Meet Tom Calisto, Bespoke Furniture Maker

Meet Tom Calisto, N.C. Woodworker

 In Shop Blog, Woodworking Blogs


You may recall Tom Calisto (pictured above holding a Shaker chair he made; Ozzie is holding a sock), a woodworker in Chapel Hill, N.C., from his April 2013 Popular Woodworking Magazine article on cutting compound dovetails for a small, handled tote, or perhaps you saw his cherry kitchen table build in Fine Woodworking‘s December 2000 issue. Maybe you’ve even taken a class from him on sawmaking or compound dovetails at Roy Underhill’s The Wooowright’s School.

By training, Tom is a mechanical engineer – which helps to explain his impressive shop-built metal lathe and milling machine. While he was in college, Tom had access to a woodworking shop, so he taught himself in between course work, and he’s been building ever since. A few years ago, Tom decided to take his furniture making full-time, and now designs and builds bespoke pieces for clients, and works with designers to turn their plans into reality. You can see more from Tom at Windward Woodworks (including a droolworthy cherry sideboard).

I had the pleasure of stopping by Tom’s house and shop last week, where I shot a passel o’ pictures of his shop (including works in progress) and some of the many pieces he’s built for his home. You’ll see more from Tom in the November issue, where we’ll feature his contemporary splay-legged table that shows clear DNA lines with the Federal furniture he loves. (That issue mails the first week of October).

— Megan Fitzpatrick

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