Education Depot


Announcing the opening of registration for classes to be held at Steamer Hill in Rollag Minnesota on July 8th and 9th, 2023, aka. Rollagology IV.

In the interest of educating people in the activities that occur at Rollag during the Labor Day Weekend Show, a total of 8 classes will be offered on the show grounds on the weekend of July 8th and 9th, 2023.

Individuals are able to sign up for two of the four morning classes offered on Saturday and Sunday. They can also sign up for any two of the four classes offered Saturday afternoon. Sunday afternoon will be a chance to go to any of the class instructors for further information, questions you forgot to ask, contacts… etc., or travel home early if needed. Class registrations will be limited to 15 people per session, with the Print Shop limited to 8 people and the Foundry to 10 people.  No one can attend the same class twice that weekend. Children under 14 must be accompanied by an adult.

Registration for the weekend is $40 and covers camping, lunch on Saturday and Sunday as well as the Saturday evening meal.

Saturday and Sunday morning 4-hour classes: (pick one Saturday and one Sunday)

  • Steam School 101, Introduction and Review (8:00 a.m. to Noon, Saturday and Sunday)
  • Foundry Practice (8:00 a.m. to Noon, Saturday and Sunday)
  • Period Correct Advanced Grain Separation (8:00 a.m. to Noon, Saturday and Sunday)
  • Print Shop Operations  (8:00 a.m. to Noon, Saturday and Sunday)

This is a list of the Saturday afternoon 2-hour classes: (pick two)

  • Lefse Making (1:00 p.m., and 3:30 p.m. Saturday)
  • Ladies Activities, Sewing, Embroidering, Cross Stitch, and More  (1:00 p.m., and 3:30 p.m. Saturday)
  • Ice Cream Making (1:00 p.m, and 3:30 p.m. Saturday)
  • Drill Bit Sharpening (1:00 p.m., and 3:30 p.m. Saturday)

Here’s a short description of the classes being offered and the general topics they’ll teach on:

Steam School 101, Introduction and Review
This 4-hour class is designed to be an introduction to the steam world for those wondering if it’s something for them.  It will also serve as a review for those that have taken steam school in the past, but haven’t used what they’ve learned in a very long time.  We’ll cover (in 4 hours) many topics normally covered (in two days) in the University of Rollag’s College of Steam Traction Engineering class.  That’s right, two days packed into 4 hours, so hang on to your bibs!!  Due to the time constraint, we’ll obviously leave out much of the detail covered in the two days as well as the tours and hands-on instruction.  There will be no credit given toward the operating time required for a license.  This class will simply “wet your whistle” (no pun intended) with the ins and outs of steam traction engineering.

Topics covered include:

  • History of steam
  • Boiler Design, Codes, Licensing
  • Anatomy of the Steam Engine
  • Water Injection Devices
  • Firing
  • Lubrication
  • Emergency Procedures

Instructors:  Tom Hall, Sanders Ellingson, and other Steam School Instructors as needed.


Foundry Practice

This 4 + hour class is intended to give you a taste of foundry practice and the equipment and material needed to cast a part or piece.  There will be some classroom-style discussion about safety, the history of foundries, metal properties, and associated topics.  You’ll then get to pick a pattern and assist in pouring the part you’ll take with you as a memento.   The intention here is to introduce you to the people that run the Rollag foundry and see if you might be interested in helping there during the show.  No need to “cope” with Shaggy, he promises it will not be a “drag”, the “draft” will keep you cool and you can “shake out” of the “gate” after the weekend!!  (You’ll get the joke after taking the class)

Instructors:  Trevor Beyer, James Ness, and other Rollag Foundry Personnel as needed

Period Correct Advanced Grain Separation Technologies:

You’ll get to see the parts of a separator laid out and explained to you in detail as to their function. There will also be many diagrams of separation technologies that were introduced early on and which ones were successfully put into practice. No more standing next to a threshing machine and wondering “what’s going on in there?” You’ll be able to explain all the parts and their function. Furthermore, you’ll have the opportunity to meet with your instructors during the show and tour the field threshing area discussing what you learned in class. Perfect for the hobby threshing show attendee, someone wanting to restore a machine, or just becoming more aware of the inner workings of a separator.

Instructors: Gerry Parker, Todd Hintz, and Jeff Knutson

Print Shop Operations

Have you ever watched the amount of machinery moving in a printing press? Ever wondered how it all works together to print a document? It’s nearly a miracle!! This class is designed to show you the inner workings of a printing press, the different designs working during the industrial revolution, how to type-set, linotype, load paper, cut, fold….etc. In this 4 hour class, you’ll learn the attachments to the press that make the different operations possible. You’ll also learn the safety rules that go along with being around a press and what kinds of things typically go wrong. You won’t leave this class an expert, but you’ll be able to explain “what’s what” as well as be a helpful apprentice if you so desire.

Instructors: Jerome Ekre, John Schafer, and TBD members of the WMSTR print shop.

Drill Bit Sharpening

How does drill bit sharpening fit Rollagology? We think every Rollag project has a hole in it (metaphorically as well as literally!). This 2-hour class (being offered again) will teach you the geometry of the typical twist drill and how to make one cut steel, stainless steel, cast iron, brass or aluminum. You’ll learn free hand sharpening with and without a gauge (no drill doctors or other machines taught here) so you can “eyeball” a drill bit and make it cut with the most rudimentary tools. You’ll learn secrets to sharpening very small twist drills as well as the common sizes used in most shops. Speed and feed are critical parameters and will be sufficiently covered as well. You’ll receive a very nice drill gauge, and take your personal best-sharpened twist drill with you!

Instructors: Ray Wangler, Phil Ptseck, Justin Malland, Andrew Wangler, and Darryl Malland.

Keep on Rolling!  Norwegian Lefse

This 2-hour class is going to teach you how to get a “Round”. Emmy has years of experience frying lefse & will be teaching the basics of this potato delicacy. A few of the things she’ll be showing us are: the best potatoes to use, her specific lefse stick, ricer, rolling pin, proper rolling technique, and many more tips she’s learned over the years! WMSTR has quite a few folks with a Norwegian/Scandinavian background & heritage, and she is one of those folks! “My Great-Grandma, Grandma, and Mom all made lefse and I want to carry on the Legacy.” Emmy will walk you through the whole process, step-by-step and by the end of the class you can take home your own “Round” of Norwegian Lefse!

Instructor: Emmy Bernard.


Ice cream Making and Scooping
This 2-hour course is mostly for you to enjoy the fruits of labor! Actually, you’ll learn the chemistry and physics of making ice cream. No joke, the process of cooling water far below its freezing point, butterfat separation, sugar/water emulsion processing as well as the fast and easy ingredients different from the slow and complicated ones. Finally, while your creation is brewing, we’re going to introduce you to the ice cream underground (Rollagology coined term) of WMSTR. There’s a huge effort that goes into the many ice cream stands operated on the grounds which has produced tremendous income for the show, but there’s a big void in the number of people needed to make the effort successful.

Instructors: Darrel Dey and WMSTR Board Member.

Ladies’ Activities, Embroidering, Cross Stitch, and More

Our 2-hour introduction to handwork will keep you in stitches!

You’ll learn about the varieties of handwork stitches and see samples of each. We will show you samples of cross-stitching, embroidery, chicken scratch, red work, and maybe some surprises as well! We will cover choosing the different supplies you’ll use for these projects such as fabrics, threads, needles, hoops, ribbons, scissors, and patterns. We will also demonstrate a variety of stitches for different types of handwork.

You will be able to experiment with different styles of handwork to see what you prefer, then create your own work of art which is yours to keep!

Come join us and learn a craft you can enjoy for years to come.


Education Weekend Itinerary

  • Friday 7/7/2023 1900 – 2000 hrs. (7.00 – 8:00 p.m.) Kickoff/meet and greet meeting at the Merchantile
  • Saturday 7/8/2023 0630 hrs. Coffee and social at the Merchantile
  • 0730 Load people movers and proceed to class locations
  • 1130 Load at classes for provided lunch at the Mercantile
  • 1230 Load people movers for afternoon classes
  • 1630 Load at classes return to Mercantile for an evening meal


Sunday 7/9/2023 0630 hrs. Coffee and social at the Mercantile

  • 0730 Load people movers and proceed to class locations
  • 1130 Load at classes for provided lunch and closing comments at the Mercantile
  • 1230-1630 Free time for students to roam class areas, visit, or travel home.