Wood Shop Update

Joni Matthiessen

Last month, I introduced the Ranch to our newest Woodworker of the Year, Loren Christensen. I’d like to expound just a bit more on all that Loren continues to provide for the Wood Shop. One Wednesday per month, there is an opportunity to sit in on classes taught by those in the know on different techniques and how to do this or that in the Wood Shop. Before Christmas Loren taught a class on making ornaments, then again not too long ago, Loren helped several other members use the lathe to make the lovely pens (for which Loren has become quite famous.) There were several in the class, and Loren stood beside each student and patiently explained the dos and don’ts of working on a lathe to make whatever project they were interested in learning. One of those students was Jim Martin, and I had the privilege of observing some of his work recently.

Jim has made several pens using exotic wood like Loren uses. There is a tray of exotic wood to Jim’s left in the picture, and in front of Jim is the machine they use to put the pens together. The first pen on his left was made out of Red Malee from West Africa, the next pen is Yellow Cedar Burl from British Columbia, as are the two short pieces. The long piece is Eucalyptus Burl from Australia. As you can see from Jim’s work, his pens are beautiful as well. I also learned that Jim, in turn, is now planning to train a couple of other gals on how to create pens on the lathe from start to finish. So, Loren started the trend, passed the love of the lathe on to Jim, and Jim in turn is passing that knowledge on to a couple of other gals who want to learn pen making as well. That’s what I love so much about our shop, it doesn’t matter what anyone is doing, if someone is interested in learning how and needing help, we all stop and try to help those who need a hand. Stop by our display window and take a peek at the beautiful creations for sale. All the proceeds from window sales go back to the shop to help offset ongoing expenses.