Montana Man Crafts One-of-a-kind Wooden Works of Art
Nestled in the rolling hills filled with beautiful trees, sparkling rivers, and deer all around, Thompson Falls, Montana, seems like something out of a fairytale. For Rod Austin, Thompson Falls is home sweet home. Born and raised in the town of approximately 1,400 people, Rod grew up around two things he still loves to this day: woodworking and trucking. We recently heard about Rod’s side hobby from Beth Schwarz, a Permit Specialist at Dart's corporate office in Eagan, Minnesota.
At the young age of 14, Rod remembers fond memories of afternoons in the great outdoors with his father doing woodworking projects. “I grew up in an old-fashioned type of household where you are taught to be a hard worker and do the best job you can do. People will notice what you can do, and your work will speak for itself,” explained Rod. “To this day, I have never filled out a job application. I don’t even think I’d know how to,” Rod said jokingly. But it’s no joke that Rod has been working 60 plus hours per week most of his life. From jobs in the woodworking and milling industry to being a commercial truck driver, Rod has always found a niche that makes him happy. Along with woodworking, trucking is one of his favorite things in life; from being a truck driver as his everyday job to taking his passion into the shop – Rod’s creativity and love for the truck is undeniably strong.
Rod creates beautiful model trucks by hand, made entirely of premium Montana pine in his workshop in Montana. The process takes approximately three weeks and the models are left unpainted and completely natural to allow the option to customize it to your exact liking. Each truck comes out as a unique work of art each and every time. He can make a replica of just about any truck given to him and has been taking his hobby to the community as well.
When asked about how the process works, Rod explained it is just second nature to him. “It’s all up in the old noggin. I don’t use any diagrams or have any plans, I kind of just go with it and see where it goes.”
Are you looking for a one-of-a-kind gift for a birthday, holiday, or just a little something different for someone in your life? If you are in the market for a homemade truck, but are not exactly sure what you want – Rod has a variety of things for sale as well.
From the West Coast to the East Coast, many people have reached out to Rod with a desire to get a truck of their own or for someone special in their lives. The trucks are very popular with children of all ages. Local businesses and organizations have even reached out to Rod to make trucks. Over the years, he has donated trucks to the local sheriff’s office that in turn gives them to deserving individuals.
If you would like to place an order or have any questions, please contact Rod at (406) 827-2764 or you may write him using to the following address:
P.O. Box 1013
Thompson Falls, Montana 59873
Due to the nature of having a busy schedule and driving in and out of areas in his truck that have limited cell phone reception, please leave a message and Rod will get back to you at his earliest convenience.
Please don’t hesitate to reach out to Rod with your next project idea – he can bring your ideas to life and provide you with a gift that can be appreciated for generations to come.
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