(WJBK) - "I like it.. Just the smell of it. I like the various kinds of woods that you work with, they all have different characteristics. It's not a bad hobby,"
It's a hobby inspired by his first woodworking class at his Chicago high school. Harold Kusentz is a self taught master woodworker. Practically every space of his Southfield home is something this 93-year-old created in his basement. His happy place. His workshop.
"I was starting to clean it when iI heard you were coming here but it became such a huge job I decided I would leave it for another day," he said.
Harold was just 17 years old when he built his first 10 foot sail boat from scratch with plans out of a popular mechanics magazine. When he returned from serving in WWII, he built an even bigger boat.
"I'm not making it for sale, I am making it for pleasure," he said.
Harold eventually moved to Michigan where he worked for 50 years as a certified engineer. His company created products for automotive companies. While working 10 hours a day and raising his 5 children, he always found time to work with wood. He loved creating unique beautiful pieces for his beloved wife Phyllis, who always wanted a harpsichord.
Before she died in 2004, Harold was able to build her one. The intricate instrument, every little detail hand crafted. He used this dental drill to create tiny features you can see in a golden heart.
From toy trucks and trains to menorahs and salad tongs, and so many beautiful peices in between. Usually making multiples for his 5 kids and 11 grandchildren and friends who are still amazed by his skills. Harold has been woodworking for 75 years and with his latest harpsichord, he shows no signs of stopping.
"Til they take me away I guess. I hope they use a wooden coffin," he said.