The shop will open its doors for the first time on Friday, Feb. 12 from noon to 7 p.m. The grand opening will continue on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Saucon Valley native Phil Kochsmeier started Maple Street Woodworking out of a two-car garage in Cedarville, Ohio. Since its inception, the business has specialized in custom projects ranging from small wooden gifts to complete bedroom and kitchen sets.
Kochsmeier said he learned all of his woodcrafting skills on his own.
“My wife and I bought a house out in Ohio and had no money for furniture, so I bought a few tools from a pawn shop and picked lumber out of the barn and started making stuff,” Kochsmeier said.
The hobby quickly grew into a career for Kochsmeier, although he hasn’t lost his passion for woodworking.
“I’ve always enjoyed working with my hands, so it wasn’t that difficult to get into it,” he said. “There’s a level of satisfaction you just can’t find elsewhere.”
The Hellertown shop will be Maple Street Woodworking’s third physical location in addition to their Cedarville storefront and a workshop in Quakertown.
The Hellertown location is unique in that it is the only location that will sell hardwood lumber. The store will sell various woods such as birch, cherry, various varieties of maple, oak and walnut. Exotic woods will also be available, such as purple heart, lacewood, wenge, black limba, jatoba, padauk and sapele.
The shop will also carry General Finishes lines of paint, stain and topcoat products, as well as plywood and certain wooden craft items.
Kochsmeier hopes the shop will allow him to offer guidance to people who, like he was in Ohio, are just starting out in woodworking.
“Hey, I know tools are expensive. I know space, whether you have to rent it or sacrifice something is expensive, and then you can’t even make anything until you have lumber, and I know that’s expensive,” he said. “I’m trying to keep the price on the lower end, with quality stuff, so that people can get into it and bring back a trade that’s dying in my opinion.”
Kochsmeier is perhaps most excited about using the shop as an opportunity to connect with the local crafting community.
He plans on dedicating space in the shop as a consultation area that other renovators, contractors and craftsmen can use to speak with their own clients.
“If I can offer advice and help somebody achieve a good sale, or a better product, I’m all about it,” Kochsmeier said. “If every other wood maker that comes in the store is succeeding, by default I’m succeeding because of the lumber.”
Kochsmeier is also considering periodically hosting galleries, where local craftsmen can showcase their work to potential customers.
“It gives them an outlet to sell something, but also, and more importantly, work on gaining a client base,” Kochsmeier said.
Those interested in consulting with Maple Street Woodworking on a custom project are encouraged to stop by the shop following its opening. Kochsmeier can help with all aspects of a project, from selecting the right wood for a budget to measurements, crafting and installation.
Kochsmeier is already taking pre-orders ahead of this weekend’s grand opening. Pre-orders can be made by emailing the store at email@example.com or by calling 610-297-0286, or 610-730-7713.
This weekend’s grand opening will feature treats and raffles for those in attendance. Kochsmeier will also have more information about the store’s loyalty program.
There will also be some custom wooden pieces available for sale. Some of these items are already available online for browsing.
The Hellertown location’s regular hours will be 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays. Be sure to follow Maple Street Woodworking as well as the lumber store on Facebook to stay up to date on all future events and updates.