Attention to detail. Expert workmanship. Pride in a job well done. Those qualities abound across Homestead Village, especially in the Woodshop.
“We all work together,” says Ken D. (who’s living in Homestead Village’s Mews neighborhood). Ken currently chairs the Woodshop group.
Woodshop members have completed 78 individual projects this year. That’s more projects completed than ever before. A few projects that stood out in particular to Ken were seven bookshelves built by volunteers for Homestead Village’s Library.
Woodshop workers also constructed a bookshelf and coffee table for the Stauffer Spring House, a platform for a Homestead Village’s transportation vehicle, and a stand for a weather station.
Woodworkers handle repairs as well. They fixed the Fickes House mailbox, repaired a broken carving of a caravan, and fixed a chess board and an antique camera stand. An antique pie table received attention, as did a twin bed.
The Wood Shop is available to help with all jobs—as simple as repairing hinges on a desk door or mending picture frames to as large as full projects for a local church. Volunteers also have fixed numerous chairs.
That’s not all. Craftsmen are available to guide residents and employees in designing items, building them, and repairing them—all for the cost of materials plus a small amount for shop upkeep.
Ken makes sure the shop has all the needed tools, wood, and supplies for volunteers and woodworkers to create to their heart’s content.
He makes initial contact with clients to determine if the woodshop is able to take on the project. From there, he makes a “build plan” and identifies who is interested in taking it on. Ken also monitors the quality of the work.
Homestead Village Apartments resident, Louise H., had received work from the woodshop craftsmen and said. “I admired the lovely wood furniture in the apartment of [Ken and his wife, Deb], all of which Ken had made. I missed a lot of my old antiques, so I asked Ken to create two pieces: a corner cabinet and a long table that goes behind the couch. He was able to match the hardware almost exactly to a very expensive chest that I have.”
The process was straightforward Ken met with Louise, gave her a plan, and together they decided how they would model it on the original with substantial storage space.
“The table and cabinet really blend in with the things that I have. Ken’s workmanship is absolutely out of this world, and they all do a super job,” Louise said.
Tim W. (Homestead Village Mews resident) is working with two others on a project for friends—two large cabinets to fill niches in a sitting room that contain a base with solid doors and the top with glass doors.
“When we were selecting a retirement community, it was a requirement that there be a good wood shop. I had a woodshop in my basement for quite a few years, and I made things for family and friends,” Tim said. “I like envisioning something and then turning it into a piece of useful art.”
The most challenging part is figuring out how to actually make what he’s envisioned. “With all the machinery here, it would seem easy, but I keep trying new things all the time. We learn from each other. I love working with walnut, and especially cherry,” he continued.
Rolf W. (Homestead Village Farmstead resident) shared photographs of recent pieces he’d built and spoke to the challenge and beauty of working with the grain of the wood. It’s a passion he’s pursued over the years since retiring from the Navy and leading a tool & dye business.
“When we moved into Homestead Village, someone said to me, ‘You know mechanical engineering and metalworking. You should come check out the woodshop!’” Rolf said.
The first project he took on was a day bed—a full size bed with a twin mattress.
“It took a long time– including wood paneling,” Rolf said, but with the help of the tools supplied by Homestead Village’s Woodshop, he got it done.
Rolf notes that he believes the Homestead Woodshop is a very different setup from other communities, both the way it engages residents and serves residents, providing high quality work at a very nominal cost.
Woodshop craftsmen also support Homestead by tracking volunteer hours. In 2022 alone, volunteers tracked 2,000 hours.
Nine experienced craftsmen and six conditional members enjoy the Wood Shop, which is self-supporting.
“We are proud of our shop, which is well supplied with quality tools and a resource library,” Ken notes.
Tools and instructions are provided for anyone wishing to learn or improve their woodworking skills.
Homestead Village is dedicated to meeting all of our residents’ needs. If you’d like a tour of the campus—which includes stopping by the Wood Shop—contact us today! One of our friendly and knowledgeable team members is here to answer any questions you may have.