Juneau County ' s Teenagers of Today: Douglas Woodworth knows the value in working hard

by Becca Bruss - iLead Student and Teen Reporter for The Messenger

Douglas Woodworth is a junior at Royall High School. He told me that he is not in any sports or clubs because he'd rather make money working. He then stated that he works on his family's dairy farm where they raise 220 cows. It is there that Douglas learned the values of hard work and creativity.

Besides working on the farm, one of his hobbies is wood-working. I asked him when he started to make things and what made him want to start and he explained, “Living on the farm, I’ve kinda always been in an environment where if something breaks, you better know how to fix it so you don't fall behind. So building and constructing stuff is just kinda second nature to me.” Some of the things he has made include tables, chairs, wooden cups, vases, and lamps. The vast majority of the items he makes are for personal use; however, he did sell one table to his friend who wanted a small one that Douglas built.

One of his most recent projects was making the rook chess piece trophy for the Royall Chess Club. Douglas and his friend, Tyler Stanek, spent roughly 15 hours planning, building, and finishing the rook piece. The rook is a piece in the board game that is also known as the “tower”. Douglas told me it was made out of black walnut and maple that was made into a checkerboard pattern and that he and his friend spent many class periods in their advanced woods class laying out and constructing the piece. Douglas then told me; “It was roughly 20 inches tall and 8 inches in diameter. I used a wood lathe to turn the piece (once it was all glued and pieced together) so it could be shaped to look like the desired chess piece that the Royall Chess Club wanted. We also used a router to cut the top because it is supposed to look somewhat like a castle.” The finished product looked incredible and is in a display case in the main hallway of Royall High School.

I ended asking Douglas if he planned to make a career out of his woodworking talent, and he responded, “After I graduate, I plan on getting a degree to teach shop, wood and metal working classes.”