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Peterborough woodworker creates intricate birdhouses

  • Jim "Sarge" Thibodeau of Peterborough focuses his woodworking business on making homes for the birds seen here and below. Staff photoS by Ashley Saari

  • Jim "Sarge" Thibodeau of Peterborough focuses his woodworking business on making homes for the birds. (Ashley Saari / Monadnock Ledger-Transcript) Staff photo by Ashley Saari—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

  • Jim "Sarge" Thibodeau of Peterborough focuses his woodworking business on making homes for the birds. (Ashley Saari / Monadnock Ledger-Transcript) Staff photo by Ashley Saari—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

  • Jim "Sarge" Thibodeau of Peterborough focuses his woodworking business on making homes for the birds. (Ashley Saari / Monadnock Ledger-Transcript) Staff photo by Ashley Saari—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

  • Jim "Sarge" Thibodeau of Peterborough focuses his woodworking business on making homes for the birds. Staff photo by Ashley Saarit



Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Tuesday, February 28, 2017

How many houses can you fit into a garage?

Turns out, a lot, if you make them for the birds.

Right at the entrance of The Knot Hole Woodcrafts shop — which is only loosely termed so — is a pile of neat, wooden birdhouses. The type that you might see in any woodshop class. But lift your eyes just a few feet, and that’s where you see Jim Thibodeau’s real masterpieces.

There’s swooping shapes inspired by Harry Potter. White Meeting Houses reminiscent of every New England post card ever made. Rustic cabins complete with an ax embedded into the stump. Even tiny birdhouse ornaments. 

“I don’t get too fancy. I don’t have the patience,” said Thibodeau, unironically, despite standing in his shop, surrounded by feeders and birdhouses, that by anyone’s description, are plenty detailed.

“Birds don’t have a preference,” admits Thibodeau. “But if they’re going to be near your house, people like them to be kind of decorative.”

Thibodeau, whom is universally known as “Sarge,” began woodworking as a hobby after retiring in 1986. He didn’t set out to become a master crafter of bird mansions. But one customer — Thibodeau recalls her as a “feisty lady” asked for a bluebird house. And then a few more. And then she had some friends. 

“I started making twelve or twenty-four at a time, and they were going like hotcakes,” said Thibodeau.

And, well, if it’s not broken, right?

Now, Thibodeau sells several hundred of his creations a year from his small shop, with is just a side room off his garage, and gifts several more to local schools and organizations. Thibodeau takes a very Yankee view of his hours of operation — “sunup to sundown” — and while you can view his creations on the Knot Hole Woodcrafts Facebook page, the only way to buy one is to make a visit. 

The Knot Hole Woodcrafts is located at 315 Wilton Road in Peterborough. For more information, find them on Facebook or call 924-9078.

 

Ashley Saari can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 244 or asaari@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on Twitter @AshleySaariMLT.