Maker Interview: Katherine Hyman
Tell us a little about you - how’d you get into making?
I wanted to redecorate our house and I couldn't find the furniture I wanted for a price I could afford, so I turned to Pinterest and Ana White for help. I've always loved making things, and I ended up really enjoying woodworking. After that, I just kept going. Now I mostly design and build furniture for clients.
Where do you do most of your work on your DIY projects?
My shop alternates between the garage and the basement, depending on the size of the project.
What was the first DIY furniture project you ever made? Any lessons learned to share with people from that?
The first piece I ever built was an X-base TV console from Ana White plans. I didn't even know how to use a saw before I started! In retrospect, I probably should have started with a smaller project, but I like to drink from the fire hose. It took me weeks to complete because I had no idea what I was doing, and I really wish I had known about clamps! That was the big takeaway for me - use clamps.
What was your first “big tool purchase”?
When I realized my hobby was becoming a business, I knew I couldn't get by with just a miter saw and a power drill anymore. I bought a planer and table saw together. That's when I felt like a real woodworker, haha.
What inspired you to create this project?
We have a sweet babysitter who is a young and recently got married. I wanted to build her a dining table - I remember so clearly what it was like to start off as newlyweds with no furniture, eating off the kitchen counter or on the couch.
Why’d you pick hairpin legs for this project?
She really liked the modern-industrial look, so the hairpin legs were perfect for it.
What was the most complicated part of this build?
Hmmm. I'm not sure - the hairpin legs made it way easier than if the base were wood! Making a tabletop perfectly smooth is always a bit of a challenge, especially with knotty alder. Planked tops look nice in photos, but no one wants to eat off of an uneven kitchen table.
What was your favorite part of this project?
Staining. The finishing process always brings pieces to life.
Do you have any future project ideas you would like to use our legs/shelves for?
I'd love to make a kids' table shaped like our home state (Ohio) with some colorful hairpin legs.
If you could only share one Instagram channel for DIY inspiration who would that be and why?
There are so many I follow, it's hard to choose. I'd probably say 3x3custom - Tamar has all these clever jigs she builds and is always building something new. Plus, her Instagram feed somehow makes the woodworking process look pretty, and for me it's usually not pretty at all - I'm always covered in sawdust.
Anything else you’d like to share with our followers on the blog?
Challenge yourself. You never know what you can do if you don't try.
You can see more of Katherine's work on Instagram.