Dakota Woodturners teach Bismarck Public School students their craft

Local News

Students enrolled at Bismarck Public Schools are learning about an ancient craft that involves making wood.

We spoke with professional woodturners who say learning the tricks of the trade helps students take on their own DIY projects

“When we started on this thing, I thought 70-year-old guys teaching 15-year-old kids, this thing might last five minutes, and it lasted a lot longer because the parents are seeing their children come home with a product that they’ve made with their own hands in a fairly short amount of time,” Former President of Dakota Woodturners John Warren said.

The Dakota Woodturners have years of experience crafting all sorts of items.

Lately, they have been sharing their trade with students at the Bismarck Public Schools Career Academy all week.

“It’s an ancient art of learning how to take a piece of wood and putting it between what we call two centers, turning the machine on and it spins the wood very quickly,” Warren said.

Bismarck High School sophomore Chaz Ohlsen is one of 14 students in his class that is eager to learn the trade.

“I’ve never done anything like this before. I haven’t been in any type of class like this. This is the first year that I’ve done this, and I’ve enjoyed it,” Ohlsen said.

Professionals with the Dakota Woodturners said the process for turning wood teaches students how they can make anything when they put their mind to it.

“It teaches you how to do coils, it teaches you how to do beads, it teaches you how to make how to put a very sim handle on it, and also how to cut it off. It’s a skill development project,” Warren said.

Ohlsen got the itch to want to create things after seeing his dad do projects around the house.

“He works on a lot of stuff all the time, and I thought it was really cool how he works with wood, and I wanted to get involved in some sort of class,” Ohlsen said.

Students have been making items like tops, and the head of a screwdriver while learning from the professionals.

“I turn all kinds of stuff between bowls, and burial urns to pens, all you kind of name it,” volunteer Ron Day said.

The opportunity for creativity for woodturning is endless. You can make anything from Christmas ornaments to pens to bowls.

The Dakota Woodturners Club meets every second Saturday morning at 9 inside the Bismarck Public Schools Career Academy.

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