The Wood Shop of Western Reserve

Nearly every morning, the Western Reserve Masonic Community (WRMC) Wood Shop is filled with the sounds of saws and hammers as four friends gather to practice their craft. Founded in March 2002 by the late Bob Siegmyer (John W. Barkley Lodge No. 621), the Wood Shop has served as an outlet of creativity for many WRMC residents. Currently Ken Riedel, Ron Matthews, David VanScoter and Bob Mindek use the shop and one of their current projects is a series of cutting boards, coasters and bowls pieced together from wood scraps. Ken Riedel (North Star Lodge No. 638), began working with his hands when he was young, learning from his father. When he moved to WRMC he was immediately drawn to the Wood Shop and set about updating the layout and building a sawdust collection system. One of the first projects he worked on was with the late Art Gifford (Wadsworth Lodge No. 385), refurbishing a pair of decorative lighthouses for the community pond. Navy veteran Ron Matthews also began woodworking at a young age, working in his father’s wood shop in high school. Ron jokes about when he “refinished” the family’s old piano by painting it black, “No harm was done,” and the instrument is still played by his granddaughter. David VanScoter (Willoughby Lodge No. 302) moved to Western Reserve in June of 2016. In addition to personal projects, he has been wholly involved in the cutting board project. “It’s a wonderful outlet…a feeling of accomplishment to create something with your hands,” he says. Bob Mindek, an Army veteran, is known as “The Lathe Man.” Bob began learning woodworking when he was 56-years-old. When his wife told him that he needed a hobby for retirement, he enrolled in a woodworking class and made a violin! Bob agrees with David, saying that creating pieces from scratch is “self-satisfying.” Jesse Pertee, Ohio Masonic Home Foundation Fraternal Relations Associate, has developed a relationship with these gentlemen over the past year. “The Wood Shop gives the residents the opportunity to continue doing something they love to do, and give back to the community at the same time,” he says. In late 2016, Ron collaborated with David VanScoter on the newest pair of lighthouses. There are now six completed lighthouses at Western Reserve, thanks to the efforts of Ken, Ron and David.

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