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Union County woodworker is 81 years young

6:46 PM, Feb 4, 2013   |    comments
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Floyd Rutherford

Taking up a hobby late in life is keeping a Union County man young at heart.

He's a craftsman whose not only having a good time but also has discovered a great talent.

Retired farmer Floyd Rutherford needed something to keep him busy.

"I've been into this for about five years," Rutherford said.

That's when he took up woodworking.

"It keeps my mind working especially on numbers trying to remember how long this is and how long that is," he said.

The 81-year-old spends hours every day in his workshop behind his house in Luttrell and he doesn't sit down.

"You notice there ain't no chair out here and I thought well why didn't old stupid Floyd bring him a chair out here and sit sometimes? I don't chew and I don't smoke. I just stand here and try to figure out what I want to make," he said.

He uses what he has on hand which is usually hinges or screws or door pulls he found at a garage sale.

"I don't throw nothing away. Keep junk. Just as sure as I throw it away the next day I may need it," he said. "I never buy no lumber."

All of the wood he uses comes from his own property: oak, cedar, pine, walnut and more.

He transforms that wood in to cedar chests, tables, book cases, and benches.

He carves his initials into each piece.

The furniture fills the house he shares with his wife of 56 years, Joan, and he's still making more.

"I try to help my neighbors. Money don't mean nothing to me.," he said.

He once made a large cedar table with four benches and upon delivery the woman asked him the price.

"I said honey I haven't thought of no price. And she said $2,000? I like to have turned over in the couch," he said.

Practicing his passion is its own reward.

"Anything I've ever done I've done my best at it. And if it's nothing more than digging a ditch out here in the garden I want it dug right," he said.

So how long will he keep creating beautiful wood furniture?

"As long as the good Lord will let me."

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