Manufacturers today produce products at high speeds in mass amounts, fueled by high-tech automation and – in some cases – AI. But Plymouth woodworking artisan Greg Iaquinto’s work isn’t about being quick and prolific. He prefers taking his time, meticulously creating one-of-a-kind objects from reclaimed woods. Over the last five years at his one-person business, Sawed Woodworks, Iaquinto has fashioned everything from cutting and charcuterie boards to custom tables, furniture, signs, and built-ins for clients’ homes. 

He and his clients consider these objects more than utensils or furniture. When sanded and adorned with lacquers and colorful epoxy resins, Iaquinto says, some woods “are so beautiful that more and more people are using them as wall-mounted art.”

On a recent day outside his Chiltonville home, Iaquinto pointed to a piece cut from a centuries-old reclaimed oak beam. It’s adorned with reddish-brown African Padauk wood carved into a lobster and displays the coordinates where the Mayflower II is docked at State Pier.

“Many people want something like this hung above their mantle with the coordinates of their own home,” he says. “They’re giving new life to an old beam – a piece of history.”  

Iaquinto plans to display several of his pieces at juried local arts festivals this summer, including one at the public library on South Street (August 10 and 11, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.).

He recently moved his workshop from Jesse’s Marine on Lothrop Street to the garage at his home. Iaquinto has switched to selling smaller works and only online. He focuses principally on custom epoxy resin and live-edge coffee tables, desks and homeware. “Live edge” means incorporating the natural edge of a tree into a design.

The focal point of his modern home is a “floating” staircase that he built featuring thick walnut treads and no risers – the vertical wood between each step on a typical staircase.

The price of his pieces depends on the complexity of the work, of course – from $40 for a coaster set to several thousand dollars for a custom-built coffee table.  “Two variables that drive custom products are the choices for unique woods and choices for custom table bases,” he says. 

Before opening Sawed Woods in 2019, Iaquinto had a career in software, including a stint at IBM.  It’s clear this was something he was meant to do. He talks enthusiastically about types of wood, grains, finishes, mortise and tenon joints, epoxy resins, his sophisticated saws, and the need to control temperature and moisture readings in the wood. 

And he tries not to waste anything.  “For our charcuterie boards and coaster sets,” he says, “we utilize stock from past projects to utilize every square inch of a wood slab.”

Remember that by “we,” he means “I.”  There is no woodworking support staff, but his wife, Deb Iaquinto, oversees marketing.  “When the work is so beautiful and interesting,” she says, “marketing is easy.”

A tabletop made from the root of a buckeye tree. The lighter area shows what it looked like before being treated. Credit: (Photo by Steve Feldman)

Every project he undertakes is specific and detailed. One customer, Jim Whalen, asked to have a coffee table made from an ancient fir tree, as well as a walnut pedestal to display art.

“These unique pieces aren’t something you can’t buy from a furniture store,” Whalen says. “They fit my eclectic lifestyle.”

When sourcing the burl wood for the coffee table, Iaquinto scoured sources across North America. Once the wood was agreed upon, it was kiln dried for several months offsite. Then there were meetings to settle on the finish, the wood inserts to join cracks, and an epoxy color to fill in any spaces.

It may sound like a lot of effort, but for Iaquinto, the payoff involves more than money. He revels in the “joy” it brings to customers.

Steven Feldman is a real estate agent for Keller Williams Realty, a renovator of Plymouth-area properties, and a former Boston journalist.

Share this story

We believe that journalism as a public service should be free to the community.
That’s why the support of donors like you is critical.

Thank you to our sponsors. Become a sponsor.