The smell of various woods permeates Ed Roberts’ basement.
In his basement, the various woodworking tools sit on wheels. As he works on toy cars and buses, he moves a router, bandsaw and sander around to meet his needs. Some wood-block cars sit on a table completed.
Roberts makes other items such as jewelry boxes, knick-knack boxes and clocks. He enjoys the satisfaction of making something from nothing.
“You got a beautiful piece of wood and then you turn around and make something out of it,” Roberts says. “That makes it even more beautiful.”
The St. Joseph Woodworkers Guild was established roughly 20 years ago and its members meet once a month to talk about their craft and give demonstrations. Guild members only pay $10 a month, so Roberts believes it’s a deal for the amount of satisfaction its members get from working with people who have the same passion.
“I didn’t get into woodworking until about 15, maybe 18, years ago
Currently, the guild is working on making 500 toy cars for the AFL-CIO’s Adopt-a-Family program. The toys and some other items have to be finished in time for an auction at East Hills Shopping Center on Dec. 5.
“What we’re going to do is make these toys right here and we’re going to have kids come in and put four of the toys together and they’ll keep the fifth one.”
Coming up soon, the guild will have an open house from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 10, at Tobiason Studio. People attending the open house can help put cars together, and those who put together four will be given a fifth one free.
Roberts doesn’t just make small items, and explains that when he makes a chest or a bookshelf for one grandchild, he has to make one for the others as well. When Roberts talks about the items he makes, they’re always for other people.
In his workshop, he’s recently completed a wood plank for a woman who enjoys playing cards. At first glance, the plank is just stained wood with the woman’s name on it. When Roberts puts a card in a slot, he explains that the woman had a stroke and the plank lets her see the cards without others knowing her hand.
Roberts says there’s a huge range in age in the guild, but he’d always like to see more people take up the craft of woodworking.
“We’d be willing to work with them,” Roberts says, adding there’s more to woodworking than simply coming to meetings.