Markum makes wooden toys for children of all ages
Mike Markum's Harrison, Tennessee workshop runs like a well-oiled machine. This retired teacher turned toy-maker has thousands of patterns ready to recreate. Trains, trucks, airplanes, car haulers and tankers fill these shelves, fashioned from downed trees Markum finds around town. "They are all made out of hardwood from Chattanooga."
On the planer today, a piece of walnut. Over the past three years-- Markum has streamlined his process. He says his interest in wood began after a tragedy. "I really jumped into it in high school when my father died and a good friend of his took me in." That mentor taught Markum his now cherished craft. And through hours spent perfecting this process, he makes thousands of toys a year, saving some for the smallest clients. "I see people come in, little kids with nickles and dimes and say what can I buy with this," Markum says.
To see how Markum makes his wooden toys, click on the video above.