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Bob the Builder

Bob Molloy, master craftsman and builder, has recently had a new title added to his accolades — national guru in the Ryobi Nation Hall of Fame. 
The Ryobi Tool Company holds a monthly project contest, and a Project Guru Contest where applicants submit photos of their hand-crafted works in three categories of difficulty.
Molloy, 86, was recently notified he had won both a monthly contest and the National Guru Award, garnering him $3,000 in Ryobi tools. 
“I’m very humbled about the award, because there’s hundreds of projects entered, and some very good ones,” said Molloy. “I plan to enter more in the future.”
He submitted photos of a lovely gazebo in the yard of his home, a strip canoe, and a model train. The canoe impressed the judges and voters, placing it in the hall of fame and granting him the first-place win.
Molloy is very proud of the strip canoe, a full-size structure taking him three months to make. It’s constructed of strips of redwood, sealed with fiberglass inside and out, making it perfect for the water. The hall of fame piece has since become a gift to granddaughter Marcie and her husband, who love to take it out on the water.
A model train engine and car made of cherry, walnut and maple woods has been a hit since the first time it was displayed.
“It went over real good, and I received lots of compliments on that,” said Molloy. It took him 30 days to make, and he immediately had a $2,000 purchase offer, but refused to sell and today it graces the mantle in his home. 
Woodworking is not an inherited trait for Molloy. He remembers his first experience with an actual woodworking class in the eighth grade at City Grammar School.
“A teacher came and told us to make a what-not, and I did mine quickly and told him I wanted to build a bedside table,” said Molloy. “The teacher couldn’t believe I said that, and then I told him I wanted to build a boat.” Since that time, Molloy has actually built eight boats and an airplane. 
His airplane is the most treasured thing he has ever made, and his handiwork includes most of the furniture in his and wife Dot’s home.
The 20-foot wing span bi-plane took him nine years to make, and won Best Tennessee twice in the Nashville Air Show. He enjoyed flying the plane for eight years before selling it to a gentleman who crashed it on his first landing.
Woodworking has provided a pastime for Molloy, something he enjoys doing and sharing with admirers. He has donated hundreds of handmade wooden toys to the Rescue Squad, some furniture for the church, and numerous jewelry boxes. The World War II veteran taught electronics at Vo-Tech for 26 years before retiring.
“My stuff is precious to me,” says Molloy. “God shows me how to do it, and I just do it.”


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