LOCAL FOOTBALL SCORING UPDATES PRESENTED BY THE HUNGRY HOBO:

Retirees share love of woodworking


Share
Posted Online: Dec. 03, 2012, 5:59 pm
Comment on this story | Print this story | Email this story

STERLING, Ill. (AP) Lloyd Beckman and Tom Boerjan have much in common.

Both are retirees with extra time on their hands. Both have the ability to take a simple piece of wood and transform it into something beautiful.

Beckman, 68, of Sterling, and Boerjan, 59, of Rock Falls, were introduced by a mutual friend and became friends themselves through their shared passion for woodworking.

Beckman was a member of the Quad Cities Woodturners Club, which Boerjan later joined. The two now share tips and insights on their craft.

Both say using a lathe to make wooden bowls, platters, vases and other household items is therapeutic.

Beckman began dabbling in the art form 12 years ago, when he retired from Northwestern Steel & Wire Co. He made a dining room table and chair, but it took a long time, so he started using a lathe to make smaller creations. He since has made a large circular serving platter, serving bowls and vases.

The work takes hours of patience and careful carving. It took Beckman 20 to 25 hours to make the wooden platter, for instance.

'Then you get down to the finish, you put all the work in it, and the finish is what everybody sees and that's really the hardest part,' he said.

Also among his handiwork are tiny wooden wine glasses with a ring around each stem, meant for a bride and a groom.

It also took Beckman 25 hours to make a small, intricately carved wooden Christmas tree ornament.

He gets most of his wood to make the platters and bowls locally.

'When I first started turning, I thought, where am I going to find wood?' Beckman said. 'Now I got so much wood I don't know what to do with it.'

His pieces are on display in galleries in Kewanee and the Quad Cities, and at The Next Picture Show in Dixon.

His woodworking hobby keeps him in the shop and 'out of his wife's hair,' Beckman joked.

Boerjan always has had a flair for the arts. The retired Rock Falls High School teacher taught industrial arts, math and computers for more than 30 years.

'I was looking for a hobby related to woods,' he said. 'I put up a shop in the back of my yard, didn't really know what I was going to do out of it.'

He got his own lathe in February, and began turning small items. He continues to try to improve his skills, he said.

Boerjan makes colorful serving bowls and vases. His bowls are defined by a colorful center row, called a feature ring, which is created by taking small pieces of wood and attaching them to form a ring, then attaching the rings to create a vase or a bowl.

'Lloyd's been great as far as a mentor and someone sharing his experience with me,' Boerjan said.

Woodworking gives Boerjan a sense of pride and accomplishment, he said.

'I call it sawdust therapy,' Beckman added. 'Just to go out there and make chips, it's fun and it's also challenging, and then you end up hopefully with a piece if you don't blow it up.'
















 



Local events heading








  Today is Monday, Sept. 22, the 265th day of 2014. There are 100 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: The board of education has granted Thursday as a holiday for the children, with the expectation that parents who desire to have their children attend the Scott County Fair will do so on that day and save irregularity the rest of the week.
1889 -- 125 years ago: The guard fence around the new cement walk at the Harper House has been removed. The blocks are diamond shape, alternating in black and white.
1914 -- 100 years ago: The Rev. R.B. Williams, former pastor of the First Methodist Church, Rock Island, was named superintendent of the Rock Island District.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Abnormally high temperatures and lack of rainfall in Illinois during the past week have speeded maturing of corn and soybean crops.
1964 -- 50 years ago: Installation of a new television system in St. Anthony's Hospital, which includes a closed circuit channel as well as the three regular Quad-Cities channels, has been completed and now is in operation.
1989 -- 25 years ago: When the new Moline High School was built in 1958, along with it were plans to construct a football field in the bowl near 34th Street on the campus. Wednesday afternoon, more than 30 years later, the Moline Board of Education Athletic Board sent the ball rolling toward the possible construction of that field by asking superintendent Richard Hennigan to take to the board of education a proposal to hire a consultant.






(More History)