In television, one significant element can't be calculated or measured— the human element. Each episode takes on its character with its complete accidents, perfect comedic timing, and the purest, most genuine surprises that cameras can only catch once. For Ben, this is what makes filming Home Town a thrill and inspires him to build furniture that provides a deeper connection and not only satisfies an aesthetic.
In season six, Ben made a custom credenza for Michael McKinnon that pushed his limits as a craftsman and made a lasting impression on both the builder and the homeowner.
Ben says, "We made a console table with Tambour doors on both sides for Michael's house. It's like a roll-top desk but turned on its side. The doors slide and roll around to the back of the cabinet. It had this cool sort of modern look to it that matched Michael's apartment well."
He continues, "We built it because Michael was a legit DJ in high school. He didn't change CDs at a homecoming dance; he had turntables and everything. I think he wanted to easily display all of his gear, and it turned out to be one of the most striking pieces. We've never done anything like that on the show. Even though it's an effortless design, when it comes together, it looks cool."
For Rebekah Staple's feminine home, Ben had to get creative. He wanted to build a piece that would be useful for Rebekah, a remote working professional, and match the style of her home.
He built her a classic desk that was such pure maple that it looked pink— perfect for this girly girl.
Ben says, "That desk was cool because we sourced a ton of curly maple from a local cabinet shop and were stumped on what to make with it. When I saw it, I knew we had to put it in Rebekah's house."
"Curly Maple is a beautiful wood, not a special species or anything. It's just maple that has grown weird and curled in it. The jury's still out on what causes it to be curly. Some say it's caused by the swaying of trees in the wind, but cabinet shops can't use it because it looks so different from regular maple. For instance, adding a curly maple door will be noticeably different if you're building a kitchen and you've got maple cabinet doors."
One of the most watched episodes during season six was the Rappeleye-Ruiz house. The unforgettable adoption of their new pup and the custom dog house almost stole the show.
Yet Ben's most cherished build from the episode was the "Cabinet of Curiosities" built for their living room.
Ben says, "That Hoosier cabinet is one of my all-time favorite builds because it's not technically a build. Hoosier cabinets were built in Indiana and have been a part of my life for a long time. I've seen them, and I thought they were cool because they were the original prefab kitchen. These cabinets were made so that you could pick and choose the things that you wanted in it for your kitchen."
He continues, "When we first walked through the house, I saw the base of the cabinet sitting there, and I was like, oh man, this is cool. The only thing was that it was missing the hutch. During demo day, I started tearing down some upper cabinets, and I saw some that didn't seem to match. It was like magic!"
Ben says, "The hutch was mounted into their built-in cabinets on the wall and blended in with the uppers. We delicately removed it from the wall and stripped it back to the original wood. We changed some doors, modified some things, and ordered all new hardware. In the end, we tore it apart and rebuilt it, but it was such a beautiful piece when we were finished."
What can we expect for Season Six part two? You'll have to wait and find out. Until then, see the butcher blocks and wood products Ben's concocted in the woodshop in the meantime here!