Wilson County man uses woodworking to transform heartbreak of deadly tornado into hope

Posted at 8:38 PM, Apr 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-22 14:49:46-04

MT. JULIET, Tenn. (WTVF) — Middle Tennessee has been hit with a one-two punch these last two months -- starting with the tornadoes that ripped through middle Tennessee, followed by the COVID-19 pandemic right after.

But in the midst of these hard times, a Wilson County man who took up woodworking two years ago is helping transform heartbreak into hope.

As the tornadoes tore through town last month, they destroyed many trees -- some dozens of years old, large enough to be in the backdrop of many family memories.

Bruce Humphrey has been hard at work at the lathe in his garage, bringing a new life to those destroyed trees -- spinning sections of them into wooden bowls to give to the tree owners as keepsakes.

"I'm quite happy to make something memorable for them," said Bruce Humphrey, who is a sales manager in his day job. "It's a hobby for me, it's not a business."

Each bowl he makes from a damaged tree has a turnaround time of four to six weeks. If you or someone you know has a damaged tree that you'd like Humphrey to turn into a keepsake wooden bowl, you can email

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