GRAND CHAMPION - Santa's Sleigh get an Upgrade
Gregg Turk used to use his mill to saw for clients as well as to saw material for his fine furniture making and woodcarving. But after being struck with health problems, Gregg was forced to scale back his business and semi-retire. He decided to try out a new vocation: being Santa. There was just one problem with the new gig. When children saw Gregg’s Santa persona, they would ask, “Santa, where is your sleigh?” Unable to lie to a child, Gregg saw only one alternative: to build a sleigh.
With a little bit of Santa’s magic, the wood from a single poplar tree was transformed into Santa’s sleigh. Gregg did all of the woodworking himself and only contracted out the front bells, upholstery, and wiring system, all of which he still had a hand in designing. Although the style of the sleigh may look old-fashioned, the dash is outfitted with the latest advances in technology to make Santa’s job a little easier. He has a GPS system, a computer to view the “Great Kids List” and images of space, a switch to activate the locking clamps to help hold the sleigh down when up on the rooftops, and even a liftoff sequence simulation with roaring subwoofers and fog!
Not long after he began building, he was contacted by two local cities about being Santa for their Christmas events. Suddenly, the pressure was on. Although December was only three months away, Gregg was determined to finish the sleigh in time. Making the sleigh took a little more than the snapping of Santa’s fingers. He worked on building the sleigh eight to ten hours a day and spent his evenings designing the parts he would build next. Needless to say, Gregg was exhausted at the end of this project, but the final result was worth it. Although his wife was a bit concerned, once the sleigh was completed, they both sat on the floor of the workshop speechless at the masterpiece in front of them.
Gregg considers his sleigh the culmination of more than 35 years of woodworking and the best project he has ever undertaken. His Wood-Mizer sawmill allowed him to work with high grade material that he never could have purchased at a lumberyard and gave him flexibility in the sizing of his material. As Gregg says, “The combination of being a woodworker, a Santa, and owning a Wood-Mizer sawmill allows you to be able to build anything you can imagine!”