Having grown up in a large family in Ohio, Scott Laughery remembers the enjoyment of working alongside his grandfather and uncle who were masons by trade, but could build anything, whether it be a needed garage, gazebo, or other project. Joining the Navy 20 years ago, he started as a machinist’s mate, which he enjoyed, and then moved through a variety of jobs from refueling helicopters, tomahawk mission planning, intelligence specialist and others.
After doing tours in Washington, Ohio, and Japan, he arrived in Coronado three years ago. He’d found his passion for woodworking at the US Fleet Activities Base in Yokosuka, Japan when his wife Rebecca asked him to make cloud shelves for the nursery of their soon-to-be-born baby Rhys. Next she requested a small table for the nursery, which he made out of Japanese Keyaki wood. He feels fortunate that the base had a comprehensive workshop, with every tool imaginable, for him to create projects.
Soon, word got around and people started coming to him requesting going-away gifts, like coin racks, signs, paddles, and more. His boss even commissioned him to make an award for his “Secret Squirrels” intelligence sector. “I usually spent more than 35 hours a week of my free time doing wood projects in the workshop in Japan,” he recalls, during his seven year stint there.
“Working with my hands was always something I enjoyed, and woodworking brings me peace,” Laughery explains. Last March, he started his fledgling company Anchors and Sawdust Woodworking Studio here in Coronado. As he began projects, his family members were his first customers and then his Navy friends, and when several people posted on social media, he began getting more orders, including the black arched gate with a gold anchor with “Coronado Kai” on it pictured above. With the profits from his business, he is investing money back into the machinery, saws, and tools he needs to create a viable woodworking business after his Navy retirement next year.
He credits his various roles in the Navy with helping him creatively solve issues that arise. He loves the challenge of a new project and figuring out how to make a request come to life, like the recent life-size toe pincher coffin he built for a client to use as Halloween décor. The 20-sided dice he shaped came from playing the game Dungeons and Dragons, to help pass the spare time with his shipmates when they were on the ship for months at a time.
When asked about his preferred tool, he quickly replied, “scroll saw for its versatility.” His favorite wood is camphor, because it is a pretty, hard wood that smells great when sanded. He is busy getting inventory ready for his first booth at the annual Coronado Artisans Alley Craft Fair on December 2 at Village Elementary School. He will feature a variety of items for sale including anchors, ornaments, planters, and more handcrafted pieces.
He loves a challenge with intricate designs from which he always learns and keeps perfecting his passion. Laughery can be reached for special orders at [email protected]. Check out his artisan creations at Anchors and Sawdust Woodworking Studio on Instagram @Anchors_and_Sawdust and Facebook @Anchors & Sawdust Woodworking Studio.