Bookmark and Share


Wortmann said. “I feel like I have accomplished something – it’s fulfilling.” Wortmann noted he has pens in 35 states and four foreign countries. A photo in his office area shows a field salesman Wortmann used to work with presenting one of Wortmann’s pens to a Japanese official he was trying to persuade to purchase his feed type. When the salesman was getting ready to go the Japan, he was told it was proper to present the Japanese with a gift and he decided one of Wortmann’s pen would be perfect. Wortmann quickly shows off his power equipment, a saw, a planer, but the turning lathe is his favorite – his buddy. He compares his workshop to a small sawmill where he can take bigger pieces of logs and saw them to the size he wants for any project. The walls are lined with shelving for his diverse collection of wood boards. “I spend hours looking for ‘pretty’ wood, pieces which have a unique design,” Wortmann said. Picking up a piece of Hackberry, Wortmann points out the spalting in the grain which occurs from moisture and environment. He has found some which have purple spalting and are very rare and hard to find. A neighbor woodcutter is always on the lookout for pieces with this appearance and shares the wood with him. Pens made with this type of wood grain sell quickly when he displays them at craft fairs and show in the region, anywhere from Mitchell in South Dakota to Fremont, a couple hours south of Crofton. One special piece Wortmann has came from a cottonwood tree in his pasture which was dropped during a tornado. The trunk was rotten but way at the top of the tree were burls, which grew there after an injury or disease to the tree and are a woodworker’s dream because the patterns in the wood are eye-catching and create beautiful pieces wherever used. For his pens Wortmann starts with a block of wood about one-inch square and four inches long. He first bores a hole, inserts a hollow tube and goes to his ‘buddy’, the turning lathe to smooth out a barrel. For other pieces. like the kaleidoscope he makes, he can carve out a design on the barrel at the turning lathe. Wortmann gets inspirations from woodworker magazines and that’s where the kaleidoscope project started to take shape. He made 10 of the scopes which were 12 inches long and he also makes a small handheld version only three inches long. “The kaleidoscopic is very time consuming not only because of the wood crafting but constructing the total piece is a slow process and very difficult,” Wortmann said. After the barrel is made, the mirrors have to be aligned inside and then the glass crystals placed. The large scope is a beautiful piece but a little spendy and the smaller hand-held size sell much better because of the price. The easiest part of the scope construction was finding the glass crystals. He visited a local stained-glass restorer near Hartington and asked if he had any broken glass pieces from his work. The craftsman said, ‘How much do you want?’, and took him behind his shop where he had two-50-gallon drums full of glass pieces after restoring church windows. Crafting enough inventory for shows is a lot of work Wortmann said. He probably leaves home with 50 pens but there’s other wood pieces he creates and sells. There are the kaleidoscopes and sometimes he has the old wood hammer blocks with pegs for children or during the Christmas holidays he makes wooden Santa and evergreen trees. He even polishes small rocks he collects during the year and gives them away to children for their fish aquariums. vWORTMANN continued on page 18 L&M Radiator, Inc., is a worldwide designer, manufacturer, and distributor of MESABI® heat exchangers that services equipment in mobile construction, mining, agriculture, rail road and oil and gas industries. IMMEDIATE FULL-TIME AND PART-TIME OPENINGS! 750 $ Sign On Bonus (Full Time Employees Only) We Are Hiring For All Shifts In All Areas Of Production 1st Shift M-F from 7am to 3pm 2nd Shift M-Th from 3pm to 1am 3rd Shift Sun-Friday from 11pm to 7am Part-Time employees need to be willing to work a minimum of 24 hours and a maximum of 30 hours a week. Basic math, computer, and mechanical skills are required for the job. MACHINIST Responsibilities include knowledge of reading blue prints, ability to operate Mazak and other machinery as requested. ASSEMBLERS Mechanically inclined assembler with 1 year related work experience. Blueprint reading experience a plus. OTHER OPEN POSITIONS Press Break Operator, Tube Machine Operator, Industrial Painter and Blaster. WhyWork At L&M? •Competitive wages •Clean Work Environment/5S •Great Benefit Package •Family Orientated Business •Production Bonus •Company Events •9 Paid Holidays •On-the Job Training •Career Growth •Profit Sharing MESABI.COM GO TO TO APPLY AND TO LEARN MORE! Must be 18 or older and have a HS diploma/GED and ability to pass pre-employment screenings. HISVOICEvMAY/JUNE 2018v17

© Copyright 2015 Her Voice Online