Andy Faris is a man of few words. Which suits him just fine — his woodworking mastery and craftsmanship speak volumes.
In the spring, one of his creations — a 94-inch by 40-inch oak cutout of the state complete with the City of Frankfort and logo — was installed behind the front reception desk at City Hall. In fact, the 53-year-old, who has worked in the maintenance department for the city for the last 20 years and currently serves as building maintenance foreman, hung the piece himself with a couple hands of help from a few Frankfort firefighters next door.
“It’s special,” he said glancing up at the showpiece that he first visualized before turning it into reality. “The lettering just kinda came to me.”
Faris constructed the sign using lumber he reclaimed from a 100-year-old Franklin County barn. The oak grove poplar he used for the lettering came from a building Joe and John Dunn tore down on St. Clair Street — so there are plenty of local connections to the piece as well.
He sticks with wood and has all the common woodworking saws — stroke, table and band. Farris said he uses glue to adhere the parts of his projects. It’s a hobby he has quietly honed in his home workshop.
“I have always liked to tear stuff up and try to put it back together to see how it works,” he said of growing up in Frankfort.
A 1985 Western Hills High School graduate, Faris took up woodworking about two dozen years ago and, with the exception of the home he and wife Cynthia built over a five-year time span while also holding down full-time jobs, is usually busy with smaller projects — toys, semi-tractor trailers and trucks. He also has a special affection and knack for crafting construction vehicles — backhoes, dump trucks and dozers.
“Nothing of that scale,” he nodded toward the City Hall sign.
Faris couldn’t speculate on how long it took him to create the masterpiece.
“I don’t usually keep track of the time it takes,” he said. “I do it as a hobby.”