Galt man passionate about wood creations
His hand-carved toy trucks are on display at Lodi Public Library
Galt resident Tim Egger never thought he would enjoy making creations out of wood, but now Egger is the ultimate woodworker. From bird houses and toys to his very own home, he does it all.
A collection of wooden toy trucks he designed and created are now on display at the Lodi Public Library.
Making creations out of wood has been Egger’s hobby for more than 30 years. He continues to do it because it’s something he truly loves, but it wasn’t always that way.
“I was teaching industrial arts and they forced me into teaching woodworking,” he said. “I hated woodworking and I got forced into it. Then, once I got forced into it, I fell in love with it.”
Once he found his niche he began to make his own furniture and toys for his children.
Egger tried to make a business out of making wooden toys, but quickly realized there was no money in it. Making wooden trucks and other playthings takes a lot of time, he said, and people weren’t willing to pay for the time and labor he put into it.
“Some of those toys take a week or a week and a half to build, and they’re all my own designs. I don’t order designs. I draw them up myself,” he said.
Egger comes from an artistic family and making these creations comes naturally to him, his wife Cindy said.
For the most part, Egger likes to make industrial toy trucks such as front-end loaders, graders, fire trucks, trains and other industrial equipment.
“Taking something that you’re thinking about and actually making something — and when you’re done looking at it and marveling at what you did — is what I enjoy the most about making these toys,” he said.
The hardest part, he said, is getting a good design. Once he is able to create a good design, things go smoothly from there.
“That’s the biggest challenge — to design it and get all the proportions right,” he said. “I’m not going off of a plan that somebody else has done. I don’t like doing somebody else’s stuff. I like doing my own stuff.”
Egger visits the library two or three time a week. During a routine visit, he noticed they were cleaning out the display case and asked them if they would be interested in displaying his wooden toy trucks. The library was happy to accept.
In addition to model trucks, Egger makes large birdhouses, some standing up to 5 feet tall. He goes to local flea markets and garage sales to collect unique pieces and accessories, and uses them to build his bird houses.
“We have a bucket that we put all these finds in, and then he just designs in his head and puts it all together and makes birdhouses,” Cindy Egger said.
Egger didn’t stop at houses for birds. He built his home in Galt from the ground up, including the designs, insulation, brick laying, foundation, the walls and everything else that went into it.
He also built all the furniture and did all of the woodworking in his home, including the beds, dressers, cabinets, a clock and more.
He and his family moved to the area from Wisconsin 30 years ago. Now retired from teaching, Egger splits his time between making his wooden creations and renting homes.
Together, he and Cindy have two children and five grandchildren ranging from the ages of 2 to 16. These days, the grandchildren love to pay with their grandfather’s models.
Egger created a large train for his children 36 years ago, and his grandchildren still sit in it and play with it today.
“Sometimes you think that kids aren’t interested in wood anymore, but kids are still interested in wooden toys,” he said.
Tim Egger puts back one of his hand-carved wooden trucks, which are displayed at the Lodi Public Library, in Lodi on Thursday.
This is one of Tim Egger’s hand-carved wooden trucks displayed at the Lodi Public library in Lodi on Thursday.
Tim Egger poses with his hand-carved wooden trucks, which are displayed at the Lodi Public Library, in Lodi on Thursday.