Monday, December 06, 2021

A woodworker’s passion is rekindled

| November 21, 2021 12:00 AM

The first thing my husband Tim made for me from wood 40 years ago was a name plate for my desk. It’s about 4 inches tall and a foot wide with the letters of my name carved with a Dremel tool. I’ve toted it from desk to desk throughout my career, and it remains one of my treasured possessions.

Tim dabbled in woodworking for a couple of years after we were married. He made a lovely wine cabinet and an end table — both of which we still use today — out of packing crates. This was decades before upcycling was in vogue. He crafted a wishing well for a lawn ornament, and a little cart and donkey set that was a planter.

Then life got in the way, and as he got much busier with work and raising kids, the woodworking abruptly stopped. Fast forward four decades to 2020, when he spent much of the year convalescing from four reconstructive surgeries. Unbeknownst to me, he was refreshing his woodworking knowledge, quietly studying YouTube videos of woodworkers explaining various techniques.

When 2021 arrived, he headed to his workshop and completely refurbished his workspace to accommodate more tools and wood, and began working. By early spring he had plenty to show for his toil — cutting boards, charcuterie boards, wine bottle holders and so on.

He’s worn a path to Glacier Hardwoods in Kalispell, selecting all kinds of hardwoods and exotic woods for his pieces. With his favorite country western tunes playing on a beat-up CD player, Tim has spent hundreds of hours in his woodshop this year, designing his pieces, then cutting, clamping and glueing, and losing himself in the rhythm of sanding.

His handiwork started to pile up, so the next step was figuring out what to do with it all. Daughter Heather came up with a name for his retirement business — Table Top Timbers — and Tim designed a logo and thought of an accompanying catchphrase: “Elevate Your Entertaining.”

The next step was joining the Artists and Craftsmen of the Flathead, a nonprofit group that does a wonderful job of showcasing local artists and crafters. He applied for and was chosen for a spot at the group’s upcoming Christmas show that runs Friday through Sunday after Thanksgiving at the Flathead County Fairgrounds.

I’ve always enjoyed attending the Artists and Craftsmen shows and marvel at the creativity of our local crafting community. If you’re out and about Christmas shopping after Turkey Day, stop by the Table Top Timbers booth and say hi; I’ll be helping Tim man the booth for much of the three days.

I couldn’t be prouder of my guy. He’s always strived for perfection in whatever he’s undertaken, whether it was overseeing oil wells as a well operator during the early years of his career in the oil fields of Eastern Montana, or developing and making sausages for so many years.

With woodworking, he’s found his groove, and a contentment has settled in that does my heart, and his, good.

News editor Lynnette Hintze may be reached at 406-758-4421 or