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Fantastic Woodworking in an amusement park

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Blog entry by KnotCurser posted 09-08-2013 09:47 PM 1358 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

One of mine and my wife’s most favorite places on earth is Knoebels Grove Amusement park, located near Elysburg, Pa. The park was started back in 1955 as a “hang-out” for local loggers in the area and grew from there. It now houses some of the best wooden roller coasters in the world and is a free-entry, family friendly park with great rides, unbelievable food and some of the best campgrounds in the region. You can even walk around the park with your dog (on a leash, or course)!

We spent a long weekend there with the pop-up camper and had a blast (like we always do). The park opens this time of year at noon, but opens one of it’s food pavilions for the campers early in the morning to serve breakfast – HUGE meal for only 5 bucks!

While we were walking back from breakfast, I walked bast the “Giant Birthday Cake Pavilion” – something I have walked past since the early 1980’s, BTW – and noticed the picnic table that’s under the structure for the first time with the eyes of a woodworker.

It’s a perfect circle and must have an inner diameter of at least 25 feet. “Cool, I thought” And then I took a closer look.

This table is a one-piece unit!!!! It’s made using bent-lamination and is a continuous piece – WOW!

So, to do this, all the forms and tools had to be carted to this location and it was built in-place.

You can’t imagine the amount of abuse this table takes as it houses birthday parties for kids every day of the week for the last few decades and the condition of it is still really nice.

Here’s a picture of the pavilion in the late 60’s – just gravel and a few benches around…......... Notice the table.

Here’s a very recent photo – more stuff around, but the same table!

Oh, BTW – my wife LOVED waiting for me as I gawked and took pictures of a picnic table this morning! ;-)

Knoebels Grove is truly one of the best places on Earth. If you have kids or are still a kid at heart – if you have the opportunity take the time and visit!

Oh yeah! LMK how that table is surviving! :-)

Of course, the url for the park is http://www.knoebels.com

Cheers!

-bob

-- Robert Rhoades WoodWorks / Email: rrww@rhoadesclan.com / www.rhoadesclan.com



6 comments so far

View Vance100's profile

Vance100

38 posts in 917 days


#1 posted 09-08-2013 10:45 PM

I live in Williamsport and visit Knobels every year. I’ve never noticed the table. I’ll take a look at it next time.

View woodworkerscott's profile

woodworkerscott

362 posts in 1480 days


#2 posted 09-08-2013 11:34 PM

Bob,
Thanks for this post.
Woodworkers who are woodworkers to the core can relate. I always have my woodworkers eyes on. I love places like you have shown that have a history and where the woodworking is bold and functional. More woodworkers need to take the time to observe and study the woodworking in any setting they experience.
Think of the hundreds of people that have used that table and never took a second to recognize the form and craftsmanship that was required to make it, much less think of how it has stood the test of time and abuse.
Oops, I’m rambling; but woodworking is very spiritual for me and this post was somewhat heartwarming for me to read.
Thanks again.

-- " 'woodworker'.....it's a good word, an honest word." - Sam Maloof

View Jim Jakosh's profile (online now)

Jim Jakosh

11559 posts in 1772 days


#3 posted 09-09-2013 02:58 AM

That is one cool table- all made from strips and bent to shape in a form, I suppose. What a fitting table for loggers! Being under that cover, it should last a life time.

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View stefang's profile

stefang

13104 posts in 2000 days


#4 posted 09-09-2013 09:58 AM

Quite a table. It looks to be in good condition but it could use a refinish, especially on the seat part. I hope they don’t let it go to pot as it is really a unique piece of woodworking. Thanks for sharing this with us.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Woodfix's profile

Woodfix

323 posts in 1966 days


#5 posted 09-09-2013 11:55 AM

Only a woodworker would notice. Well spotted and thanks for the enlightenment. :))

-- Living is a constant gamble, life is about working the odds in your favour

View KnotCurser's profile

KnotCurser

1839 posts in 1735 days


#6 posted 09-09-2013 01:02 PM

No worries Mike! The Knoebels family owns two things – this amusement park and Knoebels Lumber. They know wood and they know how to preserve what they have.

This is the end of the season – thousands upon thousands of people have used this table this year. Kids running on the top, coolers and grills dragged over the surface. Over the closed season it will be sanded and a new coat of varnish applied. They also fill and patch any damaged areas. That’s how it’s been there since the late sixties.

Cheers!

-bob

-- Robert Rhoades WoodWorks / Email: rrww@rhoadesclan.com / www.rhoadesclan.com

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