Who we are
Deer Valley Woodworks is a family-owned business that specializes in high quality furniture made from barnwood and other reclaimed materials, often combined with industrial elements for truly unique and beautiful furniture.
Our barnwood is salvaged from barns that have peppered the landscape of the Midwest for the past 150 years or more. These iconic structures have aged on the prairies and farmlands for decades and have reached the end of their barn life. They have become unstable and sadly pose a danger to their owners. We take down these failing structures, but instead of adding to the landfills, we painfully deconstruct them one nail and one board at a time. It’s a labor intense process that demands exceptional care to preserve the rare characteristics embedded in this timeless material that was originally milled by settlers from trees that stood many generations before us. Repurposing this early Americana material into high quality furniture and cabinetry to beautify our homes and workplaces is a labor of love, and we definitely LOVE what we do!
Contact us today to learn more about how we can help share our passion of the craft on your project!
That’s me welding up a steel frame for a cabinet front. I love getting away from the stresses of the office and building at the workbench. I’ve been in this business for about 30 years and I still love it. I learned most of what I know the hard way, which meant enduring a lot of painful mistakes before learning the right way. But I’ve also had a few key influencers along the way. My Dad isn’t from the trades, but he taught me respect, character, and integrity. Countless life lessons came from Dad and I inherited his exhausting work ethics!
I owe a lot of credit to two other influencers. My father-in-law, Jerry introduced me to the trades and taught me a lot from installing vinyl siding, to painting and wood finishing. Recently, my oldest son, Gage, was a huge influence! He became a welder just out of high school, and eventually convinced me to trade sawdust for the arc. I was immediately hooked! Had it not been for Gage’s persistence in talking me into buying a welder, then Deer Valley simply wouldn’t exist. Before starting DVW, I held various leadership roles with larger companies and got to work with some amazing people, which held some of my career highlights. But at DVW, I have the greatest privilege a father could ask for and that’s working with both of my sons. We truly learn from each other every day and it just doesn’t get any better than that. Not many fathers have that opportunity and it’s the highlight of my career!
The greatest part of what we do at DVW is the gratification we feel when a customer LOVES their final product. Furniture handmade, has a lot of craftsmanship’s pride that goes into every last detail. When a customer truly appreciates our efforts and is blown away with their new furniture, that’s what makes this the greatest job in the world. One of my priorities for our young business is ensuring that our customers AND employees know how much their effort and support is appreciated by my family every single day. Without them, this dream would not be possible. I am forever grateful.
Gage is Gary’s oldest son and was the first metalworker when we began fabricating from our garage shop. He helped design and make many of our early pieces that became some of our most popular items sold. Gage made our first Philip U-shape desk, which has become one of our most popular desks.
Gage is still a great welder and misses the arc, but he’s now an Engineer in the medical industry and no longer active in the business. Occasionally he helps his dad troubleshoot shop equipment and our CAD modeling software. He was also eager to teach his dad how to use the new TIG welder! We miss Gage in the shop!
Mike T was our first non-family, full-time employee. Mike works primarily in our milling department making desktops and countertops. He’s become an expert nail puller and has discovered some cool finds when running our barnboards through the metal detectors. We’ve grown a large collection of shotgun pellets, bullets, and even a .50 caliber bullet with full metal jacket.
Mike does a lot for DVW and we’d be lost without him. When he’s not busy loading the clamp rack with new tops, Mike can be found in his home shop teaching his young grandson the finer skills of woodworking. His leisure time is consumed with brewing wine, syrup, and soap, along with wine tasting road trips with his wife.
Nathan is Gary’s youngest son and he has been helping his dad in the shop since he was about 10 years old. He interned through Crown Point High School, and joined full time after his school career. He ran our finishing department for the majority of his first year and today he’s one of our main fabricators. His current role is in wood fabrication, but he’s also the only other welder in the shop aside from Jake.
Nathan builds a lot of our desks, like the popular Stacy desk. He’s also done all the woodwork on some of our more custom pieces like the Bryant hutch and Christy credenza. Nathan has become a key contributor on our team and he has a very promising future at DVW. He’s most excited to learn the ins & outs of our new CNC Plasma machine.
Dyanna joined the DVW family as the social media manager and has been responsible for all of our social media. Dyanna also oversees all of the website content and our other online platforms. In late 2022, we had over 125 products on each site, which is a total of almost 500 listings! She handles all of those listing descriptions and photo publications.
Dyanna does a lot for Deer Valley Woodworks and we are beyond grateful for her! She’s also a huge animal lover, which means that she can’t turn down a pet in need so she has a houseful of animals. If you visit her, the one to watch out for is Duke, she claims that he’s innocently playful, but he’s big enough to take down a grizzly bear.
Mike P has been in the industry most of his long career, almost forty years. At DVW, Mike is at the bench everyday building our most popular items like our Stacy & Philip corner desks and our walnut executive desks. He is a talented craftsman and wears several hats at DVW. Mike holds the record for our most viewed Instagram reel; he proclaims his popularity is all to do with his hair and good looks.
Mike is a critical member of the team and a lead fabricator. He is truly fun to work with and his jokes makes the day go by quicker. He teaches the craft to our newcomers and does all of the equipment training for new hires. Mike’s favorite way to chill out after a long week are camping trips with his wife.
Matt is our lead finisher and responsible for the finishing of every product we produce. It’s a meticulous, and time consuming process, and it’s also one of the most stressful roles in shop. Many times throughout the week, a cart of material is rolled into Matt and he’s asked if he can get it done before lunch so the fabricator can complete the assembly. Some guys would roll their eyes and complain, but Matt just smiles and gets it done.
Matt is used to the stress as he previously ran his own finishing shop. Bringing Matt’s experience into the DVW shop has had a big impact on shop productivity and turn-around times. We are really excited to have Matt on our team! When he isn’t working, he spends his time with his wife and being a great dad to his four kids.
Dave came to DVW when we were creating a new position in our shipping department. His original role was building crates, Dave’s primary job now has moved into the milling department where he processes barnwood into usable material. Dave builds a lot of the privacy panels on our desks and the finished ends on our vanities.
Dave also does the panels and X braces for our sliding barn doors. He has is willing to help in any department with any task. When Dave isn’t working he enjoys relaxing and spending time with his girlfriend and when the weather is nice loves to go fishing. Again, we won’t reveal which he of those two he favors the most!
Carlton joined DVW to work in our milling department, helping create usable material from barnwood and building tops. He’s learning the techniques needed to make smooth flat tops, which is not always an easy job given the unsuitable condition of most barn boards.
Carlton started exploring woodworking with his dad and has been in the industry for a few years. One day he hopes to build a custom guitar. In his spare time Carlton enjoys relaxing and watching movies.
We are thrilled to welcome Mike Kozinski to our team as our new Shop Manager. Mike has over 40 years of experience in the woodworking and cabinetry industry. He’s worked on small residential jobs and large-scale architectural millwork projects, Mike has run small cabinet shops and large production shops.
Mike and Gary have known each other for about ten years, working together about half that time. Mike knows how to manage production and get the work done to meet deadlines, often making miracles happen. Mike is a hands-on manager and will be contributing to some of our fabrication needs as a working manager. We are super fortunate to have Mike’s leadership for our growing team and valued customers.
Mike enjoys woodworking, but his real passion is riding his Harley with his wife and escaping to the lake for some serious Lake Michigan fishing.
Tim has been working for his dad’s plumbing company part time while completing high school. Tim was helping his dad run airlines in our new facility and he was intrigued with the products we make and how we make them. Tim asked for a job and he was immediately hired. We love having Tim as part of the team. He’s learning a lot in our shop and does everything with a smile. He helps with a lot of shop tasks and has been spending a lot of time with Matt in our finishing department preparing desk and vanity tops.
Tim has a knack for creating things from some of our scraps, like the wood sign he built and hung in the shop. After work Tim loves spending time outdoors and tinkering in his garage shop creating knife handles and other projects out of wood.
Brian joined the DVW team as a metal fabricator and works in the metal shop building desk frames, table legs, and our many other metal components. He hit the ground running starting on the X legs for our Adele farmhouse table. Brian has been a welder for many years and settled into his role at Deer Valley quickly.
Even when he isn’t working, you can find Brian welding at home on different projects. He also has a love of collectables, he is always on the hunt for old signs and clocks.
AJ works in our milling department and is learning the art of building desktops and countertops at Deer Valley Woodworks. Working with barnwood is not always a simple task as it has a lot of special needs in repurposing that old wood into suitable material for new uses. AJ is on it and we are excited to see him find his groove as he settles into such a vital role with the our team in the coming months.
AJ loves music and during his off time enjoys playing his Cello, writing music and teaching others the art of music. He also loves exploring the outdoors, hiking and fishing.
Royce and Gary met through a chance encounter on Facebook Marketplace. Royce was impressed with the products at DVW and convinced Gary that he needed better product images. Boy, he was right!
Royce has over 35 years of professional photography experience and owns his own business in Crown Point. He promised that he could capture the “awesomeness” of our products through photography. Royce blew us away with his talent and craftsmanship as a photographer. His photos are the best! Somehow he’s managed to capture the effort, determination, and passion that our team puts into each of our builds. Royce is a true professional that hits perfection with every image. We’re grateful to have Royce Photography as part of our team!