group shot

Four of Santa’s helpers holding jigsaw puzzles they created for Pickens County’s Toys for Tots program are (l. to r.) Ken Kidd, Mark Dady, Brian Beals, and Cecil Schneider. PHOTO BY JIM FRANCIS

Santa’s helpers include four Big Canoe woodworkers

BY BARBARA SCHNEIDER, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. PHOTOS BY JIM FRANCIS.

Four Big Canoe woodworkers are real-life, hardworking—too big to be classified as elves—hands-on Santa helpers for the third year in a row.rabbit

Cecil Schneider, Mark Dady, Brian Beals, and Ken Kidd—all members of Big Canoe’s woodworking club—were busy Wednesday, Nov. 6 packing up more than150 wood puzzles they created for Pickens County’s Toys for Tots program.

Their amazing wood puzzles are created from more than 40 individual designs, including cats, turtles, pandas, horses, wolves, elephants, dinosaurs and dragons and different types of construction equipment. Trucks, cranes and construction equipment are the next most popular choice according to an unofficial poll of the kids receiving the puzzles.

The four men start in spring to create the original designs and make the puzzles.

fishUsing scroll saws in their individual home workshops, they cut out the pieces for each puzzle, sand them down a bit for a smooth finish then use a non-toxic wood stain or food color to decorate the pieces. Most of the time the four men provide all the materials as well as the time and talent to create each puzzle. This year they were most grateful for Peach State Lumber’s donation of some wood. Donations, they agreed, are always welcome.

Big Canoe’s Woodworking Club has approximately 40 members and meets at 3 p.m. on the third Wednesday of the month at Big Canoe’s Architectural Environmental Control Dept. facility. For more information contact Terry Nicholson at (678) 296-1888 or  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

puzzles and guys

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