Weekend Getaway ... to the Tool Shed

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First it was a television stand. Then came two end tables made from surplus pine flooring.

November 01, 2002


Cindy McAuliffe gives most of the furniture she builds to friends but kept this double recliner.

First it was a television stand. Then came two end tables made from surplus pine flooring. Soon a love for woodworking and building furniture was born. Flash forward five years, and Cindy McAuliffe, president of Grayson Homes in Ellicott City, Md., has graduated to an outdoor double recliner, a yard swing and a deluxe cat house "big enough for a dog."

"It's a great way to unwind," says McAuliffe, who powers up the tools at her weekend home in West Virginia. "I think part of it, too, is the instant gratification. A lot of what we do in home building has a long-term time horizon, whether you are looking at land or trying to pull a new community together. It's nice to see something physical come together quickly."

McAuliffe builds most of her furniture without plans, typically studying and measuring a similar piece. The double recliner was an exception.

Her woodworking has been primarily an outdoor pursuit that moves to the basement in winter. When the weather turns this year, McAuliffe will move production into a new workshop/garage.

"I just like putting my hands to something and creating," she says.

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