Airline pilot launches woodworking studio

Though airline pilot Anthony Stineburg loves the fundamentals of flight and can’t imagine a life without flying, in January he launched the business he’s dreamed of for years− and it has nothing to do with planes.

AJ Stineburg Woodworking Studio, co-owned by Stineburg and Michael McGillicuddy, makes handcrafted custom furniture, cutting boards, and butcher blocks. The latter is the studio’s specialty.

“I love to cook and the one thing I found a need for was a quality cutting board,” says Stineburg. “I made two butcher blocks: one for a friend, who’s now a chef in New York, and one for myself.  The responses I received were overwhelming, and the requests for more butcher blocks were coming in.”

A considerable amount of time and attention is dedicated to getting the butcher blocks just right.

“When we are not busy filling orders, we are in the shop creating different designs, wood combinations, dimensions, and board thickness,” Stineburg says. “We also have a design patent for our signature series boards.”

Stineburg, who has lived in Columbus since taking a job with Republic Airways Holdings subsidiary Shuttle America Inc. more than 11 years ago, was warned that the woodworking business is a tough one, but opened his studio anyway.

“I’ve been told by many woodworkers that it’s hard to make a living at woodworking, but woodworking is where my passion is,” he says.

So far, the biggest challenge Stineburg has faced as a business owner is keeping up with demand.

A large company approached him about making private label butcher blocks and cutting boards, but after their first meeting it became clear that his “hobby-sized” shop and equipment weren’t going to cut it.

“So with a lot of help from my family, friends, and technical expertise from Woodwerks in Columbus, we were able to upgrade all the equipment and move the shop to the next level,” he says.

In fact, Stineburg’s family is quite involved in the business’s day-to-day operations. His mother even makes the studio’s butcher block oil and conditioning pomade out of her home.

To learn more about AJ Stineburg Woodworking Studio, visit AJStineburg.com.