Meridian Industrial


4/1/2024 | H


A fallen tree limb from a severe storm during the coronavirus pandemic became the impetus for a second career for Nate Mutti.

The retired Air Force Master Sergeant took that wood and created beautiful and functional works of art that resulted in the creation of his business, Fallen Limb Designs.

Mutti makes cutting boards, charcuterie boards and more, all from fallen tree limbs that would likely have been turned into mulch. Mutti saves the limbs from the chipper, giving them a new life.

Mutti said much of his 26-year career in the Air Force was spent in traffic management operations.

“One of the key facets of the career was working in a woodshop where I was able to train under several expert carpenters. Granted, this was definitely general carpentry/ woodworking — mostly crate and pallet construction — but it definitely helped light my passion for working with wood,” he said.

Mutti gifted those first pieces from that limb to family and friends who encouraged him to expand his hobby.

Mutti said his Air Force work exposed him to many different wood working tools and machines.

“In addition to the specific work items, we would commonly be tasked with making things like small shelves and tables for other work areas,” he said. “Recently I’ve been practicing and using wood inlays to accent pieces, and I really enjoy it. Definitely challenging at times, but the final result is awesome.”

Fallen Limb Designs is based out of Mutti’s home, in a small corner of the basement.

“It’s pretty much a ‘one-tool-at-a-time’ operation, so I tend to batch-out items so I can limit tooling,” he said.

Mutti started out making round cutting boards using a slice of a limb called a “cookie.” He has added other designs and has plans to expand even further.

“In the future I’d like to add more standard designs (think rectangular cutting boards) that we can customize for patrons,” Mutti said. “We also added custom U.S. Flags in a few sizes, each with several customizable options. People have also stated that they like the decor items like our ‘Lovers Tree,’ so maybe some additional items like that. I’ll definitely be adding more pallet craft items such as pet feeding systems, letter/mail organizers, and more live edge kitchen decor.”

Each piece is a labor of love, Mutti said. Once cut from the log they dry for a minimum of six weeks. Mutti always looks for a moisture content between 6-8% and depending on the type of board, each one can take up to two weeks to finish once dried. He said it’s not something he does for the money.

“A friend of mine once said if you want to be a millionaire wood working, it’s best to start with a million dollars,” he joked. “So far, that’s held true.”

Mutti said about 75% of the wood he uses comes from ad sites like Facebook Marketplace, where homeowners are simply looking to get rid of fallen trees and branches.

“The other 25% comes from me simply seeing a downed tree and asking the homeowner if I can cut some segments off of them,” said Mutti. “Wherever I receive wood from a homeowner, I always give that family a free board from their tree as a thank you. I’ve also been in contact with a few tree companies that will offer logs that they are simply going to throw away. I just can’t see things go to waste.” Mutti said the drawback to this approach is that finding material is very opportunistic, and this definitely drives how much and what he has for sale.

“For instance, I’ve had several customers ask for boards made from Locust, however I’ve only had that type of wood available once — and those are sold out,” he said.

While Mutti says he is “mostly retired,” in addition to Fallen Limb Designs, he works part time for the Longmeadow schools. He said he just enjoys creating something useful and beautiful.

“I just like making things,” he said. “Knowing that nothing is being wasted is a big motivation. I always feel bad for these trees that have lived for decades and have fallen over or been cut down — it’s very personal. My products definitely have an artistic aesthetic to them, but they are also made to be utilized. I’ve had many customers that refuse to use them as cutting boards, and simply use them as part of their kitchen decor or as a centerpiece. And on the other side, I have customers who love that they can throw anything at them, and they are total workhorses.”

He continued, “Honestly, I’m still humbled that people have loved my items and have brought them into and keep them in their homes.”

Mutti said he is always open to discussing projects with potential clients.

“We’ve made some beautiful boards and décor with personalized laser engraving as well as wood and epoxy resin inlay,” he said. “Simply drop us a line, and we’d be more than happy to see if you can make your vision come true.”


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