Prepping the shop before gluing together the Beautiful Table Top
My name is Stephen Michutka, but my friends call me The Wood Pastor.
I started building about four and a half years ago as a necessity. I didn’t want to pay high prices for cheap quality furniture. I’ve always had a “hands-on” type mentality. I knew if I could think it, I could come close to making it. Plus I had friends and family with some experience as well to help guide me through that first build. It was a HUGE learning experience…that first build (a loft bed for my son).
Over the next several years, building spiraled from a hobby to a side job. I am a full-time elementary school teacher, so a lot of my first clients were co-workers and family/friends. Once I became confident enough in my builds and designs, I began to stray away from others’ furniture plans and started doing my own thing. I wanted to make really nice quality builds but still keep a rustic/natural look.
So one day, I attempted a build with cypress and beech, that I picked up at a local hardwood shop. I didn’t know what I was doing in the world of hardwood, but I was determined to learn…and I did…slowly but surely. I’ve grown with every project and will continue to grow as a maker. “If you’re not growing, you’re slowing!” That’s also something else I do…make up quotes…and most don’t make sense, but this one kind of does. It makes me laugh at least.
Teacher turned Woodworker
Fast Forward: I’m still a teacher, and I’m still building and growing my business, but having a blast doing it. My family and friends are all supportive, and I absolutely love being able to give a piece of my time to them along with giving back to charity with each purchase. I give to the Mission field monthly outside of my typical monthly tithes.
I’ve been blessed, and in turn I want to be able to bless others. When I started this business I knew I didn’t want it to be a selfish endeavor, but something that I could use to help others as it grows itself. I hope one day to either fund an entire charity or spread excess over several charities that I can invest in long term.
The Wood Pastor
Being a teacher has allowed me to really focus on “The Wood Pastor” on my off-times. Everyone knows teachers get all those nice breaks throughout the year, lol. But don’t worry, the pay isn’t that great. I just finished my Masters in Education Administration spring of 2016. I am currently not using it, and have no clue what the future holds. I’m just having fun, working hard, and being optimistic with my family by my side. As long as we are happy then I’m happy, no matter what I’m doing.
It wasn’t until last summer that I even decided to turn this into a “Business.” I had a friend draw up a logo, I started building a website (with a lot of help), I began creating a portfolio on Instagram, I started a Facebook Business Page, and finally registered my name with the TAX OFFICE! If I had to choose a weakness in this whole story of my building life, it’d be “business.” It’s so hard to have a full-time job, a family, and friends, be the builder and run the business. I hate tracking all of my expenses and mileage and all the extra stuff that isn’t fun, lol.
Take your time
My advice to anyone pursuing this: DO NOT try to do it all at once, and DO NOT try to do it all yourself. YOU CAN’T. But you can learn one piece at a time. Focus on one part that you want to grow and hit it hard! Once you’ve got that down, add another piece to the business puzzle. It’s not hard, it just takes time, and you get really good at asking questions.
Some of the people you come across will want to help without you paying a dime, because at some point they were in your shoes too. And some people or coaches will want your first born child as compensation, lol! There’s so much free and good advice out there on the Internet. So read up, Study up, Ask questions, Choose carefully where you spend your money and time, and focus on one thing at a time until you become a semi-expert. Then take another step…and REPEAT!
I’ve added a few pictures in order of a recent build that I did for a friend’s sister. I didn’t make any money on this one because my friend happens to be a videographer and videoed a day in my life for FREE! See! Connections, they pay off, just make sure you pay it forward. My friend’s sister did, however, cover materials. This is the Farmhouse table we designed together.
Here are some of my other builds that I have done. They are off my website and can be ordered here.
Prepping the shop before gluing together the table top
You can never have enough clamps (clamping the joint to make sure it’s
a smooth and even surface once dry)
This is the workshop/garage that isn’t used as a garage at all (tight spaces
mean crazy organization)
Super sexy camera angle that went in the video of some 45 degree cuts for
the table base. (always cut with your blade guard on!)
Sanded the table top after the glue dried, and routed it next. (routing
is a messy business)
But routing is obviously worth it. (different routing bits will give your
projects a nice unique finish)
Here’s the base all tacked together and the top floating in place.
( I was pretty sure I liked the cypress base raw)
Until I sprayed it with some Minwax Weathered Oak stain and
WOW! (no regrets here)
Finished off with several coats of seal and some fancy pictures to
show it off. (still no regrets)
Thank you for viewing. Stephen Michutka
You can follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and check out my website at