Floyd Rose took up woodworking when he retired. He and his wife Ora Lea spent over 20 winters in Arizona, and he started working with wood while there.
“I saw some woodwork down there and thought it would give me something to do. The first project was a model of the Chapel of the Cross, the chapel here in Cedaredge. While I was finishing it, sitting in the shade of the trailer, a lady came by and bought it.”
That was incentive enough to keep at it. He has made and given away several other chapels of the same design, one to a lady in a nursing home. He has made other model churches too including one that he attended in Nebraska when he was a small boy.
Friends, his kids, his neighbors — all have been recepients of bird feeders and birdhouses of all kinds that he has made. He sold some, and still has more along one wall in his work shed.
His work now is mostly smaller pieces, shadow boxes and things like that. One of those shadow boxes is shaped like a slice of a house with slanted shingled roof and wee handcrafted furnishings inside. Even the curtains and fireplace are shaped from wood
Two of his neighbors have very special birdhouses patterned to look like the owners’ houses. He worked from photos to duplicate houses for local birds to call home.
“I’ve also made model houses to look like houses I have lived in over the years. Three of our kids were born at home. I made models for them of the houses they were born in, furniture and everything. Our fourth boy was born in the hospital. I built a model of the house we were living in at the time.”
Intricately designed fruit baskets have been made from leftover pieces of basswood. A corner trophy case was a much larger project, made to hold trophies earned by winning bowling teams sponsored by his company when they lived in Loveland.
A display box, designed for the purpose, showcases replicas of his own baby shoes and those of his children and grandchildren. One shoe is a copy of their son-in-law’s mother’s baby shoe with buttons rather than laces. The bear on the top shelf represents the Bruins at Cedaredge High School. A coyote and cowboy boot are also displayed, all carved from solid pieces of basswood.
A country schoolhouse is a model of the school that Floyd attended as a child. The roof can be removed to see that it has a teacher’s desk, stove, blackboard, cabinet, a clock on the wall, and rows of desks for the students. The entry has a place to hang coats.
The family home in Loveland has been recreated. Remove the roof and find it divided into rooms with tiny furniture throughout. There is even a furnished apartment in the basement.
He has also duplicated the house where he was born 90 years ago in Nebraska.
Two birds are carved from ironwood found in dry washes in Arizona. The wood is extremely hard, one of the world’s densest woods and subsequently more difficult to carve. Files and emery boards were used in finishing the delicate carvings. He still has a big chuck of ironwood that hasn’t been made into anything yet.
He prefers working with basswood. “It’s not too hard, not too soft. I get my wood at Ace Hardware (Big John’s) in Cedaredge. They didn’t carry what I needed at first, so they special ordered it. Now they have what I need whenever I need it.”
Floyd makes patterns and saves them in a large envelope to use, if needed, for future projects.
He has used all kinds of wood glue. Regular wood glues warp the thin pieces of wood that he works with. He has found that Super Glue dries faster and works best for his needs. Clear and colored stains are used to finish most of his projects. Oil based paints are used on items that will be used outdoors.
After retirement Floyd worked for the forest service in Wyoming for two summers, then he and his wife traveled. They have been on every dam on the Colorado River from the headwaters to the ocean, camping in forest service and state campgrounds. They enjoyed meeting people from all over the United States.
“Our favorite place to visit is Organ Pipe Cactus National Park Monument down on the Mexican border,” Floyd said, with Ora Lea nodding in agreement. “The place is very special if you go when the cacti are blooming in the early spring.”
While Floyd has been busy with his hobby, Ora Lea found time to make 17 quilts, all but two given to family members.
They no longer winter in Arizona. “We built our home here in Cedaredge in 1985, like it here and intend to spend the rest of our lives right here.”
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