If it’s wood, he can build it. Carl Schaffer knows his trade like nobody’s business. He opened Dune Woodworking of Westhampton Beach in 2010 after working with his father, a cabinet maker, for 10 years.
“Clients always have their own vision for what they want,” Schaffer said. “Often times they’ll bring me photographs or magazine clippings, but it may not always suit their space appropriately, so we work together to tweak it.”
Schaffer loves building things from the ground up and describes his work as a big puzzle. First, the craftsman has to build all the intricate pieces, give it all the finishing touches, then assemble everything where it belongs – fitting it all together.
“The plumbing and framing is all hidden behind the sheetrock, but it’s the things I build that you really see and appreciate,” he said.
Things like a unique, 12-foot mahogany table with round legs he recently made for a client’s office.
“You can’t find this table in any furniture store or showroom,” Schaffer said, adding that he appreciates it most when clients consider his furniture a piece of art.
Schaffer has always loved to build. As a teenager, he was so interested in his father’s work that he was willing to pay his dues by working as a gofer for his father. As he grew more confident by watching inside the shop, his dad allowed him to pick up a saw and cut wood at specified measurements.
“That was probably the first tool I got my hands around,” Schaffer said.
His talents and skills took off from there and it wasn’t long before he started doing installations for customers. Today, he stocks Dune Woodworking with mahogany, oak and pine woods made for modern, traditional and farm style homes. He can handcraft kitchens, bathroom vanities, shelving, furniture and creative storage solutions and can’t wait to get started on his winter projects, which include building two kitchens for Long Island homes.
As much as he loves his work, Schaffer has remained a family man and that’s perhaps the most lasting impact his retired father has had on him.
“[He told me to] leave work at work,” Schaffer, a husband and father of three, said. “I remember to never take work home to Quogue with me.”