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‘Woodworker’s Gym’ gains members in Milwaukee

It’s like a health club for woodworkers, but with table saws instead of treadmills. That’s a slogan for The Woodworker’s Gym, a new public-access shop in Brookfield, Wis.

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Dan Meissner opened the 4,800-sq.-ft. facility in February to serve the needs of shop-less woodworkers in the greater Milwaukee market. The former mechanical engineer hopes to capitalize on the recent trend of similar community shops opening across the country.

“Members of the public are really liking the idea of getting out of their homes and doing something “hands-on” rather than staring at an electronic screen. We’ve had a pretty good response so far. It’s slow but steady. We are getting better exposure as people tell their friends,” Meissner says.

The “gym” offers the use of professional woodworking equipment for a monthly membership fee and instructional classes. Meissner says early members range from young adults to retirees and a group of women eager to make projects for their homes.

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“As membership grows, we’ll be offering more advanced classes. We will probably never be a destination school. We’re more focused on growing momentum in our community. Our overall mission is to get people excited about woodworking over the long term,” he says.

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This article originally appeared in the May 2016 issue.

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