From Behind The Desk, To Building It: The Making Of A Carpenter

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Seven years ago, Nina MacLaughlin had a revelation.

Sitting in front of her computer at the now-defunct Boston Phoenix, she was editing the list of the world's 100 unsexiest men, which in 2008 included Osama Bin Laden, Gary Busey and Kevin Federline.

As she was matching names and numbers, this troubling thought crept in: "You will die and this is an empty way to spend the days."

Six months later, without any alternative plan, Nina MacLaughlin quit what she once considered the perfect job.

All she knew was that sitting in front of a computer was draining her life away, and she had the smallest inkling that she wanted to do something with her hands. So, almost on a whim, she applied to an ad on Craiglist to become a carpenter's apprentice, without even knowing how to hammer a nail.

Nina MacLaughlin will be speaking about her book at the Harvard Book Store Monday night.


Nina Maclaughlin, carpenter and author of "Hammer Head: The Making of a Carpenter." She tweets @the_carpentrix.


The Boston Globe: Recalling A Connection With Cambridge’s Masse Hardware

  • "There’s something about cubbies. There’s something about chests of small drawers. They’re a feature of old hardware stores, and they tease at ideas of treasure, secrets, unexpected finds. Shiny silver washers, like coins from foreign shores. Smooth white knobs for cabinet doors, like pearl earrings for a giantess."

This segment aired on March 16, 2015.


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