Meet Bob Kloes
My name is Bob Kloes, and I want to thank you for visiting my handmade site.
We live in a world that is fast paced and mass-produced. I used to work for a large company for many years, but always longed for something more. My dream was to open my own business and pursue my passion for woodworking.
In the beginning I started with old used tools and a homemade table saw. I read every book and magazine I could find about furniture making. I had no training or schooling in woodworking or cabinetry. I learned by doing things every day in my spare time. I made a lot of mistakes and learned from each one. I would master each step until I was confident I had it perfected. I fell in love with traditional furniture: New England colonial, country, and shaker styles.
In 1999, I left my full time job and started working for myself. My wife and I were both in agreement it was time. It was a scary and yet a blessed time. I had been working 40 hours a week and also working 50 hours a week at woodworking. Now I could devote all the time needed to make this venture work. Giving up a regular paycheck and full benefits was a very hard choice though. I heard Dick Bennett telling a story about how he felt taking the job as head basketball coach at Wisconsin and his trusting God. He said, “It was like sitting on a tree branch and expecting God to hold you up there, while you cut the branch off the tree, and seeing the tree fall”. Faith is a powerful thing.
Everything I create is made in America. My lumber comes from Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, along with some from Indiana and Iowa. It is sourced from responsible loggers and mills. All my hardware and finishes come from the USA. I use water base dyes, paints, and finishes for most of my work.
The lumber I use is all figured. What that means is it has curl, stripes, bubbles, eyes, and colors that are not found on 99.7% of the wood used for furniture. I source all my lumber myself. I am proud to know good loggers and mill owners who care about the forests. A large part of my business now is providing this lumber to folks all across America. I select this special figured wood and then ship it to my clients. I can proudly say I have made furniture that is in 48 of 50 states.
As a furniture maker I look at wood differently than a cabinet shop or large furniture company. I look for the heavier figure, unusual color, and lumber that is from 1 tree. When making a piece, I want the lumber to be from one tree, so the color and figure are all consistent. It is the little things that set my work apart from mass produced furniture places. I consider myself fortunate to do a job that I love. I am very blessed.
I have students that come to my shop who are interested in learning the craft. If making projects from figured wood interests you, please contact me. If you, like me, cannot settle for what is commonly sold, give me a call, and I will help you find the lumber that you desire for your project. If you see a product on my site and want it modified in any way, I can do that for you. Your creativity will bring me back to when I only dreamed that I could do this as a livelihood. I truly appreciate your consideration to purchase one of my handmade pieces. My customers become a part of my extended family – so welcome home.