Korbin Thorsten Lindell set up a workbench in his apartment about four years ago. He was in graduate school at the time and taught himself woodworking.
Lindell’s new hobby kept him busy and later became a means of helping him pay for grad school.
In May he earned a master’s degree in counseling with the intent of being a clinical therapist.
“I graduated the program and I was just really burned out because the majority of what I was doing in my internship was suicide and risk assessment,” he said. “I was really passionate about it, still am, but a year and a half ago is when I decided to do this full time.”
Lindell found a 30-foot-by-30-foot space to rent in a pole barn.
He moved his business, Thorsten Timberworks, to 1102 Gateway Drive in October 2018 and estimates this location has about five times the space he had in the pole barn.
“I’m really grateful for this location; it’s incredible,” he said.
Within the larger space, business has been growing.
“The biggest part of my business is handcrafted furniture,” Lindell said. “Regardless of style, I take a lot of pride in making things that are going to last a lifetime that can eventually be inherited.”
That’s a contrast to inexpensive furniture made of plastic and particle board that doesn’t last.
“If I could make furniture all day, I’d be very happy,” he said, adding that the beauty of custom woodworking is the variety.
One of his projects now is creating solid oak baby gates for a mission-style home.
“I never envisioned I’d be making baby gates,” he added. “It’s really fun. It’s still traditional and classical woodworking joinery so that’s really fun.”
In addition to handcrafted furniture, he specializes in cabinetry and installations and home décor.
He began doing installation work creating accent walls of shiplap planks.
According to the 25 year old from the Village of Wales, custom work is about meeting the needs of customers. For instance, he’s in the process of a remodel with tight spaces. He’s made an armoire and is working on a vanity and trim.
When people ask him what kind of furniture he makes, Lindell asks what they want.
“It’s custom,” he said. “I’ve done everything from mid-century modern to traditional to contemporary. My flavor is everything else in between. “
People might ask: “Can you build this?” or “I really want a table but I don’t know what would look good.”
Then, he said, they talk ideas.
With “knockdown wood” being so popular, Lindell said people don’t always realize the cost of walnut, instance. But Lindell realizes meeting a customer’s budget is important.
While he’d love to hang out in the shop and "play with power tools all day," he said, “The most fun I have is getting to see people excited about getting something they know is going to meet their needs.”
He also enjoys creating turned objects. Using a lathe, he can turn what looks like a small walnut tree stump into a bowl with a smooth finish.
“That’s something I kind of do for fun,” he said.
Lindell will be at arts and crafts fair held Sunday on the Milton House grounds. He will showcase turned objects, home décor, end tables, night stands and furniture.