South Tahoe High School students make specialty chairs, raise money for wood shop
Students taking wood shop at South Tahoe High School have embodied a slice of winter into furniture this season, all while raising money for the school’s program.
They have accomplished this by taking old skis and snowboards and transforming them into household furniture. Skis become the backs of Adirondack chairs, or snowboards replace the bottoms of festive benches.
Most recently, the students completed about a dozen of the colorful snowboard benches, which are selling for $80 each.
Wood shop instructor Nathan Crnich said the projects are not only a good learning experience for the students, but they will also help pay for materials that will help other students in future wood shop classes.
“It’s been great,” he said. “The Adirondack (ski) chairs sold out within a week of me putting the email up.”
The idea of turning old snow equipment into household goods was inspired by creations from Forest Furniture, a South Lake Tahoe business that specializes in making high-quality furniture out of skis, snowboards and other winter products.
High school senior Jesse Mitchell said he presented the idea to Crnich after reading an article about the local business. He wanted to make a bench for his own house and a rail for his backyard snowboard park.
“It got me more motivated to work on it,” he said.
Mitchell was hesitant about coming back to wood shop this school year after getting his fingernail ripped off by a sander, he said. But working on the benches has led to a higher appreciation for woodworking.
He’s also learned a valuable lesson.
“If you want to do something, you have to push yourself,” he said.
Junior Vincent Lefteroff had similar thoughts on the projects. He enjoyed working on the furniture, which required students to use a variety of wood shop tools.
“It was interesting to make,” he said. “It was pretty hard.”
Lefteroff had to line up sets of skis to comprise the backs of the chairs. Making the right measurements and cuts was crucial, he said, but it was all a part of the learning process.
“I love making projects,” he said. “It’s fun.”
While every Adirondack ski chair may be sold out, the high school still has about five snowboard benches left. Anyone interested in buying a chair can call Vickie Cotrrill at the STHS ASB office at 530-541-4111, ext. 285.