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Krogmeier carving niche as a woodworker PDF Print E-mail
Written by Kyle Arnoldy   

Despite the fact that his work can be seen around town in local banks, churches, doctor’s offices, homes and every year at the preschool auction, Bill Krogmeier is insistent that the wooden projects he produces is just for hobby.

Currently Krogmeier is working on a wagon and pair of Clydesdale horses. While most projects take him between two weeks and a month, the horses took all winter. Krogmeier says much more handwork went into the horses than with most pieces as he has put more than 150 hours of work into the project.

While there is an obvious appreciation for his work, Krogmeier said he ends up giving away most of the pieces he creates. The few times a year he says his services are requested, he generally just charges for the supplies.

When pressed to put a price on his most recent project of the horses and wagon, Krogmeier estimated that elsewhere a potential buyer would need at least $1,200. Even at that price tag, the guess likely falls short of the actual price the pieces would be sold for as that would be less than $10 an hour for the work already put into the project, not even considering the time that will be spent on the wagon.

With four children, eight grandkids and too many nieces and nephews to count, Krogmeier has had plenty of practice at honing his skills on pieces for children of the family. The crafts also serve as a way for him to leave his mark with the family.

“They are always appreciative of it,” Krogmeier said. “I try to make stuff that is heirloom quality because I figure it will be around long after I am gone.”

He has completed close to 30 baby cradles for family and friends to date.

Bill Krogmeier shows off his recently-finished pair of Clydesdale horses he spent the winter working on.  —Enterprise photoz

“I like to make children’s furniture,” Krogmeier said. “If I find a little kid that I like, then I might make something for him.”

His interest in woodworking started when he was in high school working for a cabinet maker out of Amherst. While he enjoyed the craft, he had to put it on hold for 40 years to farm. Once he retired in 1990, he immediately returned to the hobby.

Krogmeier spends an average of six hours a day in his shop. With a cabinet full of potential plans and a shop full of wood, he is already mapping out projects for the future. In fact, Krogmeier said the most difficult aspect creating these pieces is deciding which plans to do next.

The challenges of the work is one of the many reasons he enjoys the hobby, and says he is willing to tackle any project. If he ever is displeased with a completed piece, he will start over.

“I am pretty satisfied with most everything I turn out, and if I’m not, I’ll do it over. That’s how I heat the shop, with my mistakes,” said Krogmeier with a smile as he pointed toward the wood-burning fireplace. “I’ve probably got as much hardwood in here as most of the lumber yards in northeast Colorado.”

With a photo album full of pictures of the pieces he has completed over the years, it is apparent that he takes great pride in his work. While flipping through the pages, he is taken back to some of his favorite and most treasured accomplishments.

One of the pieces that stands out to him is an antique dresser he was able to rescue for his daughter-in-law. It had been in a flood and was in nine separate pieces by the time Krogmeier was able to get his hands on it.

He was able to restore it and said it has remained one of his favorites because of how nice it turned out. One of the biggest challenges he faces when doing jobs like this is matching the color of stain when adding wood to existing pieces.

Over the years he has developed a signature style that he incorporates into most of his pieces. Carving out hearts into his pieces has become his trademark.

With a passion that has lasted for decades, Krogmeier has no plans to slow down as he creates treasured cradles, dining sets, clocks, Christmas decorations and many other pieces that can be appreciated for years.


Holyoke Enterprise July 25, 2013