Woodworking, businesses bind family | Community Alert | herald-zeitung.com

2022-03-12 06:00:38 By : Ms. Sharon Liu

Mainly sunny. High 59F. Winds E at 5 to 10 mph..

A mostly clear sky. Low 31F. Winds SSW at 5 to 10 mph.

Jalyn McKinney paints a woodworking project for her dad at their home.

Jadyn McKinney helps her dad Anthony assemble a stand for his miter saw outside their home.

Jalyn McKinney paints a woodworking project for her dad at their home.

Anthony McKinney was still on deployment in Afghanistan when he first began thinking about starting his own woodworking business, at the suggestion of his wife, Katii. After all, he had 14 years of experience as a Navy Seabee, working in land based construction.

When he returned to the States in 2020, the 1st Class petty officer began purchasing woodworking tools. The first piece he made was an end table. He then began producing children’s picnic tables, benches, glider swings and mobile bars. He uses red cedar, pine, purpleheart mahogany, or any other type of wood that he can acquire.

“We use the boxed woods for some pieces, but we use the exotic woods for the coasters that we make,” he explained.

The key to woodworking was paying attention to detail, McKinney said. He pays attention to placement of screws when building the children’s picnic tables so that the screws are hidden. The tables are built to last.

“My vision was that these pieces can be handed down from one generation to the next,” McKinney explained.

He also wanted to pass down his woodworking skills from one generation to the next. When he first began purchasing woodworking equipment, his 16-year-old daughters, Jalyn and Jadyn, identical twins, were curious. He began teaching them how to use the equipment.

Jadyn McKinney helps her dad Anthony assemble a stand for his miter saw outside their home.

“I was interested in woodworking because working with my dad is fun,” Jadyn said. “I like working with the plans and seeing them become reality. Woodworking has made me interested in architecture because it opened the doors for me to see how things are built, and it inspired me to want to be able to design them as well.”

Jalyn also enjoyed learning the skills as a family.

“I like woodworking because it allows me to spend quality time with my dad because he has been deployed or on assignments for the Navy a lot,” she said. “I like seeing one piece of wood turn into anything we can imagine it to be.”

The McKinney’s son Nicolas, age 23, joins in on projects when he can.

The whole family’s entrepreneurial spirit was evident at the recent New Braunfels Home and Garden Show where, in addition to wooden tables and products, Katii offered uniquely scented soaps, such as Mojito Mint, and Jalyn and Jadyn sported t-shirts from their clothing line, Zwei Twinz.

“We chose the name because zwei means two in German and of course, we are twins. We wanted to tie in where we grew up along with who we are,” they explained.

They started the line because they wanted clothes of their own with positive sayings or meanings behind the design. Their slogan “Be identically different” was a way to differentiate themselves from each other.

Anthony is currently working on a new project — serving trays with a live edge and resin.

A gallery of the different pieces can be found online at www.distinctivewoodworkz.com.

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