Nearly 12 years ago, Jack and Jill Debertin went looking for a dining room table. They found a beautiful cherry table with a flawless mechanism for expansion with leaves — and with an exorbitant price tag. Jack Debertin wondered if he could build a comparable table himself.
He started reading books on woodworking and began to amass the tools. Before long, he had built a computer desk, bookshelves and other functional things around the house. And, eventually, a dining room table and chairs.
Six years ago, Jack Debertin formally started Up the Hill Woodworks as a part-time business. He designs and crafts the products for sale online and at art fairs. Jill Debertin is the “CFO,” managing the finances and taxes. And, yes, Up the Hill Woodworks was so named because they are Jack and Jill Debertin.
Stock items include cutting boards, clocks, end tables and plant stands. Items can be customized and Jack Debertin can design and craft commissioned products and furniture, as well.
All products are handcrafted in the Debertins’ basement workshop using mostly Wisconsin hardwoods, such as cherry and maple, with exotic species for accents.
For Debertin, a full-time fourth-grade teacher, woodworking is a get-away. “...You take a piece of wood, or you start with rough lumber ... and you end up with a bookshelf or a table — a finished, done piece,” he said. “Whereas in education you pick them up at ‘point A’ and you have them for a year, and you drop them off at ‘point B’, but there is obviously no completion. That is one of the things I like about woodworking, at a certain point you’re just done, finished. I guess I like that.”