The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Hurley's manual arts students display talent


May 17, 2018

Larry Holcombe/Daily Globe

Scott Subert, left, and Devon Lino work to build a gift box on the CNC machine in Northwoods Manufacturing at the Hurley K-12 School Wednesday afternoon during an open house.


Hurley - Northwoods Manufacturing was abuzz with activity Wednesday afternoon as the Hurley K-12 School's manual arts department held its fifth annual open house.

The large bay doors of the program's workshop were open and the various metal and woods products were displayed for visitors to see the types of goods prepared by the students. Adding to the festivities - hot dogs, cookies and other goodies were offered to a steady stream of visitors.

Senior Scott Subert and junior Devon Lino were just inside one of the big doors working on a CNC - or computer numerical control - machine in the wood shop. The project of the moment was a small gift box for a wedding; personalized with the names of the bride and groom, and wedding date carved into the top. It was just the right size for a bottle of wine, and according to Subert, the newlyweds would be told to open the box on some future anniversary.

The CNC machine is a large table that becomes a work surface for computer controlled routers and saws to do their work on a clamped down piece of wood.

The products of the CNC machine come as small as keychains with a carved image of perhaps a bear, to a large mantels destined for above a fireplace in a home or business.

"We've made all sorts of things," said Lino. "Just when we figure that one out there's a new one."

Nearby was a lathe, standing idle for the moment. Lino quickly located Tony Schneider, a junior, who does many different projects on the spinning machine.

"We all work on various projects and machines, but I do a lot with the lathe," said Schneider.

He explained the types of wood and acrylic that are used to create round things large and small, including the purple acrylic ink pen he began as an example.

Lino showed off the spray room standing in the middle of the wood shop. It's used for painting and staining items. A set of fans kept the small room humming and properly ventilated.

Lino said he's learned a lot since joining the program in seventh grade and looks forward to his senior year, adding he hopes to spend maybe four hours a day in the shop, helping the younger students learn the various machines and techniques.

Northwoods Manufacturing is managed by two Hurley industrial arts teachers - Jacob Hostettler on the metals side and Roger Peterson on the woods side.

Peterson said it's great to have the students involved in all parts of the operation, including in the shop's office where freshmen Kaleb Granados and Seth Osterman explained their inventory management program. Granados said he set the new program up since January on his school-issued Mac Book computer.

"It took about a month. I'd never done anything like it before, but I figured it out," he said. He pointed to the various color-coded columns of a spreadsheet that displayed the various products that have been created, how many were on hand, how much the raw materials cost, shop costs, and wholesale and retail prices. "It basically gives us the amount the shop (or inventory) is worth."

Osterman said he operates the program and showed how there is a paper trail for each of the projects and orders that go through the system as well.

He explained he works more closely with the marketing of the projects. He opened up a brochure he has designed and explained about how he took the photos of the various items and made sure to turn the pens just right for the photos so they showed their best side.

On the metals side there were just as much whirring of machines and students in action. Freshman Vienna Harju enlisted the help of classmate Ethan Jordan to help with her personal project - a Minion fire pit.

Three-foot tall yellow creature based on a set of characters from a series of animated movies was made primarily from a recycled propane tank. Harju had welded on some steel arms, legs and feet, as well as cut a large mouth opening for a fire. There were also a pair of round eyes, or goggles, that she had used the metal lathe to create before affixing.

Mike Zacharias, president and owner of Extreme Tool in Wakefield Township, visited with a crew of his employees, looking over projects on both the metal and wood sides of the shop.

Zacharias was happy with what he saw.

"It was great seeing the value of creating in the students in both woods and metals," he said.

Extreme Tool has donated equipment, money and manpower to Northwoods Manufacturing.


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