Mat Driscoll left his cushy job at a prominent New York City advertising agency with dreams of forging a path in the furniture world, concentrating on handmade and classic furniture. After moving to a sleepy town on the coast of Maine, he studied hand tool-focused furniture making techniques before returning to Brooklyn in 2010 to open up Bellboy, a collaborative wood shop. Since its inception, Bellboy has been keeping busy crafting simple handmade designs with classic lines and graphic appeal. Here’s what keeps Bellboy’s founder going in this week’s Friday Five.
1. My No. 62 Hand Plane
The Lie-Nielsen No. 62 Jack Plane is the first tool I reach for. Some believe you need a cabinet filled with a dozen specialty planes. A sharp 62 can make fast work out of nearly everything.
2. Branson Hiking Books, by Wolverine
Traditional Japanese cabinetmakers work seated on the floor. In Sunset Park we stand, for an average of 12 hours each day. The Branson boot does wonders for rickety old soccer knees, and also washes one up enough to get past the velvet rope of your local pub.
3. El Yucatano hot sauce
I discovered this stuff many years ago on a weekend trip to New Orleans, and arranged for the restaurant owner to ship a box to Brooklyn. A number of years later, I found that they sell it at most Key Foods.
4. Tarantino Mix Tapes
It’s true, we do whistle while we work and eclecticism is king.
5. “I’ve always wanted to build houses.”
Prior to starting Bellboy, I was an art director. As I said my farewells to the advertising community, it was astounding to listen to countless friends and peers confess that they’d always wanted to try something different, but never followed through. I think about those conversations often.