The Wood Gal

Monday, June 15, 2009 | Reader Comments | Reviews

The Wood Gal


In the spirit of Father's Day, we would like to introduce you to Ruth Walker, who learned her craft from her father and ultimately discovered a better way of doing her work thanks to Festool power tools. Here's her story...

"How did I get interested in woodworking?  My father is an immigrant from Germany and he brought the bricklaying trade over with him in 1954.  I spent many summers with him climbing scaffolding, hauling brick and mixing mud.  I was around construction during my childhood so power tools weren't at all foreign to me.  

I asked my dad to help me build a bookshelf for my husband for Christmas one year.  He introduced me to the table saw, router and sander.  I was totally hooked after that first project and for my next birthday, I asked for a router.  It became tradition for me to build something for my husband every year for Christmas.  Over the years, as people saw the things I was building for our own home, I eventually started building commissioned pieces for others.  

The biggest obstacle I had in woodworking was working with sheet goods.  Let's face it; women simply aren't as strong in the upper body to handle a full sheet of plywood. So it was very frustrating for me whenever I needed to work with a 4' x 8' sheet. Trying to maneuver the plywood on my table saw to cut it down was bad enough, as well as the little voice in my head would constantly yell out, 'This isn't safe! This isn't safe!!'.  

One day while visiting a local Festool dealer, one of the employees called me over to the Festool section to show me some of the new tools that had just arrived.  He told me I had to see this saw, vac and rail system and I wouldn't believe how it would cross cut plywood.  After that first cross cut on the sample board, I was mesmerized beyond belief.  I walked out of the store in a trance and couldn't get my mind off of the quality of those tools.  I did some further research and discussed Festool with some of my friends on a few of woodworking forums that I frequent. They all agreed that Festool power tools were worth every penny you spend on them.  

The Wood GalI joined the Festool club and bought my first set of tools including the CT 22 dust extractor, TS 55 plunge saw, 106" Guide Rail, 42" Guide Rail, 6" Rotex Sander, ETS 150/3 Sander, Domino, and several accessories.  I'm to a point now that if I need a new tool, I'll wait and save for a Festool instead of settling for another brand.  Festool has totally changed how I do woodworking and I'll never go back to my old ways.  Of course my German father is all smiles that I've stumbled across such high quality German engineering.  How many fathers ask their daughters to borrow tools?

I'll be building a new shop this spring/summer.  Most woodworkers build their shop around their table saw station, but the focal point of my new shop will be a 4 x 8 torsion box assembly table and my Festools. I rarely use my table saw anymore as most of my work, including using the Domino and sanders, is done on that torsion box using my Festools."

You can learn more about Ruth Walker on her website at If you have a story that you would like to share, please send it to us at

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