Woodworking is a labor of love, and Doyle Miller certainly loves his craft. His donated wood “art” shows not only his generosity, but his formidable woodworking skills.
Doyle grew up in Walnut Creek in Holmes County and credits his early interest in woodworking to his teachers at tiny Walnut Creek High School. His first lessons were in his 7th and 8th grade Industrial Arts Classes.
After high school, he worked for 44 years at Troyer’s Trail Bologna in Trail and later at Der Dutchman Restaurant in Walnut Creek, finally retiring in 2009. Prior to retirement, he spent his spare time making wood furniture for his wife Elaine. Over the years, he crafted cherry end tables, table and floor lamps, bookcases and hall trees.
Now retired, Doyle has had more time to play with more unique, creative (and difficult) woodworking skills. To get ideas, he reads woodworking magazines, goes to wood shows and subscribes to e-magazines of master wood worker, Steve Good. His daughter, Pastor Darcy Miller has been known to suggest projects for Doyle.
For 2017, Doyle has donated a series of beautiful wooden toys and vases, including several planes and model T cars. He finishes all his creations himself, and is particularly careful to use chemical-free finishes for his toys. He tells us that he “cooked his own finish on his wife’s stove, using beeswax and food-grade mineral oil. It gives the wood butter-soft finish that is safe for children.” And while the homemade finish is fine for wood, “it made a sticky mess in the pan.” His wife, Elaine, ended up cleaning the pan, but she smiles as Doyle laughingly describes it. She doesn’t seem to mind.
As of July 4, detailed photos of Doyle’s donations are not yet available for preview. Please check back soon to see what Doyle has created for this year’s Relief Sale! Wood & Tool Auction Donations