Tom’s fascination with beautiful wood began when he was a teen. His duties at his father’s sawmill in the Ozarks included stacking the freshly sawn lumber. As he worked he often found himself imagining what kind of furniture those boards could become. He began collecting some of the more special boards, and stacking them in the barn to dry. When the boards were fully air dried he used them to make small pieces of furniture, most of which were given away as Christmas, birthday and wedding presents.
Through his twenties Tom worked as a musician playing various stringed instruments. Acoustic, electric, pedal steel and bass guitars in several local bands in Springfield, Missouri. However, he realized he couldn’t stay away from woodworking for long. He found a job working with a third generation master carpenter. This carpenter taught Tom to “stick build” the kitchen and bath cabinetry in the custom homes they were building. They would set up their woodworking tools right there in the client’s home and after they finished building the cabinets they would stain and finish them right there on site – A far cry from the 4,200 square feet woodworking shop Tom now enjoys!