In J.B. Frechette's woodshop Jim is able to produce any project that the customer can imagine. With over 30 years experience in about every aspect of woodwork. "Working with the customer to show them what is available for their specific needs and we create their project together. Ultimately it's the customer that will live with what I can build for them that matters."

Jim Bishop Frechette and his work has been featured in many local articles.


Craftsman's Interfaith Altar is a work of love and beauty

By Joann E. Buhler, Monitor Correspondent

photo from the article

HOLMDEL – As one enters the serene, new Interfaith Chapel at Bayshore Community Hospital, the beauty of the special place is immediately felt.

Part of this beauty includes a handcrafted altar which faces rows of blue upholstered seats. On an elegant blue rug sits the contemporary maple altar which is one of the focal points of the calming and inspiring space. Jim Frechette, a member of St. Catherine's parish, is the craftsman who created the altar.

A graduate of Holmdel High School, he studied the special skills required to change the natural beauty of wood into even more beautiful objects at John C. Calhoun College in Decatur, Alabama.

He said he specifically chose the college because it had an excellent program in woodworking, and he wanted to actually work with wood rather than "only study design." The specialized college gave him a chance to major in cabinetmaking and millwork.

After college, he worked in Springfield, Mass., at Commercial Millwork where he continued to hone his craft. Later, he worked in a custom woodworking shop in Red Bank, Custom Woodwork. He now owns his own shop, J.B. Frechette, Woodworking, in Red Bank.

Karen Sanders, director of Pastoral Care at Bayshore Community Hospital, played a role in having Frechette create the chapel altar, which she called a "a sight to behold."

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Built to Last

Jim Bishop Frechette has made a career creating one-of-a-kind furnishings

October 12, 1995
By JOAN GUNIN, Correspondent, Asbury Park Press

photo of Jim's tools

From oversize built-in cabinets to bedroom suites to entire conference rooms, Jim Bishop Frechette has built them all.

An interest in woodworking sparked as a youth led Frechette – a Holmdel Township native and a grandson of noted author and syndicated newspaper columnist, the late Jim Bishop – to pursue a career as a cabinetmaker.

Frechette's one-of-a-kind installations have included fireplace mantels, banisters, platform beds, furniture reproductions and built-in shelving. His finely crafted detailing extends to wood beams, crown moldings and dentils, and hand-carved embellishments.

"I'm more of a traditional cabinetmaker," Frechette said, "I actually do woodworking. Why order cabinet doors from outside, when I have to build the rest of the cabinet anyway?"

He resists shopping at do-it-yourself home centers for such basics as mortise and tenon joints, preferring to make his own fuller, deeper-grooved versions. "In the end", he said, "the client has a better quality product."

Frechette often works with architects or interior designers to create customized built-in furnishings for new or existing homes or offices.

He can create any furniture style but has found, "Most people lean toward traditional."

While some people discover woodworking by chance, Frechette, 36, has been preoccupied with it since adolescence. By the time he got to Holmdel High School, he was working on projects independently.

"I was in 7th or 8th grade when I decided that this is what I wanted to do for a living," he said.

In an ironic twist, the showcases added to his alma mater's "wall of excellence" two years ago were crafted by Frechette whose work has been exhibited at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair held at New York's Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.

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