A while back someone asked me how I learned the skills needed to be a woodworker. To this day the only honest answer I can give is “by the grace of God”! I thank Him for the gift because on my own, I am not sure I am patient enough to build. If this is a gift, I do not take it for granted and try to share it with as many people as possible. Especially kids, I love building toys and things that kids can play with and keep for a long time.
I am married to my best friend and have been since 1981. While this may be a cliche and used by almost everyone, I will accept that and use it because it’s true. Without God and her, I would not be who or where I am today. I have two wonderful children that have help me in the adventure. Both of whom have provided us with wonderful, God loving spouses and beautiful grandchildren.
When we started having children I was working in a warehouse and not making a lot of money. I needed to learn how to build toys, cabinets and other things in order for the kids to have things to play with and my wife a place to store things. I learned how to build using old pallet wood from the warehouse and anything I could pick up that was being thrown away. I became a woodworker out of necessity!
After 15 years of marriage I made the transition out of the warehouse and into the computer room. While computers provided financially for our family, I never lost the desire to work with wood building things. However the place I could call a shop was in a damp, dark basement that liked to flood when it rained too hard. I had an old craftsman table saw, a grinder turned into a disk sander, a used band saw and a bunch of hand tools. Once I was able to upgrade to a new table saw – woodworking started to come together a bit easier.
In 2009 we made the move from Upstate New York to Middle Tennessee for my day job. After a year of looking at my tools packed in the garage of a rented condo, we found a house with a 20′ x 25′ out-building that would make a great woodworking shop. This shop has allowed me to expand my skills with new tools and more challenging projects.
My family is always providing me with new opportunities to learn more about woodworking on a regular basis, and I use them as guinea pigs. They have received nice furniture and toys out of it, all while I continue to learn new skills.
These days I appreciate the clients that have trusted me to build for them. Each project is unique but I have some favorites. Check out our Farm Table with a race track, our workbench for a leather craftsman, and our Honor Flag case.
Bayne Custom Woodworking has been our plan to transition out of computers and into building custom keepsakes. It’s not time to retire, but to begin the process of permanently changing my office from a desk punching keys to a bench making sawdust.
To reach that goal we’ve been attending the Atlanta Workbench Conference since 2018. Each year we learn more about building a woodworking business locally and online. This conference has been the best way for us to connect with others who are on the same path and encourages us every year to keep moving forward. We’ve had our confidence built, and we’ve made great friendships.
One of the benefits of attending WBC is connecting with the product brands we use in the shop everyday. They’re excited to meet us and learn how we’re using their tools and we’re excited to learn more about them and have an input on the future tools they create.