Everyday Gorgeous


Some woodworkers go for the fireworks—500- pound desks with 70 types of wood and inlaid drawers. (Go to Blue Sky Galleries one these days and you’ll see what I’m talking about.) Tim Heil, a 56-year-old woodworker in Gem Lake, isn’t about fireworks. What he’s fascinated by is how sumptuous wood can make the everyday object—pool balls, screwdrivers, buttons, drinking straws, baseball bats, and rolling pins—into something really special. Take his door knobs, for example. He starts with a gorgeous piece of wood, like cocobolo, and gingerly hand-turns it on a lathe, but never applies a finish. “The human hand can be as abrasive as sandpaper when it touches something 400 times,” he says. “Plus, the top dog turners know that oil from your hand is the best finish anyway.” Visit his small studio in Gem Lake and he’ll probably give you a screwdriver with a handle made of bubinga or red oak. “People seem to like those better than business cards,” he says. Call 651-492-3047 or email tim@heiltruckbrokerage.com.


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