Originally created 05/26/98

Cabinet maker turns wood into art

Carey Smith's workshop looks like a typical carpenter's sawdust-covered haven. There are sanders, a table saw and band saw in his basement, but one thing is conspicuously absent from his inventory.


You won't find a single nail or metal fastener holding together his custom-made cabinets or furniture.

"I use old-fashioned woodworking jointery," says Mr. Smith, pointing at the edges of a set of oak cabinets showing.

He assembles all of his cabinets and furniture using dovetail and tongue and groove joints.

Like an artist looking at a blank canvas, he says he looks at wood and envisions how he will create a piece of furniture or set of cabinets.

"When I work with wood it's just me and the wood and I can create and sculpt it anyway I want to," says Mr. Smith.

Mr. Smith developed his love for woodworking in sixth grade while taking a woodshop class. He says everyone in the class was assigned to pick a project and he chose to build a bookshelf.

"Working with that wood was the first time I realized what I wanted to do in life," he says.

Ever since that class, he wanted to run his own woodworking business, a dream he fulfilled in late 1996, when the company he had been working for went out of business. He had worked for someone else ever since he had received his two-year degree from Augusta Technical Institute in cabinetmaking and carpentry."I did not want to work for anyone else and I realized it was time to try my own business," says Mr. Smith, who has 15 years experience in the industry.

Mr. Smith designs and builds cabinets and any type of furniture including end tables, coffee tables, dining room tables, beds and chairs at his home on Alexander Drive in west Augusta.

Mr. Smith also does furniture repair and refinishing, but what he really enjoys is creating an original.

"One thing I hope to create is a style," he says. "I want to create a legacy of good workmanship for myself as a woodworker. I hope that people will look back one day and say that's a Smith."


Subject: Carey Smith, woodworker

Time on the job: 15 years with several companies, 1' years running Smith Woodworks, his own business.

Training: Two-year degree from Augusta Technical Institute in cabinetmaking and carpentry.

Favorite part of the job: "It allows me to set forth and implement my own styles in woodworking and the freedom to do that on my own."

Least favorite part of the job: "Doing it here at the home. There are sometimes situations when I have a lot of work to do and I also have demands from my family of things I have to do and it becomes a bit stressful."


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