Fourth-generation carpenter inspired by the past


By Heather Collins

In a world of mass-produced, particle-board products, Boone County resident Tabb Adams is handcrafting items that are built to last generations.

Adams’ work harkens to the sturdiness and timeliness of a grandmother’s large oak dinner table or the wooden rocking chair that has put generations of babies asleep and lives on for the family’s next bundle of joy.

Adams, 47, is a fourth-generation carpenter who has continued the family tradition by restoring some of Indiana’s most historic buildings and launching his own carpentry business in Sheridan that serves Hamilton County and surrounding areas.

“It’s kind of cool that I can still go places and see things that my ancestors have had their hands on and built,” Adams said.

Adams has had a hand in maintaining the 100-year-old Murat Theatre in downtown Indianapolis when he served as building engineer. He’s also worked on the Ruoff Home Mortgage Music Center and the Indiana State Fairgrounds, where he served as director of facilities.

In 2015, Adams launched his own carpentry, refinishing and repair business, Cross Cut Vintage Designs. Adams creates barn door consoles, farmhouse tables and specializes in mid-century modern and rustic farmhouse designs. He utilizes wood from torn-down barns made of oak or poplar but also works with more high-end woods like ebony and mahogany to create custom pieces for customers.

Adams also handcrafts pieces for modern times, like a stand-up desk for a teacher at Allisonville Elementary School.

“If somebody dreams it up, I can build it,” Adams said.

Adams said he gets a lot of inspiration from his workshop, a 100-year-old barn that he and other farmers and carpenters have renovated over the past century.

“I have a lot of satisfaction in creating something that is special for somebody in hopes that it will be a family heirloom and be passed down for generations,” Adams said.

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