Lasting Impression: Custom woodworker Pete Cross
Mountain House and Home
Custom woodworker Pete Cross learned the trade as a boy from his father, also a professional cabinet and furniture maker. “I just followed my dad around the shop and learned to work with wood by doing it,” he says.
He made his first piece of furniture ” a gun cabinet ” as a young teenager. Several years later, Cross earned a degree in mechanical design engineering. The old passion for working with his hands mixed with the exact science of engineering to create somewhat of a curse for the Hot Sulphur Springs-based cabinet maker. He is an artist and a perfectionist, a strange and sometimes frustrating combination.
“I can be my own worst enemy,” he says. “I can’t let something go out the door that’s not just right.”
While he knows traditional woodworking methods and uses them regularly, the engineer in him likes to tackle a difficult project until he develops a viable solution. Sometimes this takes much longer than he could possibly bill for. Such talent and dedication prompt area project managers to call on Cross with their most difficult challenges.
Working in a two-story pole barn on his 40-acre property in Grand County, Cross sketches out projects with pencil and paper. His attention to detail and insistence on making each piece ” every corner ” exactly right makes his cabinets and doors more like traditional furniture. He created his own way to dovetail joints with a wooden peg fastener that eliminates glue ” a small detail that shows his tenacity.
Cross mills his own moldings so each is unique. These can be repeated throughout a home, creating a symphony of design as all woodwork is tied together from kitchen to bath to laundry room storage closets. Few projects call for such craftsmanship in every detail, but for those that do, this one-of-a-kind woodworker is up for the challenge.
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