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Craftsman’s lathe turns out wooden works of art

Ron Seim of Tea has been experimenting with various hobbies over the years, especially since he retired in 2001.

His latest hobby, woodturning, took root in 2005. Ron and his wife, Connie, live in Tea for part of the year and spend winters in a retirement community in Florida. One building in their neighborhood, called “The Ark,” is dedicated to woodworking.

Seim picked up some tips from other community members and was soon crafting his own pieces. Upon returning to Tea, he researched area opportunities that would allow his hobby to continue year-round. Expecting that the nearest club might be as far away as Minneapolis, he was pleasantly surprised to learn about the Siouxland Woodturners, an organization devoted to the craft of woodturning. The group meets the first Saturday of most months at the Harrisburg High School and gives wood devotees a place to practice and learn new techniques.

In woodturning, the piece being worked on is turned on a lathe while stationary tools are used to create designs in the wood. Seim’s works include everything from Christmas ornaments to pens to salt and pepper shakers.

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