Archive for the ‘_Interviewee: Max Woody’ Category

On a typical day, hundreds of cars whizz past Woody’s Chair Shop, located  a few steps away from Highway 70 West just outside of Marion.  The building appears nondescript, and it is understandable why many speed right on by.WoodysChairShop  For decades however, seekers of old-fashioned handmade chairs- as well as seekers of a warm welcome and a ready batch of stories- have sought refuge in Max Woody’s shop, and they have received it.

Max’s father passed away when Max was young, but his grandfather Martin Woody taught him the family trade of handcrafting custom-made ladderback chairs.  He’s been at it for nearly 60 years, now with two sons following in his footsteps.

Max Woody knows his way around a fiddle as well as a lathe.

Max Woody knows his way around a fiddle as well as a lathe.

In addition to having received orders for chairs from all over the country (and beyond) and currently with a 3-5 year waiting list, Max Woody has another claim to fame.  It was right here in his shop that the Friday night pickin’ parties that grew into the tradition known as Old Fort Mountain Music began.  (You can watch our feature about Old Fort Mountain Music here.)

So sit back and enjoy this visit to Woody’s Chair Shop. Max tells us how his craft has been handed down through the family, plus he takes us into the workshop,  where he still works on machines that he proudly declares “obsolete”:

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