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Woodworkers build homes for home building

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March 22nd, 2010
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New residences are on sale in the Hingham area, courtesy of craftsmen at Linden Ponds.  The small wooden birdhouses will be sold this month to benefit Habitat for Humanity, a nonprofit organization that builds affordable homes both locally and internationally for people in need of shelter. The crew at Linden Ponds, coordinated this year by Norm Jenkins, built about 100 birdhouses for the fund-raiser. With wood donated from local Cape Cod Lumber, four Linden Ponds residents developed a system for assembling the houses in their community s wood shop. Jenkins carefully sawed long pieces of lumber for the base, while Stan Gould used a table saw to cut angled pieces that became the sides of each house. When the wood had been sanded, Robert Casagrande drilled a hole into each front piece. Jenkins then glued and nailed the pieces together. It is noisy work, but the men are clearly at home in the wood shop, which is divided into a machine room and an assembly room. About 40 people are members, each with his/her own key for access to the equipment and friendly banter of those at work there. Roy Peterson coordinates the wood shop activities, and for the past two years has also played a part in making the birdhouses for Habitat. Before that, he was involved in building handicap ramps for the organization. Sometimes we re building for ourselves; sometimes we re building for others, Peterson says of the Linden Ponds woodworkers. He was recently crafting pieces to house the exercise balls in the Linden Ponds fitness center. Other shop members devote much of their time to creations that will be sold to raise money for the community s Benevolent Care Fund, which provides financial assistance to residents in need. I think we all agree the wood shop is an important part of our lives, says Jenkins, who has also taken up wood carving since he moved to Linden Ponds. As they put the finishing touches on the last batch of birdhouses, a pile of perfectly constructed homes sits waiting to be shipped off, painted by other volunteers, and sold. One house is already painted, the work of Casagrande, who turned his into a periwinkle blue cottage with a red chimney and colorful flowers climbing the walls unquestionably a most inviting habitat.

17th annual Habitat for Humanity Birdhouse Show and Sale

When:April 23, 24, and 25 during regular business hours Where:South Shore Plaza in Braintree, Mass., in front of Macy's

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