Ivan Benavides | Episode 8

Table of Contents

Ivan Benavides, a South Texas-based woodturner, has gained widespread recognition for his unique ability to create functional art using locally salvaged wood. With a deep appreciation for nature and a talent for finding beauty in the imperfect, his work has become iconic in the region. In this article, we explore the captivating journey of Ivan Benavides and how he transforms salvaged wood into functional masterpieces.

Early Years and Finding His Passion

Growing up in the Rio Grande Valley, Ivan Benavides was no stranger to the art of building and creating things from scratch. Together with his father, they would frequently create and fix objects using the resources available to them. After high school, Ivan pursued digital media and photography, which eventually led him to develop a stronger appreciation for nature.

The fascination with nature drove Ivan and his wife to scavenge for materials like shells and driftwood on the beach. It was through this experience that Ivan discovered his passion for woodturning, taking salvaged wood and turning it into functional art.

The Beauty in Salvaged Wood

Ivan’s choice of using salvaged wood is not only environmentally friendly but also adds a unique element to his work. He prefers to use wood that would have otherwise been discarded or burned, as it often hides beautiful patterns and textures waiting to be discovered. Each piece of wood is carefully processed, turning it into a blank canvas ready to be transformed in his workshop.

Creating Masterpieces with the Right Tools

To create his stunning pieces, Ivan relies on high-quality tools like the 101 Series Flex Back Carbon Band Saw Blades and Hard Back Carbon QSaw Band Saw Blades. These precision tools are essential for processing salvaged wood and uncovering the hidden beauty within.

For those looking to upgrade their Laguna, Delta, or Grizzly bandsaws, consider checking out the guide upgrade kits available at GuideKits. These upgrades can enhance the performance and accuracy of your bandsaw, enabling you to create even more impressive woodworking projects.

A Treasure Trove of Woodworking Resources

Ivan’s passion for woodworking is a testament to the potential of salvaged wood and its role in creating functional art. For those inspired by his journey and looking to explore the world of woodworking, there are numerous resources available online. Bandsaw Manuals offers over 700 free bandsaw manuals, while Sawblade.tv features over 300 woodworking videos, perfect for beginners and experienced woodworkers alike.


Ivan Benavides has turned his passion for woodworking into a successful career, transforming salvaged wood into functional art pieces that are both beautiful and eco-friendly. His work serves as an inspiration to others and showcases the endless possibilities of woodworking. As you embark on your own woodworking journey, remember to use the right tools and resources, and never underestimate the beauty hidden within salvaged wood.

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