OSHKOSH, Wis. (WFRV) – He won’t tell you it, but Pacey Berken is Wisconsin’s newest woodworking wiz.
“I don’t claim to be an expert, but I’ve used every piece of equipment in here,” he said.
He knows every tool and type of timber in the Fox Valley Technical College’s woodworking shop, where he was a student in that year-long program before sticking around as an intern, volunteering his time to help students.
“He’s got a very good ability; it’s an innate ability,” Fox Valley Technical College woodworking technology instructor Mark Lorge said. “Not everybody has that. I like to say that he can see in 3D.”
Berken placed second in the Fresh Cuts competition in Las Vegas for his Adirondack chair project he built in his time at FVTC.
“I was just fortunate enough to get second place. I wasn’t going into the competition expecting to get anything. I was just happy to be there.”
He did not build the chairs specifically for the competition or for himself. He did it for his grandparents.
“I really built it for them because they put me through school,” he said. “Figured they’d get a little return on investment.”
Now graduated, Berken works full time as a woodworker in Appleton and says he could not do it without his grandparents.
“My grandparents, they’ve been there throughout my entire life, very supportive of what I do,” he said. “I don’t know what I would have done if I didn’t have them if they weren’t in my life.”