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Sara Hertwig
A piece of flame box elder wood spins as Ben Blakeley shapes it into a decorative head for a wine stopper.
A cut above the rest: After years of military service, Navy veteran turns to woodworking

Wood shavings fly through the air at Ben Blakeley’s woodworking shop, illuminated by the glowing beams of evening sun that peep through the open door.

“Speed is your friend,” Blakeley said, while shavings from his nearly finished wine stopper fell from his whirling lathe and piled on the floor.

At least three days a week, the Littleton woodworker visits his spot at the Chatfield Mini-Shops. Often, there are tunes playing; and sometimes, he’s joined by his 4-year-old son, Tobin, for whom his newly opened shop was named.