsen No. 4 smoother, and I use them on almost every project. I’d like more when funding comes through.

18. I really miss my Dodge Ram pickup; had to trade it off because of gas prices and the economy. Although my Malibu gets good mileage and costs a lot less, I can’t haul sheets of plywood or pieces of furniture in it.

19. The only network TV show I watch is Survivor. Although I have no interest in other “reality” TV shows, I’ve seen every season of Survivor, my one guilty pleasure.

20. I’m on a three-year plan to build a complete bedroom set for each of my two daughters. I made bookcases for each last year to help get all their books off the floor. After I finish a china cabinet for my wife, I’ll probably start on dressers or nightstands.

21. Before I worked at WOOD, I bought three tools based on recommendations from (now Deputy Editor) Dave Campbell’s tool reviews: DeWalt benchtop planer, Jet jointer, and Porter-Cable router. (I think that helped me get the job when I revealed that in the interview!)

22. When I got to college I was shocked to learn most of the guys in my dorm stayed up at night well past 10:00—and, of course, missed a lot of early-morning classes. I worked the breakfast shift at the dining hall because I enjoyed getting up early.

23. Although I grew up on a farm next to a creek and fished it all the time, I still don’t know how to swim.

24. I love furniture made from ash, but the wood I most love to work with is mahogany.

25. After an eye injury at 10 years old (ran into barbed wire), I had to wear a patch for a month. That led to wearing glasses to correct that eye’s vision. But now, in my 40s, my eyes are the same prescription. Very odd.

One Response to “25 Interesting Facts About Tools Editor Bob Hunter”

  1. Very interesting, You have an exciting life. I bet your wife and daughters will be happy when you finish the bedroom furniture and china cabinet, I know i would.

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