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Craftsman in the News, August 2006

Building Heirlooms: A Visit With Whit McLeod

Sharon Letts had the opportunity to meet & speak with Arcata-based furnituremaker Whit McLeod recently, and The Eureka Reporter published her story on August 8, 2006:

Whit McLeod came to Humboldt County as many have — to attend Humboldt State University.

He graduated in 1976 with a degree in biology with an emphasis on wildlife management. Initially, he worked at Redwood Science Lab in Arcata, but soon found himself building wooden boats with the likes of boatwright David Peterson in a shop behind another wooden boat master, Ken Bates, on Gunther Island.

“I started out making boxes for bottles of wine,” McLeod laughed. “Then I made the folding chair.”

The folding chair is now as well known as the boxes the wine comes in, and is a common sight around town. Built from wine barrels, it’s a little folding chair for patio or beach use and it now makes up anywhere from 40-50 percent of sales for McLeod.

Since the chair, McLeod and his team of four — which includes his wife Kristy McLeod — have created beautiful craftsman-style furniture using the same wine barrels, as well as other types of reclaimed and salvaged wood. The furniture is made the old-fashioned way, using the mortise and tenon joint method.

the full article is available online from The Eureka Reporter