Monkey see monkey do: Love of woodworking spawns part-time passion

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Eric Ohlenbusch of Milton stands amid some of his unique wood creations at last weekend's Farmer's Market at the New Hampshire Farm Museum in Milton. (Lebanon Voice photos)

COPYRIGHT2017© MILTON - Eric Ohlenbusch of Milton has a penchant for watching you tube videos and working with wood.

About five years ago he blended the two into a hobby and pastime that keeps him pretty busy in his spare time.

"We were traveling through New York state about five years ago and I saw a place on the side of the road with bears like the ones I make now," he said during a recent Farmer's Market at the New Hampshire Farm Museum. "So I came home and watched a video on You Tube and started making one. It ended up looking more like a monkey than a bear so I called it "Monkey Bear."

Ohlenbusch, who lives on the whimsically named "Monkey Bear Farm" near the railroad tracks in downtown Milton, said he kept working on it and finally mastered the creation of one of his adorable "Hemlock Bear," so named because they're made of hemlock.

Eric Ohlenbusch tugs gently on the wick of a Scandinavian candle at his booth at the New Hampshire Farm Museum's Farmers Market last Saturday.

"If they were made of pine, you could call them "Pine Bears," he quipped last Saturday.

Another wood product he has mastered is the so-called Scandinavian candle, which makes for a neat little campfire using a single log.

As Ohlenbusch explains, you simply make six cuts about 80 percent down the length of the log, then pour in some wax and set a wick.

"It'll burn down to ashes in about three or four hours," he said.

Ohlenbusch, whose full-time job is as a security equipment installer for Walmart, also makes more elaborate wood items as well, such as chess and backgammon tables.

What's next, you ask.

"I'll see something, and that will be it," he says.

You'll likely see him at the next Farm Museum Farmer's Market, which are held the last Saturday every month through October.

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