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Open woodshop

Park Centre residents show off projects

Park Centre residents don’t have to travel far when they need a handyman to restore a table, tweak a chair or build a planter for their decks.

On the lower level of the facility, two residents, Clare Patterson and Gene Scarbrough, can be found hammering a nail or handling power tools in order to complete projects for their neighbors.

Residents got to peek inside the work space during the Woodshop Open House at Park Centre Thursday afternoon. According to Patterson, residents bring them items that are bent, twisted or broken and they bring them to life again.

“When I moved into Park Centre five years ago, I brought in my shop tools and have been making things ever since,” Patterson said.

Patterson noted that Mr. and Mrs. Wittenberg brought in a serving table that once belonged to a relative.

“She told me, ‘I think it’s seen better days,’” Patterson said. “When I was done with it, it looked brand new.”

Patterson and Scarbrough have more than 25 years of experience under their belts with building and repairing. One item Patterson said he was most proud of is the key fob he created from a letter opener. Patterson said he removed the part of the letter opener that would normally go through the envelope and then used the rest.

“Then I attached the keys onto the other part and made a key fob,” Patterson said. “The keys are already facing the right direction and they won’t be lost this way.”

Patterson said it can be tricky for residents to get their doors open and to figure out which way the key must go, the key fob has the keys attached in the right direction. Patterson said a lot of his ideas are built from his imagination.

“We just like to do these things, this is our way to show off what we do for residents or for children of the residents,” Patterson said.

Scarbrough said he is most likely working on something in the shop when he isn’t enjoying “leisure time.”

“I have always built my own furniture — tables, headboards, coffee tables,” Scarbrough said. “This takes away idle time and sure beats television.”

A handful of residents filtered in and out of the woodshop Thursday to observe items, such as, children’s rocking chairs, planters and mason jars.

The money from items goes back into making things at the woodshop, according to Patterson.

Contact Kayla Singletary at 641-792-3121 ext. 6533 or

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