Carpentry by computer for building boss
He is paralysed from the chest down, but Albany man Kenny McGonnell is not letting that stop him doing what he loves most — carpentry.
From a very young age, Mr McGonnell dreamed about following in his father’s footsteps by working as a builder and a carpenter.
He achieved his dream at the age of 21 when he ran his own carpentry business in Karratha and then again with his father in Albany.
But after fracturing his spine in a motocross incident in 2017, Mr McGonnell thought he would never be able to return to his carpentry work
“Ever since I was young, I always wanted to be a builder or a carpenter,” he said.
“But since my incident, I knew I wouldn’t be able to do the old carpentry work anymore, be up on the roof and do my job, so I thought I would have to do other jobs.
“I thought maybe I can work in real estate or maybe even sales.
“But I realised those jobs are not something I would love to do. I can’t stop thinking about carpentry and building because that is what I wanted to do with my life.”
In typically determined fashion, Mr McGonnell made it his mission to start a new carpentry and manufacturing business.
This is a man who races go-karts using hand controls, tackles open-water swims and recently became the first person to hand-cycle the gruelling Gibb River Challenge.
It took him six months to set up his custom-made carpentry shed, but Pinelock Systems is now up and running and ready to service the region’s building and construction industry.
He said he would not have been able to do it without the help of his friends and family.
As managing director, Mr McGonnell is responsible for the managerial and design work — and he can also keep his hand in with some carpentry work.
“We supply builders with pre-manufactured stuff like engineered quality timber wall frames, floor and roof trusses,” he said.
“I design and I build all the products in my computer. I build all my frames and the guys cut it for me, and then they build it all on site.
“From there I can go out into the shed and help the builder if I wanted to.
“So pretty much I’m doing my carpentry work but mainly in my computer.”
He said he would not have been able to get back into carpentry without the help of his friends and family.
“My mate Adam who helped build our offices and Chris who helped me get myself set up and fly to Melbourne to complete my course,” he said.
“And I got my parents, my dad and my partner Christine who have been a great help.”
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