When he's not busy building furniture for his home, Tom excels in projects that are small and highly detailed.
When I was growing up in Pella, Iowa, my neighbor had a tablesaw in his garage, the first power tool I ever saw. My 8th grade math teacher introduced me to a planer. While I was in high school, my parents had their kitchen completely redone by a friend who became one of the strongest influences in my "woodworking life." When I got out of the army in 1972, I bought my first power tool--a radial-arm saw that I still have. My projects are driven mainly by need or a curiosity to see if something can be done.
I have never focused on one technique or one specific tool. Every project has become a "mini-education" in mastering the techniques required for that project. Woodworking to me has never been cutting boards apart and assembling them in a different configuration, but rather opening a board and looking for opportunities.
The diversity of my projects is what I like the most. I create my own designs and patterns and have designed and built unique decks, millwork, wall systems, cabinets, furniture, models, and toys for my grandchildren. Some of my more exotic projects have been the models of a Peterbilt 379 and Cottrell Stinger auto transport, a 31 Chevrolet Cabriolet, a marble roller coaster (at right), and a model house (above right).