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Published January 16, 2009, 12:00 AM

Cabinetmaker shares creations with kids

What began as his 7-year-old son’s idea for a Christmas gift has turned into an annual tradition for Wayne Heifort.

By: Brittany Lawonn, INFORUM

What began as his 7-year-old son’s idea for a Christmas gift has turned into an annual tradition for Wayne Heifort.

For the past two years, Heifort has made miniature barns out of wood and given some of them away.

“This year we got a little bit more creative as far as a little more detail on the barn,” Heifort said, noting the addition of a silo and a corral.

He plans to continue adding detail with each new barn.

Heifort, a cabinetmaker at Ridgewood Custom Cabinets in Fergus Falls, Minn., has made six miniature barns so far.

This year, he gave two away in a drawing at the Fergus Falls Livestock Auction.

Heifort, 38, enjoys giving the barns away at the auction because it’s a lot easier to find farm kids there.

“They appreciate it a little more,” he said with a laugh.

In December, one of the barns went to a man who joked that he would let his grandchildren play with it, but they wouldn’t be allowed to take the barn home, Heifort said.

Heifort’s son, Winston, sometimes helps him work on the barns.

“He likes to try and create his own little masterpiece,” Heifort said.

Winston is also eager to get his hands on some of the power tools used in the process, but Heifort still thinks he’s a bit young.

“I don’t want him to shoot his finger yet,” Heifort said with a laugh, referring to an air nailer.

Each barn is about 2 feet by 3 feet and made out of pine. The materials cost $30 to $40.

Heifort doesn’t paint the barns, because he doesn’t like to paint, he joked.

The barn-making process is “kind of time consuming,” but Heifort said he became more efficient after finishing the first barn.

Heifort, who lives just north of Fergus Falls, didn’t grow up on a farm, but had a horse while growing up.

He decided to donate his miniature barns during the auction to give back to the people who often participate in 4-H events at the sales barn.

“I appreciate that they let me do it,” Heifort said of Fergus Falls Livestock. He intends to give more away next December.

Inforum searchword: barn

Readers can reach Forum reporter Brittany Lawonn at (701) 241-5541

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