Face Time: Kayte Rackliffe — Making Wood Products to Meet Her Needs


WILTON – Katye Rackliffe enjoys making custom wood furniture and other items, especially when she finds wood she can reuse.

Kayte Rackliffe, left, and her friend Lynne Buchiet, both from Wilton, took a couple of carpentry lessons as part of an adult education program before moving into furniture making and other items for themselves. Photo submitted

It all started with the need for a box to put firewood. She and a friend, Lynne Buchiet, a seamstress, also from Wilton, took a couple of adult carpentry classes at the Mt. Blue campus. From there, it led to the construction of furniture and other wooden objects for themselves.

Kayte, 33, a cosmetologist and owner of Snipper’s Salon, shares her skills with her son, Landon, 12, and plans to teach her daughter, Liliana, 10, how to do woodworking. Landon already has the knowledge of using tools. The first project he wants to do is a custom-made shelf for his bedroom.

Kayte attended Jay’s school until sixth grade, then went to Regional School Unit 9 in the Farmington area and graduated from Mt. Blue High School in 2006. Her children attend also district schools.

When Kayte needs a piece of furniture, she goes to the workshop to make it.

Kayte Rackliffe and her friend Lynne Buchiet each used half a piece of wood to make live edge coffee tables. Photo submitted

How did you get interested in woodworking? A friend and I decided to take an adult education course. We both needed wood boxes to put our firewood in.

Do you have a natural ability or is your skill learned? I’ve always loved tinkering/creating things, but I’ve also learned a lot! During the course we learned how to use the different saws and had someone to ask questions. We took the course a few times and then branched off on our own after accumulating our own tools.

What do you like best about making a piece of furniture or an object? That’s the custom. You can make the exact size you need. And it’s great quality!

Do you make the items yourself or involve someone else? Alone and sometimes a friend and I make similar pieces. We made a live edge coffee table and we each used half of the same piece of wood. We made butcher block cutting boards. I also made small and large shelves and picture frames.

Is there a particular wood you like to work with? Not particularly. I love when I can reuse wood. I like working with pine.

What are some of your favorite projects? My shelves, wooden box and live edge coffee.

What is the most difficult project you have done? A live edge coffee table gave me the most problems. I also made a large pine shelf which was heavy.

Where do you come from with your designs? Usually when I need or want something for the house, I do. I could look online for different ideas.

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