Collegeville Slugger

As a shop of experienced craftsmen, Abbey Woodworking is able take on a wide variety of projects: everything from chairs, to doors, to beds, to baseball bats.  Yes, even baseball bats!  We recently uncovered a newspaper article which features Br. Hubert Schneider O.S.B. and Abbey Woodworking’s time as a bat factory for Johnnie baseball.  In this month’s post you will find the article from the Saint Cloud Daily Times, dated May 18, 1945.  Enjoy!

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Sound the Pipe! (Part I)

Over the past few months, the Woodshop has been slowly filling up.  Not with the typical chairs or tables, but with organ pipes…enormous, wooden organ pipes!  Ranging in length from 17 to 32 feet and weighing up to 850 pounds, these pipes will provide the foundational notes for the expanded organ in the Saint John’s Abbey and University Church.  

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Abbey Woodworking
Is it Woodworking? Or Carpentry?

At Saint John’s, Woodworking and Carpentry are two independent departments working out of separate shops.  While the woodworkers craft furniture for campus in the Woodshop, the carpenters typically work on-site constructing frames, pouring concrete, installing fixtures, and making any host of repairs.  However, there is the occasional project that blurs the lines between woodworking and carpentry.  The Music Wall was such a project.

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Imitation: The Most Sincere Form of Flattery.

Trends may come and go, but people tend to hold on to good furniture.  Whether it be for its fine craftsmanship, unique design or even sentimental value, you likely have furniture in your own home that you cherish above the rest…pieces that you hope to pass on someday.  This fall, a former student stopped by our shop with such a piece of furniture.

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Abbey Woodworking
Students in the Shop

Early Abbots of Saint John’s may have been concerned about safety had they heard that students were laboring in the Abbey Woodworking Shop.  Not to mention the potential influence that rowdy students might have on impressionable monks! Yet today we have a constant flow of students in and out of the shop between classes.  These students are interested in trading in the rigors of the intellectual life for the opportunity to work with their hands…if only for a few hours at a time.  

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Ugandan Woodworkers

While our blog typically focuses on the pieces being crafted at Abbey Woodworking, this month we take a pause to highlight the work being done at another Benedictine woodshop...it just so happens that this woodshop is halfway around the world. 

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Abbey Woodworking
Hexagons

Take a close look at the Marcel Breuer designed buildings in Collegeville and you’ll see a reoccurring shape:  hexagons.  They are everywhere. 

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Abbey Woodworking