Interview With Kyle Toth

Article - August 24, 2014

After getting a warm response from my last interview, I have decided to keep going with the interviews to highlight more great woodworkers out there. So, I hope you enjoy the next interview with a very talented woodworker, Kyle Toth who runs Wood By Kyle Toth in Temecula, California.

Kyle Toth Wooden BackpackKyle does some amazing work, and he has some great examples of the furniture, turnings, and other works on his website as well as videos on his YouTube channel. His love for woodworking was evident in high school when he created a wooden backpack that he actually used for school. Seriously! He also got into woodturning in high school, and produces some amazing turned works of art in addition to furniture.

After high school, Kyle attended the North Bennett Street School to get a formal education in woodworking. That alone tells you what kind of skill set he has got, and it definitely shows in his work. As he stated in the interview, “The school’s motto was ‘An education and craftsmanship.” Since high school, Kyle has honed his craft and has worked with some big names like Disney, Metallica, and Jelly Skateboards.

One of the things that caught my attention was Kyle’s beer tap handle video, in which he shows the process of making 100 beer tap handles for Refuge Brewery. It’s a really great process to watch, and the end results are beautiful.

I also recently learned that Kyle is on the forefront of pushing for more education about the trades to our younger generations. He is one of three craftsman who are working with AWFS (The Association of Woodworking & Furniture Suppliers) in the “Meet the New Face of Manufacturing” campaign, which is intended to raise awareness of the trades and manufacturing jobs to students, schools, educators and counselors. You can find out more about the campaign on the AWFS website.

In the interview, I dig into what makes Kyle tick and managed to get some woodworking business tips as well. Kyle didn’t disappoint in his answers, so enjoy the interview!

You do quite a range of different types of projects from furniture to turnings to beer tap handles. What is your favorite type of project to work on?
“My favorite type of projects to work on are desks and dining room tables. I love the fact that with the dining room table, whole families can gather together and sit around something that was designed for them.

I really love the Art Deco style of furniture. So I would say that art deco pieces are my favorite to design and work on.”

Where do you get design inspiration from?
“My design inspiration comes from simplistic things, art deco style, things that are free formed and appeared to be floating, repeating patterns, simple curves.”

What goals do you have for your craft and/or business?
“Goals that I have would be to get my lounge chairs into more of a production/more available.
I am always working on segmented vases. I would like to get more into the Art Deco style of furniture. Another goal I have is to find an employee/apprentice and train them to keep the same quality of work that I have. Also, I want to finish my gallery/showroom which is above my shop and have it filled up with my new work by december.”

What is on your woodworking ‘bucket list’?
“The one thing on my woodworking bucket list would have to be a Bombe’ chest of drawers made in Bubinga.”

What part of woodworking challenges you the most?
“The part of woodworking that challenges me the most is carving by hand with gouges and chisels to make something look real and believable. But it’s a challenge that I enjoy!”

What are the greatest challenges you face running a woodworking business?
“The greatest challenges I have running woodworking business is keeping up with online website updates, social media post and basically anything having to do with the Internet haha. I love the whole design process, buying the materials, starting and finishing.”

What is the best tip you can offer someone who is starting up a woodworking business?
“One of the best are the best tips I can offer someone looking to get into a woodworking business is just don’t turn down any jobs, take them all. You will learn so much. It’ll force you to put yourself in situations where you have to learn.”

Well, I hope you enjoyed learning more about Kyle. He provided some great insight into his work and even some business tips! I want to thank Kyle for taking the time to let us get to know him better and share more about his craft too.

Kyle is currently working on a staircase rail and spindles as well as another 100 beer tap handles for Refuge Brewery. So, check out his website and YouTube channel to keep up with what Kyle is working on and see some amazing work in action.