Join us on Bucket Talk this week as Eric and Jeremy catch up with Rob Rojas, a carpenter based just outside of New York City. After growing up with an abundance of creativity and curiosity about how things are made, he left college and took up the carpentry trade, working for one of the top names in the game. Listen in as he chats with our hosts about the merits of college vs. the trades, what he wants to do with his education and how he sees his future in carpentry.
Eric Girouard 0:00
This is Bucket Talk, a weekly podcast for people who work in the trades and construction that aren't just trying to survive, but have the ambition and desire to thrive. The opportunity to trade and construction is absolutely ridiculous right now. So if you're hungry, it's time to eat. We discussed what it takes to rise from the bottom to the top with people who are well on their way and roll up their sleeves every single day.
Jeremy Perkins 0:29
This is Jeremy and Eric here with bucket talk powered by Brian. This episode, we have Rob Rojas of Rojas Carpentry. But before we jump in, Eric, what's been going on?
Eric Girouard 0:37
All right, all right, things have been rocking and rolling. Getting into the last few months here. The year has been on fire. We've been cranking all across the business. And I guess one of the exciting things is we decided we are going to be getting back into the PBR this year for those of you that don't know professional bull riding circuits. And we actually just signed our first a new bowl writer for the year junior Patrick Sousa. And we're super excited. There's actually going to be one of the earliest events in this season is actually December 17, up in our backyard of New Hampshire. So we're going to be going there and then Jeremy and I'll be going down in the world. So more to come on that but super excited. What about you, Jeremy?
Jeremy Perkins 1:17
I have a chicken that was sick. So we did a quick look up on Google and come to find out. There's a disease called Merricks disease out there and it affects small flocks. And you're supposed to vaccinate at a young age when you're doing large egg production, but small flocks and small communities. Most people don't vaccinate, so it was interesting we would there's a lab down at University of New Hampshire and this was one of my vacation days was driving down to University of New Hampshire to take my chicken to a lab because the chicken was all messed up its paralysis and and won't move Morrone and whatever. So, essentially, we brought it there to be euthanized and then have a necropsy which was to take tissue samples and tell us if it did have merits disease come to find out it does have metrics disease comes from wild turkeys could come from any avian that's that's natural, and it doesn't affect the eggs does not affect the babies coming out so we could actually get the babies vaccinated if we want it to, but it could potentially kill up to 50% of my flock so we're over 30 chickens now so it's definitely an interesting disease. You know, now we can't sell our our chickens to other people, but once again doesn't affect egg production or anything like that. And then if this flock does perish, we can't start another flock for another year because that's how long it stays around. So thanks to the wild turkeys out there for infecting my flock. But if anybody has paralysis in chickens, definitely go get tested. But that's my public service announcement for today. But Eric, what's up?
Eric Girouard 2:50
almost time for you to get back at those turkeys for Thanksgiving coming up? Right. But as a thank you for this episode. There's a code pick 10 PAC K 10 for $10 off your aberrant workwear.com of $60 or more once again, code pick 10 P IC K 10. Let's dive in.
Jeremy Perkins 3:13
All right, today we have Rob Rojas of Rojas carpentry. welcome, Rob. fantastic to be here. Rob, it was unbelievable to get to meet you at Makers camp. That was my very first makers camp and I was just absolutely blown away.
Rob Rojas 3:28
Oh, it's a really, really great time. Just tons and tons of amazing people there to meet and it's just every time is a good time.
Jeremy Perkins 3:35
You so many crafts and skills and trades were represented there. It was. It was unbelievable. And it was I've never seen a group of people mash and mingle so well that that place up in the Catskills.
Rob Rojas 3:49
Basically, it's just, everybody has a great time there. There's typically with the whole maker community. Everyone's nice, everyone's there to help you. Everyone's there to push you to learn. It's a fantastic spot.
Jeremy Perkins 4:00
Heading yelled at once, which is kind of unusual for me for something, but ya know, we're looking forward to doing it again next year. Just talked to Austin recently and super pumped, probably bring more of the team up there have bigger involvements on I'm definitely stoked for 2023. And obviously, we'll get to see you there. And hopefully sooner than that. But yeah, what a wild way to meet. Absolutely. So Rob, you're a carpenter by trade. And I kind of want to get a little background and how you got into it and just kind of hear your story from the beginning.
Rob Rojas 4:39
Yeah, um, I mean, my entire life I was always involved in creating things whether it was when I was younger with Legos and clay or wanted to smash that old toy apart and figure out how it worked. And really, the whole carpentry thing started actually in high school. When I was able to use woodworking machinery we had a class woodtech picked up a few times during my high school years, and my teacher Mr. Wilson was a huge influence on me. And that's where I really realized I want to work with wood. By senior year, I was actually taking what type three times a day, whether it was study halls or a class, I didn't need to really take or I was taking what tech twice or whatever it was, but I really, really enjoyed working.
Jeremy Perkins 5:19
That's amazing because I was at a college prep school and and a lot of people I've interviewed recently knew they had to go to a trade school, or you had to go to a college prep school. And it seemed like they lost home Mac and woodshop and all that stuff. So it seemed like your high school kind of kept up with the woodshop. And
Rob Rojas 5:37
we were very lucky in the woodshop aspect. All the other trade classes we had was stuffed in the closet in the backyard welding casting, any any other trade you could think of the stuffed in the backroom, all old machinery that just was put there to dice but uh, you know what tech was still kept alive. Somebody cut their fingers in one of my classes, so we got to do SawStop saws and like, they're tough for a while now.
Jeremy Perkins 6:02
Now, those things aren't cheap. So out of high school, so you did the whole woodworking thing loved it got a passion for it. Is that how you got your start? Or did you go on to college?
Rob Rojas 6:12
Um, so I did go on to college after high school, I went for emergency preparedness, cybersecurity and homeland security. I have not used that degree yet. Being graduated for two years now. Yeah, it was just right out of college. I just kind of started doing woodworking stuff.
Jeremy Perkins 6:28
That's interesting. Where do you actually go to college, I
Rob Rojas 6:31
went to the University of Albany, and capital in New York.
Jeremy Perkins 6:34
So I'm 37. Now I believe I have to ask my wife. But it was interesting. Because when I went back to go to college and get a degree, because it's always been something that I wanted to do, I went into the military right off the bat, and then, you know, went into the automotive industry. But still always in the back of my head. I wanted to get a degree. I took all my college credits from the military and what have you. And that was one of the degrees that pretty much every one of my military credits applied to was that FEMA or the emergency management? And you know, it was an interesting degree program, but nothing came of it. Is that something that you wanted to do? Or why did you choose that program?
Rob Rojas 7:12
So I have been volunteer firefighting for about five years now. And it was really interested in all the hazard mitigation stuff and natural disaster type work, traveling around the US that would have been very, very cool. And, you know, I still might do that one day, that's kind of a conflict in my mind going on whether I want to go to the trades and push my Rojas carpentry business, or go for the degree and the solid, steady, nice, easy work at a desk very hard for me to sit at a desk. But um, yeah, I just I want to write for the college. I think it's the, you know, the stigma of my generation where, okay, you're in high school, Okay, time for a college degree and get that big money job, you know, I'm really finding that I truly, truly enjoy the traits. What made
Jeremy Perkins 7:52
it click like, Were you just sitting in class one day? Did you get out and you were doing that application process couldn't get hired on a fire department? Like, what was that trigger that like, hey, Rob's going in a different direction.
Rob Rojas 8:03
You know, I just I never really did try for that big government job. I mean, I just I was in the trades at the time, you know, was that was working during college, for Jeremy duresta. And kind of doing my own furniture on the side and just kind of continued doing that. I'm like, oh, you know, let me just see where this goes. And then, you know, two years later, I'm still doing this stuff. And I'm really enjoying it. I'm thriving. I'm learning a lot. And I don't know if I want to change that.
Jeremy Perkins 8:25
So, I mean, obviously, this is about Rob, but you brought up a big name, which is interesting. Jimmy duresta is one of the biggest maker names in the community and has an interesting story. Has Netflix TV show that my kids can I come home one day, and they're watching film. Yeah. But that seems like a dream job for somebody to just get tied up with the number one. Like, how'd you do it?
Rob Rojas 8:53
Yeah, so I have been watching Jimmy for almost 10 years now on YouTube. And he's been a huge inspiration in my making career, just what an incredible guy. And I know he was very close to all that. And I went back a little bit here to college, I went to community college for two years in my hometown, so I was home for two years at college while everyone else went off and you know, LOL some friends there and then transferred into Albany University halfway through her school year, and obviously had to live there much further from home. So didn't make many friends and very quiet and never shopper any tools to work on. So I thought about reaching out to Jimmy and just saying, hey, you know, can I work for you? I'll work for free, pick up the dog shit, whatever you want to do. And he just texted me the next morning and he's like, come on by and you know the rest has been history.
Jeremy Perkins 9:39
That's amazing. Because there's two pieces they're like, one is shoot your shot like if you want it, go for it. And I mean, what's the worst that can happen? They say no. For you. It seems like it was the opposite. He said yes. The other side of it though is you know, willing to work for free willing to just start the experience start the adventure and not so much worried about compensation and just willing to do whatever it took to get your, your foot in the door. That's pretty noble nowadays. I mean,
Rob Rojas 10:08
that's another big fan I realized recently in my life is like, I really do enjoy just learning, learning, learning and learning. And I went to visit animal trades in Tennessee, it's another name throw out there, but I just want there to help. And I want to be learning so much. While being down there on the farm. She taught me how to do some spoon carving some chair making, and I really want to make a Windsor chair now. Being able to learn is such a fun thing for me. So I just I just strive for any chance I can get.
Jeremy Perkins 10:40
Well, it's actually funny that you bring up and I got a chance to meet her at Makers camp, which was unbelievable. And we did a podcast with her a while back. And for those that know, I just started a farm myself. And I actually turned to her for advice, and asked her some questions about pigs dogs, it didn't matter. And she was, you know, I mean, she's a big name in social media when it comes to farming and woodworking. And she was accessible, more accessible than I ever thought she was, you know, and that was it. I just, I shot my shot I wanted to do a podcast with and she said, absolutely. I was on the podcast with her like a week later. She's absolutely busy. She's setting up the school now, or building the school. She's got so much going on. And she took the time out. So I could learn more so our audience can learn more. So sounds like you got some great role models in your life. Yeah, absolutely.
Rob Rojas 11:30
I can't wait for that school to open to she's a fantastic teacher. And I can't wait for that to be another little makers hub down in Nashville, Tennessee.
Jeremy Perkins 11:39
Her story was pretty inspiring, you know, doing the corporate thing and then realizing, you know, wasn't for her and now she's living the farm life. And it was good to catch up with her same at Makers camp but so you went down there and learned a little bit more about about your craft spoon carving. And so how is it difficult, I've never actually attempted it.
Rob Rojas 12:00
So in woodworking, there's a lot of, you need to pay attention to wood grain. Specifically when you find woodworking carving, carving more so because say carving on a spoon of a bowl basically is more bowl, there is a lot of grind direction you have to pay attention to there's four different quadrants of carving a spoon, and you have to carve them each individually different ways or you will rip the whatever the Senator and I'm still trying to figure but it was really, really interesting to learn from her. She's really great time rule.
Jeremy Perkins 12:30
Yeah, I mean, I got I got a little tongue lashing from Roy when I was learning how to hang an axe. And that was my first time using a draw knife and I don't know and with metal and cars and steel and everything, it's a little bit more forgiving than than wood is so don't necessarily need to follow a grain there.
Rob Rojas 12:52
Yeah, once once the wood is gone, you can't put it back.
Jeremy Perkins 12:57
Just glue it back together, grind down. like nothing ever happened. That's awesome. So what do you do for Jimmy now? What's your day to day.
Rob Rojas 13:05
So for Jimmy I started out restoring his old machinery, whether his age just didn't want him to, you know, restore tools anymore, was crawling over nine foot tall drill presses bandsaw I was things like that we're working on a power hammer right now and I have my own right next to it. And I'm also restoring. But I make the ice picks for the website while I print the posters on the old printing presses from the early 1900s. And generally I just I clean up his tornado storm of a messy leaves behind. And you know, Jimmy being Jimmy's very busy guy. So he needs someone to clean up after I heard a story
Jeremy Perkins 13:38
of him in his apartment in New York when he was making all the toys. And it was just covered in sawdust. And he was sleeping on a couch that was covered in sawdust and just just putting his heart and soul and in all these toys, so it was simply. Exactly. So the ice picks those have been a hot item. I see them everywhere. Yes,
Rob Rojas 14:05
they have been. I mean, the whole thing behind the ice pack is there's a million uses for it when you first introduce it to someone and they say what the hell is this thing? What is it for? Is it for stabbing someone? Well, basically Hanuman is vecchio here use this for like a week or two and then come back to me and you find so many uses for this multi tool. It's insane where you got to scrape your boots or something or you know pick a small part out of somewhere or if you have a magnetized Peck and you drop a say a bolt in a car right your work on you reach without the ice, pick it pick that bolt up, no problem. Scraping paint, there's a million different things you can expect but it is a really really cool multi tool that is just literally a stick of steel. That's a simple tool.
Jeremy Perkins 14:48
It's funny that you brought up the stabbing thing. Well I grew up carrying a knife, a pocket knife everywhere I went and I I never looked at it as a weapon. And I started getting older and older. and older. And a lot of people genuinely come up to me of all different backgrounds. And they go, why do you carry a knife and I was like, I feel naked without a knife. Now there are so many uses that I mean, literally from picking my teeth to cutting, baling twine to whatever, right. I don't even think I use a steak knife anymore. I just use a pocket knife. It's funny because the first thing out of their mouth is, you know, what do you use it as a weapon and like, far from it? I use it for everything. It still holds true to this day. I mean, in the automotive industry, I gotta use my knife opening boxes. Like it's just it's that one ball that I can't live without. And I can see the uses of the pic that Jimmy has. Plus it's it's gorgeous. I mean, it's it's well,
Rob Rojas 15:48
it's got that to me the rest of style to it.
Jeremy Perkins 15:51
Rob Rojas 15:53
I will say actually, working in the trades lately. I've gone from I did about five years of construction. And that was a lot of fieldwork. I did a trash chute installations and commercial buildings. Yeah. And doing that. Yeah, you need a lot more EDC stuff because you're walking around sites. You're driving around from site to site, you're in big buildings. Yeah, to carry everything with you in recent times. I mean, I've been working to Jimmy shop. I also worked part time in a moulding and millwork shop, a little upstate. So we're doing you know, molding decking, flooring, siding, stuff like that. Yeah. And all the shop worked. I figured I don't have to really have EDC stuff anymore. Because it's, everything's at your fingertips right there. Yeah, but the two things I always have is still my high spec. And when I've, yep. Even Stoney those two.
Jeremy Perkins 16:40
Yeah, no, I need to get my hands on one of these nice pics. So yeah, no, I mean, that's it's true. And for those that don't know, EDC stands for everyday carry. And it's what you I mean, I've seen it all across Instagram and I get a chuckle out of it is literally the pocket dumps when somebody dumps out their pockets. Right now I have a horseshoe nail and I have fingernail clippers a comb like it's just funny when when people in the trades like dump out their pockets and what they have. And it's usually stuff that they put back in their pockets, the next morning when they go to work. So awesome. You're doing all this stuff for Jimmy work in upstate. At the second job. Where do you picture your career going? Seems like you're in the beginning stages. Do you want to be the next Jimmy? Or is it a full time like carpentry gig home remodeling? Like where does Rob want to go?
Rob Rojas 17:33
So that has been a really, really big conflict in my life. As of late again, there's a whole college degree thing and it seems like more and more I'm drifting away from that idea. But you know, being the next Jiminy I mean, that'd be fantastic. Awesome on social media, all these different skills you can practice and learn. I'm also looking at my fine carpentry passion and I'm thinking you know, I should really focus and hone in on this this one skill, I can still keep all the other skills and all the other tools I have but in terms of business, I think to really perfect my craft and be the highest quality and most interesting design possible. I really want to focus on carpentry moving forward and really get my business off the ground Rojas carpentry is an official LLC. But I haven't actually done anything with it yet. So I think moving forward, I definitely want to hone in and get that plane off the ground.
Jeremy Perkins 18:23
Yeah, and there was something I picked up on a little bit earlier you were talking about next to your power hammer. So you're restoring Jimmy's power hammer. But on the flip side, you own a power hammer.
Rob Rojas 18:33
I do I own a quite a few different pieces of machinery and tools and all the trades whatever I can cram in my garage or my shed basically,
Jeremy Perkins 18:40
is that more for personal use, are you looking to flip or that's an interesting avenue in its own right.
Rob Rojas 18:45
So I live in suburban New York, about 45 minutes out of the city. And it's kind of hard to have a power hammer in your backyard, I'm pretty sure to get kicked out of town. So for the time being, I don't think I can keep this power hammer. I am looking at some properties upstate, get a little bit of land build a bigger shop, you know, be a little more secluded. That would be the ideal situation to keep the power hammer but otherwise, I got it really, really cheap. I'm doing all the restoration work myself. And I'm bringing it back to factory specifications and everything. It's all machined and welded back together as it left the factory.
Jeremy Perkins 19:18
Okay, power hammer is like a little giant.
Rob Rojas 19:21
It's a it's a 50 pound Little Giant. Yeah. Oh, nice. Pretty interesting story behind it to lift the factory in Minnesota went to Cloud, Minnesota about 100 miles away and 1930 shipped out of the factory went to Michigan Little Rock Quarry it was beat to death there. Basically it was a pile of parts. Guy in Vermont bought it and then again, New Jersey bought it and then I bought it that's been about 50 to 75 years that thing hasn't actually been assembled. I'm surprised all the parts made it together. This is gonna be the first time that hammer runs in that amount of time and I'm very very excited. I'm doing a little video series on it too.
Jeremy Perkins 19:59
Are there a lot moving parts to it. Is it a very simplistic machine?
Rob Rojas 20:02
It's actually incredibly simple, but it's a very, very interesting mechanism. I mean, you got a, you know, 1000 pound plus base. It's very bottom heavy. Yeah, it's spinning shaft up top and then it's got some arms and a spring and just wax on pieces of metal. Pretty simple if you ever look it up, but
Jeremy Perkins 20:20
everything was the whole machine intact and it was just more of an assembly or, or did you have to find pieces or manufacture pieces.
Rob Rojas 20:29
Um, when I got it, it was the frame of the hammer. And it was in five gallon, empty five gallon buckets of mayonnaise. parts or parts are shattered parts were worn out things were torched braised it, complete basket case, the only thing good on the thing was the frame, the hammer. So I've had to get basically all new parts for the whole thing. And I have parts sent back to a little giant, which they still manufacture a little bit and repair parts. So I was able to get all that done. It was much cheaper to get it done than learn the new trade because I just want to, again, slip it.
Jeremy Perkins 21:05
Nice, nice. Awesome. So got a little potential side hustle another little Avenue. I know that that was a lot of the makers at Makers camp dabbled in either their crafts, tools or just tools in general.
Rob Rojas 21:20
I've been doing a lot of buying and selling. I guess since I could drive and I can actually go and buy and sell these things. I started actually doing Mustang interiors that go on auto swap meets. So it's like 1617 years old, buying ratty Mustang interiors and fixing them up, clean it up a little bit and then selling them for pretty damn good profit. And then, you know, when you get into doing all this work with tools, you buy some things for cheap, sell it for three to four times the cost. After using them for a bit, you build your stuff up. And that's how I can kind of get all the tools I have today to
Jeremy Perkins 21:52
Yeah, it was, you know, I did a lot of old car restorations one of the biggest restorations that we usually did were Corvette restorations, it was hard to find original parts. So, a lot of times we were glassing things or re spraying things, but it was interesting to find that we could make old parts new again. And you know, having OEM parts was way better than having like aftermarket parts from like Corvette America or what have you. The bolt holes never lined up, and anything like that. But then what I started to find out was they carried a huge value, they're getting harder and harder to find mind you that you know, we're talking, you know, the 50s, the 60s, you know, cars have been crushed cars have been in an accident burned like, there's not many out there and to find original parts. It's kind of cool to have that craft where you can, you know, take an interior, refurbish it, and then sell it for probably more than a cost to make originally.
Rob Rojas 22:54
Yeah, that is definitely one of the things that I started out with automotive much like you. My dad always worked on cars growing up. We had a 77 Corvette we restored back to like new condition had like seven layers of red, white and blue paint. But that was that was you know, I was handing him four inches at that point and wheeling over tires. I couldn't really even walk. But then we got a 66 Mustang that we've been doing for the past few years. And that's where I kind of learned that interior kind of skill. Yeah, definitely most most of my initial tools I had were all mechanic's tools. All the good old snap on Matco type stuff.
Jeremy Perkins 23:29
Yeah, minor in storage right now don't tell anybody. It's funny because when I made the shift from the automotive industry to the farm, I'm working at building a shop my own and I couldn't put my toolbox in my barn. A it would just get all ratty and rusted. But the other thing I was worried about was I was worried about because it's so much weight in like a small area. I was worried that it would just go right through the barn floor. So it's sitting out my God. Yeah. sitting in storage right now and it's killing me. But awesome. So thinking about blowing up and getting bigger with Rojas carpentry, I think that that's great. Still entertaining all avenues and, and directions that you could potentially go learning along the way. Sounds like these are good skills to have just keeping an open mind. Nothing's broken right now. So might as well entertain any, you know, anything and everything. Absorb it all until the time comes.
Rob Rojas 24:30
I'm ordering a lot and I'm really happy with how it's going. You know, just Yeah, roll having a good time.
Jeremy Perkins 24:37
So what is one of the biggest challenges you're facing right now?
Rob Rojas 24:41
Moving forward with my business, I suppose. You know, I've been holding back on it only because I've been working probably seven days a week for the past six months to a year and yeah, just trying to save money. And you know, now I'm really trying to think should I go for the big government job or do I just keep going with the business and that's what I think I'm gonna do. I mean, and it makes me happy. So why not?
Jeremy Perkins 25:03
Yeah, no. I mean, that's, that's crazy. I mean, because you'd need more space, you'd need more tools you'd need to invest in more people, making that jumps always difficult. Ideally, you'd like to set up shop in Northern New York. That's kind of where you
Rob Rojas 25:17
want to get to get a little bit of property and I'll get a nice big building put up nice heated floors, because laying on the floor to work on a car sucks. Yeah. There's been many times it's been snowing, pouring slushy, muddy rain out has to get under my old Jeep I used to have that was a breakdown constantly.
Jeremy Perkins 25:36
It's coming. It's like, Halloween just came by and all of a sudden, we're like, hey, it's Christmas time. You're like, Oh, crap. It's no time.
Rob Rojas 25:44
I'm glad I got my new truck. So you know, I have to work on it too much.
Jeremy Perkins 25:49
What do you got for a truck?
Rob Rojas 25:51
I know your Chevy guy. But I bought myself a Ford F 150.
Unknown Speaker 25:54
Rob Rojas 25:57
I don't know. I was always just fantasized about having a Ford f150 My whole life just like the style. I don't know.
Jeremy Perkins 26:04
It was funny. We're a Chevy family growing up, and it was actually we weren't even a Chevy family. We're General Motors family. I mean, we've we've own Saturns to Oldsmobiles to, you know Pontiacs and everything. Astro vans, but when I was in high school, and then going into the military, I really liked the look of the F 250s. Right. Never had the money to have one. And then finally, finally, I was gonna buy a truck. I go down to the dealership at the time. And I was like, I want to buy. It wasn't a Ford dealership, I went to a Chevy dealership, I'd get disowned. So I went down the Chevy dealership, I was like, I want to 2500. And he goes, why? And I was like, I just I just want one is like, we kind of went over everything. He's like, you don't tow heavy stuff. You're not hauling. You're not doing this. You're not doing that. And I was like, Yeah, but I still want one. He's like, No, you need to buy 1500
Rob Rojas 27:03
That's the view I took by my own truck. I mean, I don't haul any trailers. I don't need anything big. I was actually going for gas mileage because of how high gas has been, you know, towards the tail end to COVID here, right. But I went with the f150 You know, the suicide doors. So a little shorter cab, aluminum truck nice and lightweight. And I don't know if the 2.7 liter twin turbo, I'm getting 25 miles a gallon highway. I mean, for a little pickup truck that carry stuff. That's all I need. Yeah,
Jeremy Perkins 27:31
the automotive companies definitely went a different way. I mean, I picked up the 1500. And mine has the six seven, you know Corvette motor with the 10 speed transmission and all that stuff in it. And it just drinks gas. Just absolutely. Like literally can't pass gas stations. But I love it. Until I found out it was governed. That was a shock. governed at 100 miles an hour. That was such a disappointment. I wish they had told me that like right off the bat. But anyway, yeah, no, it was interesting to see these manufacturers Ford in particular, go turbocharged smaller engines, which was an interesting play. My brother in law actually has that same style truck and he loves it, but I got to disown him now. Cut off. You're done. That's it. That's it. Now cool. Yeah. All right. So outside of work outside of everything. How do you unwind? Like, what do you enjoy to do on your off time.
Rob Rojas 28:28
So quite a few things. I mean, quite a few things I'd like to do of course and not much time to do it. Based on the seven day work schedule. I'm going to start pulling back here and try to get back down to my unplugged schedule. But I really like practicing my fine woodworking dovetail stuff like that not just commercial table work or you know, little pieces of furniture. I'm actually into PC gaming quite a bit with my buddies whenever I have some time. And then really my big thing that I always found extremely relaxing my entire life is getting outdoors going fishing, hiking and taking some drives down backroads you know, discovering some new places.
Jeremy Perkins 29:02
Awesome. Yeah, when I was in the military, I did a little bit of gaming because you just had nothing to do while you were underway. I mean by no means was I a gamer but what are you into on the PC? No, I'm
Rob Rojas 29:12
kind of all over the place. PC and Xbox I mean, I've I've always loved halo that was like my biggest thing growing up. Oh, yeah. Never awesome story. Gaming is definitely one of the the last things behind outdoor stuff or woodworking but it's definitely nice to just kind of sit down and not have to do anything. And
Jeremy Perkins 29:32
it was it was funny. I used to play Counter Strike. That was a cool game for the longest time and then I gave it up and then kind of being in social media and everything. I decided to take a look at Twitch recently. And it was funny. There's a I sat there for probably about an hour and then I realized like Jeremy, what are you doing? You don't have an hour to do this. But I was watching a guy play the construction simulator. And he was like God Yeah, he's just like Building right, and it's building virtually. And I'm like, What am I doing? Like, you could do this for like for real? And I don't know, it was. It was definitely intriguing and definitely interesting. And, you know, people are really, really good at, you know, virtual simulators and building and they had, he had the whole setup and everything. I was like, this is interesting. It's a crazy world out there with gaming and PCs and graphics have gotten so much better. The storylines and everything are. I mean, I remember playing what was it like Grand Theft Auto, the original one. It's like, it's like the bird's eye view. And now just like everything is is Unbeliev, like leaps and bounds from what I grew up with. So cool. Cool. Awesome. So my last question, and I liked this one, because it makes you think, what is the number one? Well, you did say it, but what is the number one tool as a carpenter that you can't live without?
Rob Rojas 31:01
So what do you think it was? What did I say before
Jeremy Perkins 31:04
outside the eyes picking the knife? But what would be the number one tool that you would tell somebody to by getting into the trade? Like, what's that number one thing that you either invest in can't live without, like, what would it be,
Rob Rojas 31:17
I would say a really nice set of chisels. If not, I'd say probably half inch or three quarter inch chisel just a very really nice high quality one that you keep razor sharp all the time. Basically, if you think about it, woodworking is just, it's all compiled things that work like chisels, small blade, it's a bunch of tiny chisels on a circle. And saw it's a bunch of sharpened little chisels, hand planes, they're just bigger chisels like it's it chisel does everything in woodworking, and that is probably the most important tool that I could not live. So
Jeremy Perkins 31:54
if you're me and you're in the carpentry trade, my number one tool would be wood glue, so I've been taking too much off. But yeah, no, that's good insight. Awesome. So thank you for being on I like to turn the stage to you and, and if there's any place you want to direct attention to or anybody wants to know a little bit more about you or wants to talk to you, where can they find you or anything you want to plug.
Rob Rojas 32:23
So, first my biggest influence Mr. Wilson from high school. He's the one who really got me into doing woodwork. I'd love to reconnect with him one day, and then my current mentor, Mr. Jimmy duresta. Everybody go check him out. Fantastic guy, one of the best people I've ever known. And if you guys want to find me pretty much on any platform, it's at Rojas, carpentry, no space, and you'll find me there.
Jeremy Perkins 32:47
Awesome. Well, Rob, thanks for being on the show. It was a pleasure to meet you in person and great to get to know you a little bit more on the podcast and I'm sure this is the beginning of our relationship.
Rob Rojas 32:59
Oh, totally. Alright, but thank you. Thanks, Jeremy.
Jeremy Perkins 33:03
And remember, use the code pick 10 P IC K 10. On your next order of $60 or more at Bruntworkwear.com
A true maker at heart, Rob Rojas has had a creative spirit since he was young. This curiosity led him to carpentry class in high school, which he ended up studying three times a day by the time he was an upperclassman. He ended up moving on to college to study emergency preparedness, cyber security and homeland security, though he felt the pull right back to carpentry once he graduated.
“My entire life I was always involved in creating things whether it was when I was younger with Legos and clay or wanted to smash that old toy apart and figure out how it worked. And really, the whole carpentry thing started actually in high school.”
While he is interested in getting into hazard mitigation and natural disaster work in the future, he’s found that he truly enjoys the trades. Not only that, but he’s found himself working under one of the top makers in the game right now, Jimmy Diresta — a dream job for most folks in the maker community.
“So I thought about reaching out to Jimmy and just saying, hey, you know, can I work for you? I'll work for free, pick up the dog shit, whatever you want to do. And he just texted me the next morning and he's like, come on by and you know the rest has been history.”
Today, he’s focused on being a sponge, learning from Jimmy and others in the industry, like Anne of Anne of All Trades who works in Tennessee. He’s got a ton of options ahead of him, but he’s leaning toward fine carpentry, where he can really perfect his craft and design skills all under his own New York-based business, Rojas Carpentry LLC.