Les Laverman, 74, has a home full of cupboards, furniture, and picture frames that he made. “I just love to do woodworking,” Les said. After doing carpentry work for over 50 years, “I always dreamed of having a shop where I could do woodworking when I retired, so I did.” 

les-laverman-woodworking.jpgBut it took the encouragement of long time friend and fellow wood craftsman Dick Vos to make it happen. When Dick’s children wanted him to move to the retirement home, he was going to lose his wood shop in his home. Les said, “I always knew I wanted a wood shop that looked like a barn with a walkout basement and haymow so that is what I built” south of their home on the southeast corner of Sully. When it was complete, Dick moved his tools there and spent part of nearly every day creating from wood as long as he was able.

After retiring at age 62, Les’s first woodworking project was their waterbed frame and headboard complete with wooden lamps with individual dimmer switches. His favorite piece is his hutch in their dining area. Recently, he built an assayer’s desk. “I really am not into antiques but sometimes old furniture like this desk strikes my desire to make one like it.” The oak desk shown in the accompanying photo was used in the old days when a person brought in their gold dust to be weighed for purchase.

“I saw an assayer’s desk on vacation last year in Montana and I fell in love with it but I don’t know why. I thought I’d sure like to try to make that thing but didn’t think I could remember all the details. So I kept the clerk busy and Marcella (Les’s wife of 55 years) sketched it. Then later we went back and asked if we could take a picture of it so I could make one for myself and the clerk let us.” Often he has cut and cured the wood for his projects. “I leave the knots and imperfections for natural looking grain” which really adds to the beauty of the wood project.
Les and  woodworking go together as he continues “to try to make stuff I haven’t made before.” (By Margaret Vander Weerdt Sept. ’08)