Tommy Collins – Master of Chests

Tommy Collins, like many CarveWright users, is retired. He spent 42 years in the mining industry all while building a family that continues to grow. He’s up to 5 wonderful grandkids now between his 2 children. His wife of over 50 years, Pattie, is his shop helper. She reviews his projects as they progress and gives valuable input. What projects they are too. Tommy makes a lot of different things, but the chests are his specialty. 

Building things has always been part of Tommy’s makeup. He restored a 1965 Morris Minor 1000 in his backyard that became he and his wife’s first car. The couple later decided to build their own home, which they’ve now lived in for more than 30 years. About 10 years ago, when nearing retirement, he discovered CarveWright. He liked the idea of being able to carve something of high quality to enhance the woodworking he was doing. “I don’t think I had a specific project in mind when I purchased my first machine.” Tommy said. “I wanted to add that little extra to my projects. You can take any wood project and make it better with the CarveWright system.”

Tommy quickly learned how to use the machine and the software through tutorials and the CarveWright community groups. He attributes much of the ease-of-use to CarveWright’s support. “The support is tremendous. No matter what question you have, you get answers almost immediately. From the CarveWright techs to other carvers (in the community,) help is always available.”

Over the years, Tommy has made many projects, large and small. Many are gifts that he and his wife give away. A lot of what he’s built are customized chests. Cedar chests, cherry chests, oak chests, and more. He’s also made signs for businesses and back porches, jewelry and trinket boxes, and even Inlay cutouts for cutting boards. His next project is a gift for a grandson. He has achieved Eagle Scout rank and Tommy is building a desktop box to store his scouting memorabilia.

Tommy recently acquired a second CarveWright system, saying “the support available on this machine is the number one reason I went with another CarveWright instead of another brand” The older machine is still running like new, but he needed more capacity to keep up with his custom orders. Mostly his business comes by word of mouth, but he and his wife also display their products at Flea Markets such as First Monday Trades Days in Canton, Texas.

We look forward to seeing more of Tommy’s work. He can most easily be found on the CarveWright Carvaholics Facebook group where he has helped and inspired many other users. He concluded our interview with this.

“The amount of space the machine takes up is practically nothing. There is no doubt this is the best system for me. The quality of the CarveWright can’t be beat.”

Tommy Collins
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