Rahway Woodworker Elevates Everyday Items

Justin Bailey’s hand-hewn utilitarian goods don’t blend into the woodwork.

Woodworker Justin Bailey in his Rahway garage turned woodshop
“I take everyday objects and elevate their quality and style,” says self-taught woodworker Justin Bailey. Photo courtesy of Campfire Woodworks

Woodworker Justin Bailey loves the outdoors, and it shows. Before a cutting board, saltbox or cracker tray leaves his Rahway garage turned woodshop, it’s stamped with his self-designed Campfire Woodworks logo—a flame fueled by a hammer and saw.

“When I moved to New Jersey four years ago, I started doing woodworking seriously, and I needed a name for the company. Campfire Woodworks felt natural. If I’m not in the woodshop, I spend most of my free time sitting around a campfire,” says Bailey, who works full-time as a volunteer-relations manager at a nonprofit-outdoor conservation group, the Appalachian Mountain Club.

Knife and produce resting atop a thick cutting board

Justin Bailey’s hand-carved cutting boards, bread lames and more are primarily made of ash, walnut, maple and cherry woods. Photo courtesy of Campfire Woodworks

The 36-year-old, self-taught woodworker transforms walnut, maple, cherry and ash, often sourced from J.H. Monteath Lumber Co. in Old Bridge, into functional, decorative pieces. “I take everyday objects and elevate their quality and style,” he says.

Among them is a tostone press. “You can find them for $5 in any supermarket with a Latin section,” he says. “I made one you’d want to hang on your wall or keep on your countertop.”

When a request for a bread lame (pronounced lahm) came from one of his 23,000 Instagram followers, Bailey had to Google, “What’s a bread lame?” Since making one for that customer, he estimates he’s made about 100 of the bread-scoring devices.

Bread bow knife and a loaf of bread atop a wooden board

Bailey’s products are the kind you want to “keep on your countertop.” Photo courtesy of Campfire Woodworks

His most requested items are one-of-a-kind display cases for collections such as military medals and presidential pins. Large items including tables, carts and stools are also made for clients in and around New Jersey, he says.

Bailey’s latest endeavors are signature product lines incorporating his favorite features: inlaid brass, the graceful curve of a serving board, or ergonomically friendly handles—just the kinds of ideas you’d expect to be sparked sitting around a roaring campfire.