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Crafting wood, creating service

Renovated Wind Crest wood shop gets busy

Created date

February 21st, 2012

Step into Wind Crest s wood shop and you might hear saws screeching as they carve wood, chisels chipping away, and hammers pounding. Other times, however, the sound of pure laughter travels through the air as community members bond over their craft.

Talented bunch

The wood shop at Erickson Living s Highlands Ranch campus consists of 44 members, three of them women. They range in experience from novice to expert clock repairmen and jewelry repairwomen. The group has grown so much over the last four years that Wind Crest renovated the space, giving the woodworkers more room to craft, carve, and create. It s also less cramped for the table and band saws, belts, jointers, sanders, plainer, and, of course, residents. For Lloyd Eicher, who manages the wood shop, working with wood is simply a part of his soul. Since the 1970s, Lloyd has had his hands wrapped around the craft in some way. He helped his son build his house, and he s made a lot of things over the decades, namely his own furniture. I always did it as a hobby, he says, and I ve always said it s my therapy.

Of service to the community

The wood shop isn t just a place for Wind Crest neighbors to work on personal projects, though there is a lot of that too. It s also a place where talented residents gather to discover how they can be of service to the greater community. Recent community projects have included the repair and restoration of 20 dining room tray tables; the construction of a solid oak wheel-away caf cart; and the repair of swivel, roller, and even antique chairs. For these community projects, Wind Crest provides the materials, and the wood workers provide the talent and expertise. No matter the project, as long as we have the materials, we can fix it, Lloyd says. The wood shop runs strictly on donations to acquire shop supplies. For personal projects, residents provide their own wood, but the hardware, like screws and glue, is available for member use. Wood shop members are able to give back to the community in a big way. Instead of sending out a clock or chair to be fixed, residents can have their items repaired in-house by talented craftsmen and women. A minimum service call for something like a clock repair is $90, Lloyd says. This way, residents don t have to transport their item off campus, and they know they can trust us to make the repairs. And thanks to the donations they receive from residents and staff for their repairs, the wood shop donates proceeds to Wind Crest s charity funds and campus activities.