Charles Kested is a U.S.
Navy veteran and lifelong woodworker who overcame severe obstacles to complete an amazing woodworking project. A resident of
of Johnstown, New York, he has spent the past 10 years using his scrollsaw to carve a full-size exact replica of America's
Declaration of Independence. The text of the document was cut from walnut that was then applied to a baltic birch background.
As he approached completion of this long-term project, Charlie suffered a stroke that at first threatened his life,
and afterwards made the work far more challenging. Despite experiencing paralysis in his right side, he managed to return to
the project and complete it after months of physical therapy.
He said he hopes his experience inspires others who face similar challenges. "I feel really blessed.
I want people to know that you can still do things, that they shouldn't give up, they should keep on going," he said.
Charlie's Declaration of Independence project was awarded First Place and Best in Show at the 2010 Florida State Fair.
We salute Charlie Kested for his exemplary character, courage and exacting woodworking skills.
CLICK HERE to read a newspaper article that describes Charlie and his project in more detail.