VICTORIA — The cylindrical piece of cedar held snug in the lathe machine as it rotated.
Pressing the gouge hard up against the wood, Dale Dinkel watched the tool close as it shaved the bark exterior, minimizing the project to a desired size. Pieces of the torn off bark flew inches way.
Smoke rose off the wood as the gouge worked against it. A smell of cedar lofted across the shop area.
“I love the smell of cedar,” Dale’s wife, Kris Dinkel, said as she watched.
The project was a ring holder. Whittled down to the appropriate size, it showed of a marble-like appearance with the red mixed with tan.
After a little sanding and wax coating, Dale Dinkel stopped and ran his hand over the top.
“See this one isn’t quite done,” he said. “It’s still rough on the top here. It’ll be alright. Just need to sand it some more.”
Watching Dinkel form the block of wood to a suitable size and shape might appear as though it is done by someone with years of experience. Yet it was mere months ago when the Victoria native — who operates a spray rig on crops during the day — started the hobby of making creations out of wood. Since then, it’s grown into something a little more as he and Kris have made a business called “Call Me Lather.”
“I have to admit, most of this is because of my Dad,” Dale said. “He’s always been into woodworking. If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t be able to do it.”
Just looking for a hobby, Dinkel started working on a lathe their son Kameron brought from Kansas City. The lathe was older and wasn’t up to the ability of what Dinkel needed. He searched the marketplace link on Facebook and found a newer one in Otis, Colo. It only had been used once, so he drove out to the northeast part of Colorado to pick it up. Since that day he’s found plenty of use for it.
“He’s like a kid in a candy shop,” Kris said.
In the process of finding a niche with the machine, Dale Dinkel has enjoyed creating projects. He’s even created some using more than one kind of wood, such as intertwining cedar with hickory to make a rolling pin. Most of the ideas have come through internet searches, many of which Kris has found for her husband. Total, Dale said he would estimate approximately 70 projects he’s completed since starting in the fall. Walnut has been his favorite type of wood to use.
It’s become a sort of love affair that Dale credits this father, Leland Dinkel — who would do things like build cabinets as side projects — for helping him get more involved in such a hobby.
“I can’t stress enough that if it wasn’t for my Dad, this never would have happened,” Dale said.
Kris started a Facebook page as a way for people to see some of her husband’s creations, among them ring holders and rolling pins, decorated Christmas ornaments, cedar candle holders, mixed wood yard bowls and other projects. It didn’t drive quite the attention Kris hoped and so she created a page on Etsy.com. Type in ‘callmelatherdesigns’ into the search and the page is brought up.
Since opening the page, the Dinkels have received attention from buyers. They also have had a display of projects set up inside the Total Convenience store in Victoria.