Long time woodworkers, and future woodworkers who have never picked up a tool in their life, can find fun building family heirlooms, and other projects at the SunRiver woodworking club.
Experienced woodworkers and beginners use the quality commercial-grade equipment in the SunRiver shop for almost any project. Some members have extensive experience, like Kyle Henson. She has over fifteen years of woodworking experience and teaches shop. When we visited the shop, she was building craftsman quality matching end tables for her home.
At the other end of the experience scale, shop Monitor Mike Wilson said, “We have a lot of people who join the club who have never pounded a nail before.”
Allen Floyd began woodworking five years ago when he decided to build a sail and oar boat. Most of his sixteen-foot long boat is home in his garage. It’s too long to fit in the shop. The pieces he doesn’t have the equipment at home in his garage to work on; he goes to the wood shop to do. When finished, his wood lap straight boat will be like those used by fishermen off of Brittany.
Mike said, “Of the fifty-nine current members in club, thirty are proficient, and the other twenty-nine, not so much.” The experienced club workers are keen to help neophytes. They want to make certain all the people who work in the shop keep all their fingers, and keep the equipment working right.
The key to success at the SunRiver woodworking club.
“If you don’t know, ask someone,” Mike said. “I always answer my cell when a club member calls. Even if you think you know how to use the tools but aren’t sure, call.”
Monitors make sure the equipment is working properly and the members are safe.
Experienced monitors do a walk through Orientation with all new members. If members haven’t used a piece of equipment, the monitor walks them through and shows them how to use it. With repeated exposure, it doesn’t take long until a newbie becomes adept at the skill. Monitors explain and demonstrate how the equipment works, and how to use it; it’s show and tell. Members train on each piece of equipment, and if you don’t know how to use it, ask.
If you have any questions all you have to do is, ask.
“If you don’t know much about woodworking,” Mike said, “members can come and work on a monitor’s day, if there isn’t a monitor in the shop, call us. We are more than happy to come over and answer questions. We all have cell phones.” Mike has Club members’ numbers programmed into his phone, and when they call, he always answers because he knows they have a question.
Monitors and experienced members enjoy working with wood, and want to introduce the skill to anyone interested in learning and making projects.
One club member built a rocking horse including the rockers out of cherry wood for his grandchild. It is sure be a treasured family heirloom for generations. Another member found a wine with the same name as his oldest son. He lined up the corks so the name faces up, and is building trivets out of the wine corks.
Most of the residents who don’t know a lot about what they are doing start out doing projects for grandchildren. By the time they finish their first project, many say ‘I wish I had started woodworking earlier.’
The woodworking club is self-cleaning. Signs around the shop remind users, “Keep this area clean the maid is on strike so clean up after yourself.” The shop has a large vacuum system installed to keep dust in the shop to a minimum most of the time, but project cleanup is all part of the experience.
You can get to the woodworking shop by driving on Bluegrass Way past the north end of the Community Center and turning right just before you reach the golf pro shop. The parking lot is on the lower level. Go through the doors to the left to enter the shop. The door is electronic so you will need to be a member to get inside, or have one of the monitors meet you at the shop and show you around so you can see what this SunRiver club has to offer.
Whether it’s a building a treasure for your grandchildren, a pull out shelf for your kitchen cupboard or restoring a generations old family heirloom, you will find the equipment and the experienced help to construct your own masterpiece at the SunRiver woodworking club.
Written By: Jon Thompson