If you haven’t heard about Knotty Artisans, get ready, because you’re about to blow your next paycheck on some custom furniture.
Neil McCleery and his wife, Amanda, started Knotty Artisans two years ago. Neil does the woodworking and Amanda does pretty much everything else.
If you ask Neil what he can make he’ll say “anything.” On his Instagram you’ll find wood covered walls, sliding doors, headboards, all types of tables, dog beds and, of course, their most popular item—bed swings.
I know nothing about woodworking, furniture making or wood in general so Neil and Amanda were very patient with me as they explained how they do what they do. Here’s our conversation:
Me: How did you get into making furniture?
Neil: It just kind of happened. I come from a long line of creative people. My parents did glass blowing and lamp working. My dad could create anything and I’ve always had that talent and I just ran with it. I’m also a CrossFit coach and DJ on the side. Growing a business, you have to support it somehow.
Me: How long does it take to make a bed swing?
Neil: Usually about eight to ten days. We give customers about a four-week window once they order, depending on how busy we are.
Me: How does the bed swing ordering process work?
Neil: First we do a complementary consultation where we come and measure your space to see what size swing would be best. We have a crib size mattress, a twin and a full.
From there, you choose between pressure treated wood or cedar. (Cedar is softer so I prefer pressure treated.) Then, once it’s done, we deliver the swing to you and install it.
Me: How many people can you fit on a bed swing?
Neil: I stress-test every bed that I build up to 600lbs. I’m about 275lbs (on a good day) and I hang from each single rope that I hang by myself. It’s not going anywhere. I’ve had a family of four sit on one of my bed swings comfortably.
Me: What’s the oddest request you’ve ever received?
Neil: A queen sized bed with a pull-out dog bed underneath. It had lighting and everything.
Me: That’s my dream. Will you make me that bed for free?
Me: Fair. What’s the most expensive thing you’ve made for someone?
Neil: A 15-foot-long conference table with pop-ups for AV equipment. It was about $6,000.
Me: This may be a dumb question, but where do you get wood? Like do you go into the forest?
Neil: Some of it is barn wood, some of it is from local lumberjacks and saw mills. Everything is locally sourced. I have nothing against Home Depot, but for me I like to use wood that grew here, fell here and was cut here.
Me: Why don’t you guys have a bed swing?
Amanda: That’s a great question.
Since I know you are now adding up your family’s weights to see if you can all hang out on a bed swing, here’s Knotty Artisan’s pricing.
Their price includes consultation, delivery and installation.
Twin bed swing $1,500 or Full bed swing $1,800:
(Pricing also includes painting or staining, rope, a 5-inch foam mattress and a bamboo fitted sheet that helps keep it weather-proof.)
Side table $400-$800:
Dining room table $800-$3,000:
Whatever you call this thing $800-$1,000:
Sliding door $500-$1,200:
And yes, Neil knows that the name Knotty Artisans sounds like “naughty” and he wants you to get your mind out of the gutter.