Custom Woodworking and Vintage Restorations
A.D. Gliedt General Building Contractor B-673088
About the owner:
For more than 30 years, I have owned and operated several small businesses. Prior to venturing out on my own, I spent a few years working as an employee in three businesses, two small sole proprietors and one corporate. In my mid twenties I started off on my own and never looked back.
This background information below, is an introduction to who I am, and the experiences that I draw on when designing, building, renovating and interacting with my customers.
self Taught and the School of Hard Knocks
I started out with a dream to be and Architect, and after graduating from high school I spent time between our state university system, with some time mixed in at the local junior colleges. Political and Computer Sciences were my initial temporary majors, as I looked for an architectural school to transfer over to. In hindsight these were good choices and were a good foundation for business and life.
While as a full time student, I was also working full time as a draftsman for a local engineering company. I didn’t know it at the time, but this blend of theory and practical experience at the same time, was a key life lesson for me. The result was a decision to drop out of college and the conventional structured classroom studies, and I headed off in the self taught direction, blending my independent studies, and the hard knocks lessons that came along the way.
Drafting and Design
I continued to work as a draftsmen on an old school drafting table, pre AutoCAD years. One of my employers was a small engineering business, and the other was a large corporate one in the field of prefabricated truss manufacturing. I learned a lot of valuable lessons hands on, from a variety of engineers and designers during those early years. My design background was invaluable later on as my foundation, when I branched out into residential design, remodeling construction and custom cabinetry work. Working for businesses on opposite ends of the spectrum in size and structure, was another valuable lesson learned early on.
Design came naturally to me, and drafting as a means of communicating designs to the customers and the builders were always of great interest to me. Once I mastered the traditional drafting technics, I set off to teach myself the new medium of computer aided drafting. As time went on, my interest in being a full time architect or residential building designer became less attractive. I knew I wanted to continue designing, but, I needed to be active in the building side of the industry as well.
Carpentry and General Contracting
I was that guy in high school that took all the wood shop and drafting classes. If design was my natural talent or first love, carpentry was always a tie or close second for me. My design business put me in touch with many contractors and was a natural way to find my way into the field and learning the carpentry trades within it. It was a natural fit for me, and what I gravitated toward. Once again, it was learning on the job with talented craftsmen in small construction businesses, which was a great foundation for me when moving on to my own general contracting and remodeling business. Remodeling for me was a great time in business, with fantastic customers and subcontractors.
The Cabinet shop
At the end of my time in residential remodeling and general contracting, it was time to take a step back and have a fresh look at the next path forward. I still had young kids at home that were growing up fast, so I decided to reorganize the business and setup a cabinet shop. This would allow me a chance to see the kids grow up with less time on the road, and at the same time refine my finish carpentry skills. A good friend, who is a cabinet maker and was supplying me custom cabinets in my construction days, taught me the basics of cabinetry layout. With my past experiences and his help, the birth of my custom cabinetry business began.
During this time period, I realized I was getting to an age that if I was going to take another chance in business, and try something a little different, I had better get started on it soon. So, when opportunity knocked, I jumped all in and signed a lease for a boatyard in the Delta region of the Northern California. It was a boatyard with decades of history, that had been ran down into a homeless camp on the water. My goal was to enter into the traditional wooden boat market utilizing the modern carpentry skills I had learned over the years. It seemed to me that the local market was hungry for the services of a fair business, and to take care of their prized wooden vessels.
I had a lot of small business and woodworking skills, but no boatyard experiences. We cleaned it up and ran it for four years, with a lot of great customers and successes. Unfortunately, it was a high overhead business with only seasonal work to comfortably cover all the expenses. As the business grew, I was full time pushing paper in the office, and no time pushing wood through the saw. As time approached to resign the lease again, I decided it was worth doing for the time I had invested in it, but I needed to get back to my roots in design and woodworking, and move on.
After closing the boatyard, I moved the shop back to our 10 acre property in Brentwood. Recent years dedicated to the business offsite, had left our property at home in need of my remodeling help. A set of personal decisions and life changes created the opportunity to renovate our property, and obtain organic certification on it. Zen Moon Organic Farm, was our small farm business I ran with my wife on the property. Lisa was studying Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine, and so our focus was on growing Traditional Chinese Medicinal Herbs as she obtained her licence in acupunture.
Operating our small organic farm, and maintaining the 10 acre property, was a great experience but the closing chapter to the 27 years spent on the property. We had some great accomplishments with this small business, and the property was a great home over the years. Both of us are natives of the East Bay Area in California and we never moved from it. At our current ages and interests in life, we decided the time was right to sell the property and build a new chapter together but this time, in the North Bay area of our state, in Napa California.
To take something from and idea to a plan, and then to be able to build it new or restore it, is very rewarding to me. This is a process that involves attention to details to bridge the two together. Design, Fabrication, Restoration or Remodeling are all parts of who I am, into four decades now. Projects come along to me in many forms, but the process to problem solve the path throught them to succseesfull conclusions are all the same. Attention to the details. The variety of the type of projects is what keeps it fun, and why I do not consider it work. It is my hope that this brief summary of my past experiences, will give you some insight to how I approach each new project.
If you have a project that you think I may be a fit for, give me a call, I would like to hear from you about it.
Tony Gliedt owner,
Gliedt Restorations Custom Woodworking and Restorations
Wood Shop by apt. 520 California Blvd. #10 Napa ca. 94559
North Bay 707 804 8080 East Bay 925 516 8717