By Ally Rogers, Photo Editor, Belvoir EagleJanuary 26, 2012
You don't have to be Paul Bunyan to chop up wood at the Fort Belvoir Kawamura Arts and Craft Center's wood shop -- in fact you don't even need prior wood working experience.
"We are a full sized self-help wood shop," said manager Larry "Bo" Bosetti.
From table and miter saws to lathes, bevels, and chisels, the Wood Shop has nearly every tool necessary for do-it-yourself woodworking projects -- even the lumber, of which there are six varieties of rough cuts. Perhaps the only things the shop doesn't provide are screws, biscuits, and sandpaper.
"I don't have the space, and it's expensive to have your own woodshop," said Rick Seagrist. "Here they have all the equipment you need and it's well maintained."
Offering numerous classes, including pen and bowl turning, box making, and dovetailing, the wood shop requires all patrons to attend a safety class before they are permitted to use the facility. Dates for the safety class vary, but the lessons are always the same -- safe use of each machine, location of tools and supplies, and house rules.
"We want to make sure everyone who's using our shop knows how to use the (equipment) and knows the proper safety precautions," said Bosetti.
He explained that the unique thing about the wood shop is that there are employees, instructors, and even some regular patrons, who are there to assist and give advice.
Newcomer Jeff Lock attributes the success of the planning and construction of an entertainment center to the assistance of Bosetti. While Lock does not live on post, he said he comes to the Wood Shop because of the convenience and do-it-yourself accessibility.
"Woodworking is about creativity and seeing an item completed," Bosetti said. "Patience, dexterity, measuring, and mistakes … it all goes into making something but when it comes together, by your own hands, you've accomplished something great."
There are minimal fees associated with using the facility, including a $3 per hour usage fee. But it is open to all active and retired military members and their Families, as well as Department of Defense civilians and contractors.
For hours of operation and more information, visit www.belvoirmwr.com/Facilities/ArtsCrafts/woodShop.php.