Twin brothers Bob and Ken Snyder have been passionate about woodworking throughout their entire lives. Beginning the craft at a young age, the Snyder’s particularly enjoy the creative process in turning lumber into toys, furniture, crafts, and other products they make to sell, give away, or keep for the enjoyment of themselves and their families. With their expertise in crafting a wide variety of toys including trains, 3D puzzles, and space crafts, it is fitting that the New Jersey natives converted an outdoor playground structure to house the Timbery M100 portable band sawmill they use to mill their own lumber for their woodworking projects. Likening the playground set up to a different kind of man cave, Bob says, “It’s like an outdoors man compound, friends come over to watch us saw logs and they end up enjoying our mill as much as we do!”
Bob and Ken began working with wood more than 40 years ago, responding to the influences of their father, Richard. “Dad always said that hard work is the best thing for you,” Bob says. “We were selling light bulbs at seven [years old] and using our dad’s basement workshop to make toys to sell when we were twelve.” According to Bob, their grandfather Earle also had a formative influence on the two men’s lives. Earle was a toy maker himself so many of the toys the boys made were based on patterns their grandfather had developed and much of what the boys learned about crafting wood and designing new wood products came under Earle’s mentorship. As the two learned more they began to expand their efforts, developing their own designs and making more elaborate toys.