MiVT: Far Beyond Woodworking

WEST DOVER, Vt. (WCAX) From West Dover to Wilmington, one man's wood products are a prime example of custom construction -- his unique pieces are Made in Vermont.

Once Mark Sprague got married, he and his wife started looking for items to fill their home. Sprague was not impressed. "I wasn't gonna spend money for junk," he said. "You've got to have that imagination. You've got to see where you can use that piece."

Sprague decided to make the products himself. That evolved into Far Beyond Woodworking. He's been at it for 20 years. "I look back at some of my early pieces and I say how did I ever sell that, but just practice and patience in and every project you try to get better at," he said.

Sprague tries to challenge himself with each and every project. He uses burls that Vermont loggers can't use and turns them into furniture. "Just the grain of the wood is just so unique that it really brings it out. It's very hard to work, but well worth the effort," Sprague said.

A table like this costs about $2,000, but he's also made $10 items. It'll take about 30 hours to make this table. Half of that time is spent sanding. "Dust is my world," Sprague said.

Far Beyond Woodworking is located in downtown Wilmington, about 15 minutes away from Sprague's shop in West Dover. It's open on the weekends and by appointment only during the week. "It's my entire world. I mean, I love what I do and I have to have a place to display it," Sprague said.

Custom pieces are his specialty. "This is the old tap hole and the streak is called sap streak. It's actually scar tissue caused from that wound from the tap." Sprague said. "It has to be part of me and every piece I feel is part of me. That's the satisfying part -- when you can take a piece into somebody's home and have their face light up because it's exactly what's needed to be there."

Far Beyond Woodworking is a solid example of what happens when one man decides to take furniture making into his own hands.