I was raised in the small town of Skaneateles, NY where I lived until I graduated from high school. Following school I joined the Marines Corps and was stationed at Camp Pendleton in California. During my time in the Marine Corps I served as an 0311- Infantryman with 2nd Battalion 5th Marines, I was deployed to Afghanistan in 2012 and then again on a Navy Ship out of Okinawa, Japan with the 31st MEU in 2014. I was honorably discharged in 2015 and was able to reach one of my many military goals of being promoted to Sergeant.
After serving five years in the military, I had no intentions of going back in my hometown and staying. After what was only suppose to be a few month stay, I realized how much I missed being around all my family and friends. I started taking some classes at a local college and I needed a desk to do my school work, once I realized how expensive they were I decided to try to build my own. With only a saw, hammer and a drill I was able to create an absolutely gorgeous piece of furniture (can be seen in the gallery tab above). After that I thought to myself, "What could I build if I actually had all the right tools for the job."
From there it all started, I slowly started purchasing tools I would need and could afford, working off of a tool bench I would wheel in and out of my dads garage. I started making some cutting boards for myself, family and friends as gifts. My break came when my Uncle realized my potential, he took me to see my great Uncle's amazing wood shop in Honeoye, NY, and then then provided me an opportunity to build my own wood shop. It was a barn and three car garage on one of his properties that were completely empty, but a blank space for me to work with. Since then I have insulated, ran a whole network of dust collection piping and have laid out all of my equipment so I could be organized and efficient. I am now able to work year-round in my wood shop and I can't thank all my family and friends enough for helping me out and making this passion into something more.
Questions I am frequently asked -
"How did you learn how to do all of this?" - Short answer, I taught myself woodworking, I have never learned from any family members or apprenticed with anyone. I have always been able to learn technical skills like this very quickly, especially skills or trades that require a great deal of attention to detail and patience. In the Marine Corps we had a saying when you didn't know how to do something, "Figure it the f-ck out," and thats what I did. Occasionally I will pick up some old woodworking books I bought and read through them. But usually you can find me sitting at my coffee table with scribbled papers scattered everywhere as I draw out designs and break down how things are made till it makes sense to me.
"Do you watch a lot of YouTube videos then?" - No, I really can't sit through a YouTube video, I have tried but I would rather figure something out on my own then learn from someone on the internet. I believe that on my own, I am more than capable of grasping the technical and design aspects of woodworking as I have so far. Without the influence of other builders techniques and designs this enables me to develop my own way of doing things and has helped me to create my own unique design style.
"Where do you buy you wood?" - I purchase all of my wood locally from various lumber mills, my most frequented mill is Memphis Hardwoods in Memphis, NY.
"Whats next? Are you going to keep making only cutting boards and other small items?" - I will always keep making cutting boards and bottle openers, I very much so enjoy taking a pile of various hardwood species and creating something beautiful and functional that can be used everyday while adding unique character to your home. I plan on growing myself into handcrafting unique furniture for homes, I always like to build things for myself first and test them in real world situations for durability as well as working out any kinks in my designs so when the time comes I can give you the best possible products.
My only work partners are my two dogs Grizzly and Harlo, they have become excellent shop dogs.