Building out of retirement

Jim Scott didn’t want to spend his retirement from the Department of Transportation staring at a television screen. So after his Stratford home wood shop was taken over by his wife Adele for crafting, he decided to reclaim his hobby. He started making cedar chests for his granddaughters, daughter and daughter-in-laws, and then he decided to venture into other woodworking territory. From cedar basement bars to headboards and tables, he has done it all. “I’m retired, and I had to have something to do,” he smiled.

Right now, he is busy concentrating on oak custom cabinets for his daughter.

“The oak is from dead trees in our timber,” Scott said. “I cut them down and made boards out of them.”

How many hours has he spent making those cupboards?

“I can’t even guess,” he said. “I will be working on that, and while I am waiting for the glue to dry, I’m already working on something else. I might have two or three things going on at the same time.”

If the Stratford man cannot sleep, he will go out to the wood shop to continue on his projects. “I was out here at 2:30 a.m. this morning, and I will be out here until 8 p.m. tonight. I do this usually seven days a week,” Scott continued. “But if I didn’t like it, I wouldn’t do it.”

He just spent a day making a custom cedar poker table. Scott also makes stools, picnic tables, swing sets, patio chairs and unique candleholders.

“It started two years ago,” he said. “I bought a set of drill bits, just to try it. So I made a headboard. After that, it just kept going. Then I thought, I would build a picnic table and see how that goes. Well, we only had that a day before that sold. Then a neighbor told me to build benches. They started to sell.”

Scott doesn’t take special orders, but sells what he has on hand.

Adele Scott advertises on various local Facebook pages, such as North Iowa Man Stuff For Sale, Webster City Buy and Sell, and Furniture 4Sale in Iowa.

People are starting to take interest, and Scott just had an order for a loveseat and picnic table go out to Nora Springs, Iowa. “It’s a hobby, but I put a lot of hours into it,” he said. “Stools sold for a while, people wanted them for plant stands. After that, we sold several end tables for beds. It just seems that when you come up with something new to make, you find a whole new group of people who want to buy.”

Scott makes sure to use all the wood from a tree.

“I have a stump outside of my shop, it will become a table,” he said. “We will take the end of a post, turn it sideways and make candleholders, which are starting to sell.”

“When I get going on a project, I can’t stop,” Scott continued. “It just drives me. I want to see what it looks like when it is finished.”