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story.lead_photo.caption This is Gary Clayton and Bruce Legrow's woodworking shed, full and organized. It really is, however, more of a "build-a-bear" store for adults. Photo by Neil Abeles / Texarkana Gazette.

Gary Clayton and Bruce Legrow are furniture-making friends. They go into their workshop five to six mornings of the week and come out with something distinctive as woodworks.

"That's the beauty of it," Gary said. "We have an idea, but then we talk about it all the way through."

Gallery: Hands on: Friends join forces to create a variety of woodworking projects

Whatever they are building will take them about three times as long as a professional furniture maker might take. But when you've grown the tree, cut it down and loaded the sections by hand, stacked, dried and sanded the planks properly and then saved all the wasted trim pieces, it is time to have fun putting something together.

It may be a cribbage game table or bed set made of cypress.

There's no telling.

They've recently made numerous chess and checker boards, lap boards, variety of tables. The two hardly know themselves. Their production line gets slowed and stopped quite often.

It's all about the fun of having a lot of workshop space, tools, a variety of trees, time and a good friend. Isn't that what a workshop is all about?

A fertile imagination helps. And then a workshop that's organized.

"When we first got started, Bruce wanted the workshop we were putting together to not let anything touch the floor. So we hung the shelves and now keep everything in boxes and sections," Gary said.

For example, recently Bruce and Clayton were working on a bed frame setting of oak. It will have drawers underneath its sides and was turning out to be so heavy one could hardly move it. So they've decided to build the frame and headboards in pieces, color coded sections that can be taken apart, carried off and reassembled.

Their result will be anything but the polished look of a manufactured bed set. Pretty, but most everything they make will be different in some way.

"I think we want to build an object that looks like it was done by a craftsman even though we know we aren't," Gary said.

"Time's not a factor," Bruce said.

The first object they ever built was a sliding door for the workshop. Bruce liked to talk about the variety of wood in the door. Gary said he was most proud of the hinges they'd put together from cast-off pieces of metal they'd found around, including the door handle.

The two make a good pair. Bruce is from Canada who came to Linden in 1982 as a doctor. Gary is a Queen City High graduate and recently retired chief probation officer for the county.

"We'll try anything," the two said.

Who knew Texas and Canada had so much in common?

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