In 1999, Legacy Woodworking Machinery held a contest by which those who had purchased a Legacy Ornamental Mill could send in photos of selected projects of their choice and vie for honors in various classifications. Woodworkers from all over the United States submitted photographs of projects they had created or embellished using our Legacy mill. There were winners in various categories such as, "Best Period Piece", "Best Original Design" and "Best Thinking Outside the Box Design". One winner received the "Best Overall" award and that was Dwayne Colvin from Wayne City, Illinois. His grand prize was a brand new Legacy Model 1000.
Although becoming the overall winner for Legacy's competition was fairly painless for Dwayne, his path in achieving such success wasn't always so uncomplicated. Dwayne picked up his initial interest in woodworking from his father who considered himself a bit of a woodworking hobbyist. Dwayne started building his first major furniture projects in his late teens and early twenties. He attended a Canadian University where he obtained a degree in forestry. Even though Dwayne spent 22 years as a forester, woodworking continued to be Dwayne's principal hobby. Because it doesn't get any better than having ones favorite hobby as a source of income, he even tried to set up a woodworking business in Canada. The territory where he lived, however, was sparsely settled; consequently success avoided him at that time.
When Dwayne moved to the States, he realized that he had finally found a place where he could get into the woodworking business and still make a reasonable living. Consequently, he decided to work for a friend of his who was in the cabinetry business. One day, as Dwayne and his friend were having lunch together, he started browsing through a woodworking magazine when he came across an advertisement featuring the Legacy Ornamental Mill. He tried to talk his friend into buying the machine for the cabinet shop, but his friend felt that the machine was designed for furniture type projects only. Even though Dwayne showed his friend pictures of a kitchen island (a Barry LaChance creation using the Legacy) featured in the advertisement, he couldn't convince him to change his mind. His friend finally told Dwayne, "You buy the machine, and if it works out, bring it to the shop and I'll pay you."
So Dwayne accepted his friend's challenge and purchased a Legacy 1000. Dwayne started having so much fun with his new toy that he began creating furniture full time. Because the cabinet shop became only mildly interested in what he was doing, Dwayne decided to start his own business.
Dwayne: "They weren't even scratching the surface of this machines potential."
Dwayne states that he "built his company around the Legacy". Since there were numerous cabinet shops where he lived, he decided to give himself a marketing advantage by joining an exclusive local coop that serviced a number of furniture stores in the surrounding area. Ordinarily a new shop would have little chance of acquiring business from this type of an alliance. At first Dwayne was told, "No way!". He knew, however, that he had one distinctive tool in his possession that would allow him to compete with the best of them. Yep, you guessed it - a Legacy Ornamental Mill. According to Dwayne, "We were the only ones in the Co-op that could do what we did. No one else had the resources to produce the unique ropes and flutes that we could, the way we could. Our Ornamental Mill is the backbone of our business."
Dwayne stayed with the co-op until last summer when he decided to, again, go off on his own. "When I was in the co-op, I built hundreds of tables and hall trees. We would take orders for dozens at a time. After a while, making a table leg 48 times over got to be monotonous." Belonging to the co-op placed limitations on Dwayne, who thrives on the challenges that creative freedom demands, just the way working at the cabinet shop did. Consequently, he decided to strike out on his own