If you hear power drills roaring along Lake Keesus and catch a whiff of freshly cut wood, there is a chance you’re near the home of Jeff Beyer. Inside his garage, you may just catch him making something spectacular.
Now retired, Beyer spends his time making, well, anything really, out of wood. Most of his projects are for friends, family and acquaintances, or by word of mouth.
“If people want me to build something, I can build it,” he says, laughing.
Though some projects come from ideas stored in his mind, often people come to him armed with photos as to what they’re looking to have built. Once started, it won’t be long until the project comes to life.
“Usually when I get started, I can’t quit," he says.
He works on projects late into the night, armed with a TV and everything a man could want in his garage. As his wife can attest, Beyer has almost every tool imaginable to help him perfect his masterpieces.
And, “when you’re done with it, it’s so new and clean and good looking. It’s just fun to make something that is really nice and different from anything else,” he says.
When ask what he’s built in the past, Beyer says just about everything.
As father is wont to do, Beyer pulled out his tools when the post office told his daughter that her mailbox post was too low. Having fixed the mailbox once before, he thought it was time for something new. Because his daughter loves sailing and lives on a lake, “I thought well, I’ll make her a sailboat on top and make it look good,” he explains. There's no other mailbox like it.
His love for woodworking started in high school making various wooden projects, all of which he sold in years past. However, life got busy, as it does, and Beyer soon found himself working in a factory before serving in Vietnam. Back home after service, his passion for working with his hands remained, but he opted for a more lucrative career as an outdoor engineer working out traffic signals.
So what keeps Beyer motivated in his craft?
Simply, “I just like building things.”