HILDEN – Lindsay Kernighan is too stubborn to leave a project uncompleted.
The above gazebo was built by Hilden resident Lindsay Kernighan. It’s one of several hundred items he’s made with wood, many of which have been passed on as gifts to others. Submitted photo
The 67-year-old Hilden resident has spent the last 20 years on woodworking projects, completing “700 or 800 pieces” including trucks, lighthouses, windmills, dart boards, night stands, wishing wells and many more.
“I started with a little shelf with a horse on it for my wife Margie,” Kernighan shared with the Truro Daily News. “One of my friends had made something and I thought, ‘I have to try it.’”
Despite some challenges he has faced along the way, Kernighan has never let them get the best of him.
“I’m contrary. I won’t give up … I like a challenge and I want to prove I can do it.”
Kernighan, who spent many years employed in the woods, at a mill and a variety of other jobs, has the ability to create pine replicas just by looking at the original design or a visual reproduction.
His most recent creation is a freightliner truck, which is more than 30 inches in length and took more than 100 hours to finish.
“A lot of it didn’t have measurements so I just visualized it but I did it too big so I had to start over,” he said, adding the challenge lies in the extreme life-like details.
Kernighan said there are many reasons he enjoys the hobby, most of all because of the satisfaction of knowing others admire the finished product.
“When people praise it, that feels good,” he said, adding that while most of his creations are sold, some are kept as prized possessions for family and friends.
“It gives me something to do and keeps me young at heart … . I’ve learned I can do just about anything I put my mind to.”
There’s also the satisfaction of making something by hand from scratch, which is a more “traditional” hobby. He said there’s something special about working with one’s hands and fine-motor skills and it makes him think of how important it is to have programs such as industrial arts in schools.
As far as his own woodwork, Kernighan will continue to make items “until my hands won’t let me.” He said there is one thing he has yet to accomplish – new cupboards – if his wife lets him, he chuckled.