This isn't your ordinary wood shop.

Members of the Woodworking Club at the Ahwatukee Recreation Center are dedicated to a charitable cause and as one member put it, they "work like it is an assembly line."

Every year, beginning on Oct. 7, the 100 or so members who frequent the full-size wood shop begin doing work every Thursday morning for local charities. They build and sand whatever projects are brought to them but, unfortunately, not many charities know they are out there.

"Sometimes we don't have enough projects to work on but when we do, we roll," Tom Rosenthal said. "Everyone comes to help out on Thursdays and you feel like you are in a factory."

Charities can contact the Woodworking Club about specific projects that could help them bring in money or donate. As an example, last year the Kiwanis Club of Ahwatukee went to Maricopa around Christmas time to drop off bicycles and other gifts. Rosenthal and the crew built a variety of toys to be given away.

"We made so many," he said. "The guys just love to be down here. I think woodworking is somewhat therapeutic for us when we get up in years. It gives them a chance to feel the wood and smell the wood and can bring you back to an earlier time."

The wood shop has an impressive array of equipment that has been collected over the past 30 or so years.

"I think we have better equipment than most schools," Rosenthal said.

Members usually bring their own wood for their projects, but if anyone would like to donate leftover wood, they would be grateful. If you are a member of a charitable organization and would like to talk to the Woodworking Club about your project, call Rosenthal at (480) 275-6631.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-4903 or

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.