Woodworking Network industry library opens at the MiLL
By Katie Stearns

COLORADO SPRINGS – More than 50 years of woodworking industry history has a new home. Copies of FDMC, FDM, CabinetMaker, Wood and Wood Products and Custom Woodworking Business are now available to read at the MiLL National Training Center.

Tim Fixmer, president and CEO of CCI Media, needed a place to house his company’s collection of historical woodworking magazines that had been acquired through the years. The fact that CCI media is a virtual company and doesn’t have a conventional office building left a need for a library space.

Dean Mattson, founder and CEO of The MiLL, had just the place. Fixmer and Mattson started talking about where to house the library in the early stages of the MiLL planning. Since the MiLL is the National Training Center for wood manufacturing, what better place to have so much history stored?

The decision was made that the MiLL would be the home of the Woodworking Network Industry Library.  Planning began in the fall of 2017 during a visit to the MiLL for their grand opening. Fixmer and Mattson thought it was important to have the students at the MiLL be involved in the planning and construction. 

The partnership between the MiLL and industry made all aspects of building the library onsite possible. Many of the MiLL’s partners were involved. Patrick White, the CNC instructor at the MiLL, helped students design and draw the bookcases and build a materials list.

Columbia Forest Products supplied the beautiful cherry plywood for the boxes and the shelves. A local distributor for CFP, Wellco Hardwoods, helped supply the 4/4 and 5/4 black cherry.

All of the plywood was milled and joints cut using a Vantech 480 CNC router. The doweling for the top and bottom was done on the Weeke ABD 050 horizontal drilling and doweling machine. The boxes were clamped with an SCM case clamp on site at the MiLL.

All of the shelves were edgebanded with cherry veneer using a Brandt Ambition 410. The face frames were joined with pocket screws using Kreg equipment, and joined to the boxes using Lamello Tenso joinery. All the crown and trim for the bookcases and the matching base for the room was moulded on site at the MiLL using a Williams and Hussey moulding machine.

The project was built entirely by third-year high school students. The instructors at the MiLL acted as coaches through the process, helping students solve problems and think through the design, build, and installation process.

A big issue the students ran into was that the room was more than an inch and a half out of level from one corner to the other. Students used a laser level from FastCap to take measurements across the room, laying out the toe kick. Adding an additional shoe mold at the base helped visually solve the out-of-level room.  Construction was completed in November of 2018. With the addition of books, the library was completed in February 2019. Fixmer is looking forward to officially dedicating the library this spring.

The books in the library are compilations of various woodworking magazines that have been bound into hardcover books from year to year, dating back to 1948.

The magazines come from various publishing companies including Vance Publishing Corp., Delta Communications, and Chartwell Communications, all purchased by CCI media. Fixmer is thrilled that these books are out of storage and ready to be enjoyed by anyone who wishes to read them. There have already been many students from the MiLL in the library, doing research or just having fun looking at what was happening the years their parents were born! The library will continue to grow as more books are being bound; The MiLL is honored to be the host site for the Woodworking Network Industry Library.


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