Woodworking may be considered a hobby for some, but for more than 50 residents of the Masonic Village at Elizabethtown, it’s a passion with a purpose.

Carving cabinets and sanding shelves is a labor of love for many of the woodworkers who spend upwards of eight hours a day in the campus woodshop. They take custom orders, and some specialize in specific items, such as one gentleman who makes dulcimers or another who creates stained glass pieces.

Every artist needs the right environment, and the woodworkers of Masonic Village now have a state-of-the-art space which rivals any retirement community woodshop across the country.

The newly-constructed 8,700 sq. ft. Rooster Woodshop features 56 workbenches, 20+ assembly tables, three storage rooms, a paint booth, an office and a spacious showroom. It replaces a smaller shop located in a former renovated chicken house since 1991. A woodshop was originally established at Masonic Village in 1963.

A dust collection system, air conditioning, plenty of light and dozens of new machines will make it even harder for woodworkers to leave their woodshop.

“I believe it is one of the nicest and most modern shops in any of the retirement communities in the state, if not the country,” resident Dean Miller, president of the woodshop, said. “Three of us from the shop attended all the design meetings. We had a lot of input, and the final design is based on our recommendations.”

Each year, the group makes donations to the Masonic Children’s Home, Employee Assistance Fund and other charities. The showroom, located on Freemason Drive, is open for public sales Monday through Friday, 8 to ll a.m. and 1 to 3 p.m., and Saturdays, 8 to 11 a.m.