“God has created it all. He is the only one who has the ability to create from nothing. We as craftsman get to build from what God has created. When I get to take a board from a tree and re-saw it to have perfect symmetry in a table top or door, the glory should go to God, not me. The Lord should influence our work. And what we artists make can’t hold a candle to what God created.” -Tom
Thomas W. Timm
Tom’s passion for the woodworking business began at the early age of four! From working in his father’s basement shop to following his father to carpentry jobs, his familiarity with woodworking grew tremendously. Tom had some difficulty in grade school, but it didn’t stop him. Although grade school wasn’t easy, he’s thankful for the hard times, because it taught him to never give up no matter what the odds! His persistence, drive, hard work and meticulous nature brought him to where he is today.
His woodworking instruction continued in junior high and high school in the form of woodworking, drafting, metal and art classes. In the late 60’s, early 70’s, when shop classes were more like vocational schools, Tom was able to use real tools and equipment to build his skillset. He also worked as a carpenter during his summers which continued for two years after graduation.
In 1973 Tom joined the US Navy. While enlisted, he served as a missile tech on Submarines. Tom spent most of his free time studying furniture and architectural millwork wherever he was stationed. During this time, Tom ran the wood hobby shop at the Charleston Naval Base. He began buying tools, selling wood, and started Custom Woodcrafter in his single stall garage in Summerville, in 1980. Spending long hours running the wood hobby shop, and working in the garage taught him several things. Foremost of those was patience with the challenges of working with wood and perseverance in following hia dream of being a woodworker. From his experience, “most of us learn best by our mistakes and trial and error!”
It was in 1980 that Tom married his wife Sarah who deserves the credit for putting up with a dreamer and an artist. “Woodworking is a way of life,” says Tom. “Nothing great was ever accomplished without risk!” Sarah was a saver and made a beautiful life for their family -with very little, while Tom was a spender and a risk taker! Sarah stayed home for 28 years to raise their four children along with helping out with the business itself! Through it all, Tom gives thanks to the Lord for allowing him to achieve so many of his dreams in life! –A wonderful family and a great living.
During the beginnings of his business, Tom began collecting and studying woodworking books and magazines. Around 1984, he picked up a copy of “Sam Maloof Woodworker.” After reading the book, he called Sam on the phone and they talked for an hour, in which Tom was invited be a guest in Maloof’s home and in his workshop. Tom attended several of Maloof’s workshops around the country, throughout the years. Maloof quickly became Tom’s mentor and also became a dear friend. “During the times that Sam and I spent together, he not only taught me about woodworking, but he also taught me about life.”
“Woodworking is a way of life that I am very thankful the Lord has allowed me to do for a living. I believe in whatever you do you should do it with your whole heart! Like Colossians 3:23-24, ‘And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men. Knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance, for you serve the Lord Christ.’” Tom’s faith is a big part of his work. He values all of his clients as friends and builds relationships with them over many years. "Most of my customers that buy hardwoods from me I teach woodworking to while they are here so that they get the best use of their materials."