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ABOUT US

Tom and Kathi Young established T & K Young in 1975.

Since its inception, T & K Young has produced a large variety of quality functional products in hardwoods. These include items for home and office, as well as architectural woodworking projects both for private and public buildings.

The sound chambers for the electronic organ in Divine Providence Church in Westchester, IL built and installed in 1986 by T & K Young required 360 linear feet of walnut just to make the face frames for the cabinets. This is an example of the many permanent installations built and installed under the direction of Tom Young by T & K Young in both public buildings and private residences.

Tom Young designed timepieces and other functional wood products made by T & K Young that were sold at retail craft shows in the Midwest and East as far as Cape Cod from the summer of 1975 until the close of the July 1998 Ann Arbor Summer Art Fair. This marked the end of 23 years of participation in retail shows.

In February of 1988 Tom and Kathi Young made a move to the wholesale marketplace by displaying T & K Young clocks, hourglasses and weather stations at the Buyers' Market of American Crafts. The quality of the products offered was well received by many of the finest American Craft Galleries and gift stores across the United States.

For the next 16 years the T & K Young customer list grew to include not only Fine American Craft Galleries and gift stores, but clock and jewelry stores, catalogs, and corporate accounts as well as private collectors around the world.

Most recently Tom Young made a replica hourglass using an illustration of a 16th century glass found off the coast of Canada. This replica is part of the Whaling Exhibit at the Basque Museum & Cultural Center in Boise, Idaho. The Whaling Exhibit opened to public on July 27, 2007.

Tom made his first wood project as a junior in high school in 1963. This was after moving during the second semester when he found himself in a woodshop class rather than general shop. It has just evolved from there.

T & K Young was started when Tom Young was laid off from a production machine shop job in 1975. In July of 1984, Tom Young began to devote all of his time to the business. Also included in Tom’s life’s experience are 5 ½ years of working in the credit reporting and consumer finance industries as well as more than 11 years of employment in the production area of a large manufacturing company. He has shared his commitment to continuing education by presenting small business workshops since 1992.

Kathi has provided support from the start when not occupied as a full time nurse, returning to school and earning 2 different degrees and today in her position as the healthcare administrator for a continuing care retirement home. About the only job at T & K Young that Kathi has not done at least once has been to operate the saws. She says that she has to leave something for Tom and Jonathan to do.

Their son Jonathan started working in the family business as soon as he could walk. The only job that Jon has not done is to sign the checks. He was our webmaster when we launched tkyoung.com only 4 hours before he boarded a plane to Europe in May of 2000 after graduating from NIU. Yes, our new website tkyoung.com worked flawlessly during the 4 weeks that he was away. He occasionally helps in the shop as time permits.

Today Tom specializes in the design and the production of handmade hardwood cases for hourglasses.

He makes all hourglass cases to order by hand using solid hardwoods such as walnut, cherry, maple as well as padauk that he hand picks at small sawmills in Illinois and Pennsylvania. The end-caps are cut from the same picece in order to insure the best possible color and grain. Each hardwood component is finished with clear sealers and then polished by hand to bring out the natural beauty of the wood.