Two woodshop students take second at State Fair

This article submitted by Stephanie L. Everson on 9/16/97.

Two Paynesville Area High School students took second place in their categories at the 1997 Minnesota State Fair's woodworking competition. Caleb Hoffarth and Jeremy Wirkkula worked many hard hours completing their projects.

Hoffarth got the idea to make a wine cabinet from a picture in a woodworking magazine. From the vague idea in the picture, he worked from the ground up, redesigning the entire cabinet to his own ideas and expectations.

Hoffarth modified the pictured cabinet idea extensively, adding adjustable shelves, a removable bottle rack, and overall, making the cabinet itself larger. Also, by repositioning the goblet holders, one set of stemwear hangs from the under side of the center shelf, while another set fits between, allowing room for twice as many goblets as the holders would normally allow.

Kevin Shimak, industrial technology instructor, commented that the project was a good applied math course. While using Auto Cad, a computer-aided drafting program, Hoffarth put into practice various mathematical theories, formulas, and geometrical equations. Without a good grasp of math, he never could have made the project, especially since Hoffarth had to make all his own jigs.

Jeremy Wirkkula, now a freshman in law enforcement at Hibbing Community College, started his interest in woodworking while in junior high in Hibbing, Minn. After his family moved to Paynesville, he learned how to use the Auto Cad computer drafting program in his drafting class during his junior year.

Drawing up his own plans and making his own jigs, Wirkkula managed to complete his roll-top chest over one semester, working on it during school and two to three hours in the evening once a week.

Shimak mentioned that every quarter, woodworking students are looking for people in the community who want items built, weather it be furniture items, or even storage sheds.

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