Agriplex Teaches Residents the Lost Art of Stool Making

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Sharon Schuler Kreps/CullmanSense
Think of all the things that were made a hundred years ago, before we had the electric tools, like cathedrals and all the houses with their beautiful woodwork.”
Dr. Bill Peinhardt, class instructor

CULLMAN – On Tuesday, Nov. 3, the North Alabama Agriplex hosted a special class. Dr. Bill Peinhardt, board member and class instructor, held a captive audience as he demonstrated the art of constructing rustic three-legged stools using old fashioned hand tools.

“There are really two goals to the class tonight. One is to show an appreciation for the things that can be done with hand tools,” said Peinhardt. “They can be done efficiently and done well prior to us having all our electric tools we have now. Think of all the things that were made a hundred years ago, before we had the electric tools, like cathedrals and all the houses with their beautiful woodwork.

“The second goal is to appreciate, in Alabama, that we have woods that are wonderful,” he continued. “This is just part of the different wood we have here in Alabama,” he said while pointing to the various boards that were lined against a wall. “Just look at them. Look at how beautiful they are. The old-timers a hundred years ago [sic] what Ash was used for – handles and baseball bats. Maple can be used to make them too.”

After teaching the class about the different kinds of wood and their uses, Peinhardt showcased the many different hand tools that were once used to create everyday items. Some of the antique equipment had obviously been used a lot over the years, but fortunately, as Peinhardt demonstrated, the pieces can still come in handy today.

“I really like this class,” said 12-year-old participant Seth Aron as he chopped little slivers of wood at the end of a small log. “I’ve only done something similar to this when I made small stakes for my tent when I couldn’t find mine. I like to whittle at home a lot. I’ll probably use my stool as a shelf to put all my knives when I get home.”

The class was a hands-on history lesson, allowing students to experience how their ancestors made things over a hundred years ago. Best of all, at the end, they were able to take home a handmade treasure.

For information on upcoming classes or workshops offered by the Agriplex, call 256-297-1044, visit agriplex.org, follow North Alabama Agriplex on Facebook, or e-mail cullmanag@gmail.com.