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'It turned out pretty good.' Local 11-year-old turns to woodworking for pandemic hobby, builds table for his grandma

Posted at 1:33 PM, Jan 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-19 13:37:14-05

MILFORD (WXYZ)  — As many of us continue to acquire new skills during the pandemic to help pass the time, one local 11-year-old has discovered he has quite the talent for woodworking.

Inspired by a request from his grandmother for a side table, Nathan McConnell of Milford went to work.

"I decided to try to put one together and it turned out pretty good," said Nathan, who did all of the building himself — from breaking apart an old pallet to the cutting and the nailing.

Nathan's mother, Melissa, said one day last week Nathan mentioned he was bored after finishing all of his schoolwork. She said she asked him what he wanted to do and he told her he wanted to make a table. So, the family took him to the hardware store a few times that day, and after that, he was on his own.

"Before I knew it, I went out there and he had a table built," said Melissa, who said it took him just a few hours to build it after he had all of the materials. "Every time I look at it, I’m in shock that he made it."

Nathan said he received his first drill when he was 5 years old and has always watched his father building things and working with his hands growing up.

"He’s pretty handy, we’re always building things, fixing things — this was really all him, he figured out what he wanted to make . . . he pretty much stayed out there and did it himself," said Melissa.

She said she was most impressed with the drawer he was able to make out of scrap wood.

"I was blown away, he literally made it from scrap pieces of wood," she said. "I didn’t even know you could make a drawer like that."

Nathan's grandma was equally impressed with the creation.

"She was crying, I think, because she was surprised there was a drawer," said Nathan about his grandmother's reaction after he revealed what he built for her.

Melissa shared a photo of Nathan's side table on a Milford community Facebook page, and it has been getting a lot of reaction from the community with a few requests for more builds from the 11-year-old.

"My garage is a mess, but hey, it’s worth it," joked Melissa. She said a friend has offered Nathan some workshop space nearby.

For his next projects, Nathan said he's working on a coffee table and eventually wants to build a shed for their farm where he can store his woodworking supplies and builds.

"It’s fun to use different tools," said Nathan. "It’s kind of like LEGOs, you just got to put it together."