Humble Beginnings in Woodworking

Our cane corso posing with our Reclaimed wood painted signs and furniture in Bend, Oregon

Our Humble Beginnings in Woodworking

When the topic of working with reclaimed wood or building tables comes up in conversation people ALWAYS ask: “How did you get started in woodworking?”. The answer is not what they expect.

No, our parents and/or grandparents were not expert craftsman, spending long hours turning wood or finishing cabinets. We did not apprentice under a woodworker as a teenager. The truth is, we were forced into woodworking by necessity.

Picture this: You’re a freshly married early-twenties couple that has just sold everything you own to travel the country in an old RV. Your days are filled with hiking, trying local cuisine, getting lost in the middle of nowhere, and making friends with strangers. It’s every hipster’s dream come true… until after a couple weeks of carefree honeymoon bliss something funny happens. You begin to feel tired, sick, irritable. Food looks disgusting. Everything smells funny. Your head hurts. Your stomach is queasy. Then finally you put the pieces together.

Our Old 1982 Honey Bee motorhome, Harvey the RV.

Our Old 1982 Honey Bee motorhome, Harvey the RV.

Oops, you’re pregnant!

In late 2013, not two months after the wedding, we discovered that little pink line. Our days of living as free spirits were over. We abruptly ended our trip and made a game plan to head back home to get our “normal” lives back together. We decided after a bit of time getting our heads on straight in Kentucky to go back to work in Cincinnati, Ohio. I took a job doing Graphic Design. Trae got a job installing cable, which he hated by the way, and we moved to a small house with a large basement in Ohio.

Going from owning zero furniture to having to furnish an entire house is daunting. We literally had purged everything but our clothes and had nothing for a house. No dresser, no bed, no couch, nothing at all.

That’s where the woodworking came in!

It all started when Trae began bringing home pallets to play around with in the basement. At first it was small things, like pallet wood magazine racks,  pallet wood TV stands, pallet wood dog beds, and our first pallet wood sign that we built and painted for our new daughter’s nursery. Eventually he even built an island for our house using cheap hand tools.

Hand painted reclaimed wood pallet sign

We built our very first sign for our daughter, Piper Jolene.


In 2014, 1 month after having our baby, we moved back home to Owensboro, Kentucky. We continued to play around with the pallets, getting more and more requests from other people for custom jobs. Trae came up with the name “Scavenger Woodworks” because of the way that we acquired the wood and reclaimed materials in the beginning. Clever, huh?

Soon, we made connections to reclaimed barn wood and started building quality furniture with the nicer materials. Our workshop was a mere one-car garage. Small, but it worked. After a while we were able to work on Woodworking and Freelance design full-time, which was absolutely amazing, but a LOT of work! We fell in love.

Reclaimed Wood Furniture in Bend, Oregon

In October 2015 we moved our family and our business to Bend, Oregon. While adjusting to the move we’ve been working other full time jobs (Trae is in excavation, I am a Web Designer). Our goal for 2018 is to transition Trae back into the shop to build furniture and reclaimed wood tables full-time. It’s a challenge and we have a lot of work to do to get there, but we appreciate all of the support that we’ve received so far! The popular styles of furniture in Central Oregon are so much different than in Kentucky. It’s definitely a more western-type rustic or modern style of furniture compared to the Farmhouse rage back home. We’re constantly on our toes learning about the trends and trying to adapt.

Custom dining table with leaf insert made from reclaimed barn wood in Bend, OR.

Custom dining table with leaf insert made from reclaimed barn wood in Bend, OR.

Looking back, we’ve come a long way from living on the road and scavenging through scrap piles for pallets. I can hardly contain my excitement that we are again pursuing reclaimed woodworking full-time and can’t wait for what the future holds.

Until next time!

Brittney Gaddis

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