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‘The Builder’ does a good turn for woodturners

By Kay S. Pedrotti By all accounts, Roger Youmans is the kind of man you want around when something ‘“ almost anything ‘“ needs to be done. A journeyman pipe fitter by trade, Youmans is responsible for building the components at the new ‘green gas’ plant at Cedar Grove Landfill in Barnesville. Now the expert metal worker has built something for the Barnesville Woodturners just because it was needed: welded racks for the 40-plus folding chairs cluttering up Fred Morris’s shop. Youmans is not a member of the group but said he has attended ‘every meeting since they had that exhibition and raffle back in the spring. I really enjoy it.’ He learned to love woodworking from his father, a finish carpenter, and now has his own metal shop in Savannah where he lives with his wife and family. Youmans spends Monday through Friday in Barnesville working with Johnny Poore, landfill director, and Seaborn Crosby, project manager, on the plant which will one day turn some of the landfill’s voluminous trash collections into usable gas fuels. The landfill recently received $27.5 million from the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority to complete work on the plant. Poore said Youmans’ talents help turn original designs into workable machinery. Youmans emphasizes that working on the plant is the kind of challenge he enjoys. He added, ‘I love a challenge. There’s nothing I wouldn’t tackle.’ ’We draw out something, make it, test it, and if it doesn’t work we start again. This is a true learning experience since this is a new concept. We build something, run it, test it, and if it’s not right we redo it and learn all over again,’ Youmans added. They anticipate a full-scale plant will be operational within a year, depending on time for getting permits and other compliances. About the chair racks, Youmans said, ‘I saw the problem with the chairs at the meetings. They were talking about making a rack out of wood but I told Fred (Morris) a wood rack wouldn’t stand up to the weight of the chairs. I measured, took a chair home to my metal shop and built two racks. When they were loaded up with chairs everybody seemed to be happy.’ Morris hosts the woodturners’ meetings in his shop, where storage of the chairs has been a growing problem as the group got bigger. ’You bet I was happy,’ Morris said. ‘Now those chairs aren’t blocking access to all my cabinets. We were just delighted to see Roger, who isn’t even a member, step up and do something like this. We’re so grateful.’ Youmans said he has fallen in love with Barnesville and made many friends. Nevertheless, Savannah is home, and now that the Youmans family includes wife, two sons, a daughter-in-law and two granddaughters, ‘It looks like we’ll stay.’

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