Meet the Maker: Steve Schrecengost
Welcome! My goal is to inspire and de-mystify the process of making hand carved signs using a router. I started making signs in 2013 after seeing many great signs online and being impressed by the artwork that was brought to life by a few simple tools.
I have been married to the love of my life for over 30 years. We have 2 wonderful sons who are working toward PhDs in their respective fields. We could not be prouder of them. Central New York is home, where the winters are harsh and the summers short, but beautiful.
My love of wood working started in the winter of 2012 when I was looking for something to keep me from driving my wife crazy, after our youngest son went off to college. When my sons were in Boy Scouts, we attended Camp Sabbattis in the Adirondack mountains of New York. I saw carved camp signs used to direct scouts and identify locations. These are the same type of signs that are displayed in state and national parks. I became interested in them and began researching how they were made.
During one of my marathon, online, research sessions, I found a carver named Eric Rhoten who had an entire library of ‘how-to’ videos on YouTube. I watched all of them, acquired a few tools for the task and began carving. I will admit, my first signs ended up as firewood. But I continued to practice, recognize where I was making mistakes and before long I was making signs I was proud to call my own.
I quickly inundated friends and family with free signs. At this time, I realized I needed to find a way to make more signs without losing friends or getting uninvited to family gatherings, for fear I will bring more free signs. That is when I began advertising and selling my carvings. I was surprised how quickly orders arrived.
Since that time, I have worked on my skills, tested different techniques and met many great people. My goal for 2019 is to grow my business and determine if this can go beyond a side hustle and become my main source of income. Follow along on this journey and feel free to chime in with comments, questions or words of encouragement.