Old dairy farm transformed into workshop
Jonathon Dahl was used to working with his hands by the time he turned 10 years old. Raised in the Pacific Northwest, he grew up handcrafting doghouses, tree houses and even go-carts. These projects would later inspire him to open Jonathon Dahl Woodworks, through which he creates fully handcrafted custom wooden cabinetry and furniture for kitchens, bathrooms, offices and home theaters.
"When we would visit my grandfather in California, my brothers would be off doing whatever, but I would be in the garage working with my grandfather," Dahl said. "The work I do even today I learned from him."
After his family moved to Houston in 1988, this appreciation for woodwork led Dahl to study under industrial technology teacher Larry Carlton at Cypress-Fairbanks High School. While in high school, Dahl won several awards for his craft, along with the Stanley "Golden Hammer," by the time he graduated. During his junior and senior years of college, Dahl took on a project to renovate a coach bus while helping reconstruct a flood-damaged house. At that point, he decided he could make a career by working with his hands. After receiving his degree in business from Texas State University, Dahl's passion for carpentry continued to grow.
Dahl works and lives inside the former Matzke Dairy Farm, which sits at the end of a small side street off Grant Road. The house on the property where Dahl and his wife and two children live was built in 1919 and had remained vacant since 1960, he said. After renovating the entire home himself, Dahl was able to add modern-day amenities while holding on to the antique charm of the structure.
When he purchased the property and founded Jonathon Dahl Woodwork in 1996, Dahl was the only craftsman. He has since hired several additional employees, each certified master-craftsmen.
Dahl and his workers create original projects such as a recent table with legs hand-carved to look like scorpion tails. The client owned several scorpions and had Dahl install a black light in the table, causing his pets to glow. The growing company also constructed a state-of-the-art casing for a Houston man's shotgun, which was said to be a $100,000 weapon. One recent project included a client as far away as Rhode Island.
"Mostly we do residential [projects] like cabinetry and custom furniture," Dahl said. "I would like to take on more commercial work in the future. We are a small team, but as we expand we can take on more. I'm able to design and still work with my hands. I wear a lot of hats, but I couldn't imagine having a desk job."
Across from owner Jonathan Dahl's house, the workshop continues to expand. A larger workshop was recently constructed to allow the company to take on more projects.
"Before, we were working out of the old dairy barn, which we had converted into a work shop, but [our business] had outgrown it," Dahl said.
Jonathon Dahl Woodworks, 16949 Grant Road, Cypress, 281-638-8685, www.jonathondahl.com