Since opening the SPD cabinet shop last year, we’ve received several requests from both students and professionals to work in the shop. While we’re honored by all the letters and emails, this one takes the cake:

Dear Mr. Eckert:

As an obsequiously grateful inhabitant of your current masterpiece, the Park Modern, I am eager to learn more about how you and your associated geniuses create your successes.

Herewith I humbly solicit you for a day working in the production shop of your Special Projects Division. While I am a long-time amateur carpenter, I possess no where near the talent and skill level necessary to be a meaningful member of your team. But I would be delighted to grovel, broom in hand, and bear witness to the mastery.

I am available on Friday May 22, Tuesday May 26, and Monday June 1. I hope one of these days fits with your cleaning needs.


Donald Xxxxxxx

Um, hell yeah you can work in the cabinet shop for a day. And with ambition like that, you’ll be doing a heck of a lot more than cleaning. Under the guidance of SPD’s master cabinet maker you’ll most likely be running the Festool domino cutter, a German engineered machine that creates precise connections for cabinet boxes. You’ll probably also become close buddies with our good friend the orbital sander. All the while David will show you the ropes of a cabinet shop, introduce you to the process of making modern custom cabinets, and bring you up to speed on some super-serious tools.


We like this letter because it bypasses the formalities of a tour or a meeting and goes straight to getting your hands dirty.  It also made us get out our dictionary. The idea of working a day in the shop doesn’t just claim that you’re passionate about wood working – it proves it. We’re working in a very different economic climate all the sudden, and in our opinion it will be resourceful, hands-on action like this that flourishes.


We just returned from the shop ourselves and after demolishing a wall to expand the floor area we’re savoring the sense of accomplishment in doing real work with our hands.  We propose to the BUILDblog fans out there that you get your hands dirty this weekend. Do something real, rototill that garden, patch that drywall, install that picture rail, whatever that thing is on your list – get out there and not only do it but enjoy doing it. Forget about paperwork for a few hours and reconnect with the practical, straight-forward, hands-on work that we all crave has humans.