April 26, 2016 8:30AM
When Pittsburg State wood technology senior Ryun Snyder began designing what would become his senior project, he knew very well to whom he should turn for advice.
“It was very important that my girlfriend liked how it looked,” said Snyder, a Joplin native. “I worked with her a lot on the design.”
For Snyder, the process what about more than just impressing his now-fiancee, Abbey Prince. The cherry and zebra wood bed frame he was building had a special meaning for both of them.
“We’re getting married in September, and this will be the first bed we share as a married couple,” Synder said. “So this really means a lot to both of us, and I wanted Abbey to really like it.”
Snyder’s project is one of several created by wood tech seniors this year, and they each represent not only the students’ creativity and skills, but also the unique opportunity that technology students at Pittsburg State are afforded.
Mark Welle, from Milford, Iowa, put more than 550 hours into building an executive desk with a retractable computer monitor system. He could not have done that, he said, without the resources provided at the Kansas Technology Center.
“It’s an incredible thing to be able to take a project from the design to completion all at your own university,” he said. “We’re spoiled here at PSU with the industry support and all of the equipment and materials we are able to use. I don’t think we could do these type of projects anywhere else.”
Brady Montgomery, from Topeka, Kan., built a walnut dresser that features an intricate tongue-and-groove style front. It also features LED lights at the top to help see into the drawers.
“It’s pretty amazing to walk around this facility and know that everything we need is here,” he said. “We’re fortunate to be able to work the design and our ideas anywhere we want, but then be able to come to the shop and get to work.”
Billy Bauer, from Shawnee, Kan., built a matching dresser and night stand with both push-to-open and soft-close capabilities. He said these type of experiences are what he was hoping for when he enrolled at Pitt.
“My grandfather worked in the woodworking business, and I knew that’s what I wanted to do,” he said. “When I learned about the program here at PSU, I was convinced that there would be no better place to go. This is a very impressive wood tech program, and I’m proud to have been a part of it.”
Assistant Professor Charlie Phillips said many of the senior project items have been submitted for entrance to the Design Emphasis Showcase in Atlanta, Ga., one of the nation’s premier woodworking events in the United States.
“I’m really proud of how hard these students have worked on their projects,” he said. “Each year, I feel our students get better and better and take their projects to a new level. That is definitely true of this group.”