Education Weekend (Rollagology)

Ray Wangler

Intermediate Poster
WMSTR Lifetime Member
Rollagology II

The Journey Continues

The Western Minnesota Steam Threshers Reunion of Rollag, Minnesota, is proud to announce Rollagology II!

Rollagology by Ole’s unabashed dictionary is defined as “the study of all things Rollag”.

Still waiting for information one can use? Here you go: In the interest of educating people in the activities that occur at Rollag during the Labor Day Weekend Show, a total of 6 classes will be offered on the show grounds on the weekend of July 11 and 12, 2020.

Individuals are able to sign up for two of the three morning classes offered on Saturday and Sunday. They can also sign up for any or all of the three 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. No one can attend the same class twice that weekend. Children under 14 must be accompanied by an adult and may be restricted in some activities (tractor driving, some print shop equipment, and running a drill press or grinder are examples.)

The following is a list of the Saturday and Sunday morning 4 hour classes:

So you want to buy a tractor? (8:00 a.m. to Noon, Saturday and Sunday)

Print Shop Operations (8:00 a.m. to Noon, Saturday and Sunday)

Blacksmithing (8:00 a.m. to Noon, Saturday and Sunday)

This is a list of the Saturday afternoon 1 hour classes:

Tractor Driving (1:00 p.m., 2:15 p.m., and 3:30 p.m. Saturday)

Soap Making (1:00 p.m., 2:15 p.m., and 3:30 p.m. Saturday)

Drill Bit Sharpening (1:00 p.m., 2:15 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:

So You Want to Buy a Tractor?

This 4 hour class is not only designed for people looking to purchase a tractor, but for those wanting to learn and understand the plusses and minuses of different vintages and different makes. We’ll focus generally on the 40 year period past the big prairie tractors, roughly 1920 to 1960. Manufacturers include John Deere, Case, International/Farmall, Minneapolis-Moline, Allis-Chalmers, and others that competed in the period of interest. You’ll learn the different sized tractors, their purpose, and the design features that made them great and those that can cause you grief. We’ll talk about parts availability, relative costs to restore and maintain, and the magazines and internet sources of information needed to own and operate a hobby tractor. As for “hands on”, we’ll have several tractors available to remove some covers and look inside. Expert instructors will give you the experience to inspect those areas of importance with confidence that you’re not purchase something ready for a bone pile. When complete, you’ll attend a parade, auction, or watch a tractor trek with a new appreciation for these magnificent machines. You’ll have enough knowledge to actively participate in a discussion and understand if you want to further educate yourself to consider a restoration! Instructors are: Duane Ishag, Dave Gresheski, Stand Sandman (or other JD experts), Roger Meyer, Andy Meyer and Adam Meyer, and Case tractor expert (still looking for a volunteer here)

Print Shop Operations

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 are Donna Schafer, Jerome Ekre, John Schafer and TBD members of the WMSTR print shop.


You’ll learn the tools and metal properties needed to produce beautiful artwork in this interactive 4 hour class. Members of the Northern Minnesota Metal Smiths Guild will assist you in basic metal forming techniques and give you basic information on heating and beating steel, ending in a project you take home with you. We’ll provide you the project materials and tools (steel, hammers, anvil, forge, shop…etc), you need to bring safety glasses, gloves and hearing protection. You’ll learn the “who’s who” of blacksmithing in our area and how to become more involved in the hobby. A perfect opportunity for the beginner and a fun ½ day for the novice. Instructors are: Kevin Fettig, Keith Johnson, Clint Adams, Phil and TBD members of the Guild.

Soap Making

This 1 hour course is designed to give members a new appreciation and understanding of the process of heating, cooling, mixing, and waiting to facilitate the complicated chemical reactions that go on while producing soap. Sound impossible? It’s not! Sound simple? It’s not! Many steps need to be exact while producing soap. From the rendering of the fat to the PH control it’s cool (not just temperature) to see the final product cut up and doing it’s job. You’ll take a bit of your work with you when you go! Instructors are Sarah Larson and TBD members of the soap making crew.

Tractor Driving

This 1 hour course will give you the basic skill needed to maneuver a tractor in tight areas. How to operate a hand clutch, the proper way to hand crank an engine, set the brakes, block a tire or wheel, how to traverse a hill (both up and down), and other information that experts have to share on the topic. We see this as someday being a requirement to running a tractor at Rollag. Might as well jump in now and beat the rush! Instructors are from the “Want to buy a tractor” class.

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 1 hour class 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 sharpen 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. Instructors are Ray Wangler, Phil Ptseck, Justin Malland, Darryl Malland, and Mark Kirschman

Signing Up!

Registration is $40 for the weekend whether attending one class or all. Primitive camping is included. Noon lunch is included for both days, and the Saturday evening meal is included as well. Registration is currently open and close 5/1/2020. All registration and payment will be done on-line by using the url and following the instructions within.

Education Weekend Itinerary

Friday 7/10/2020 1900 – 2000 hrs (7.00 – 8:00 p.m.) Kickoff/meet and greet meeting at the Merchantile

Saturday 7/11/20 0630 hrs Coffee and social at the Merchantile

0730 Load people movers and proceed to class locations

1130 Load at classes for provided bag lunch at the Merchantile

1230 Load people movers for afternoon classes

1630 Load at classes return to Merchantile for catered meal

Sunday 7/12/2019 0630 hrs Coffee and social at the Merchantile

0730 Load people movers and proceed to class locations

1130 Load at classes for bag lunch and closing comments at the Merchantile

1230-1630 Free time for students to roam class areas, visit, or travel home.

Ray Wangler

Intermediate Poster
WMSTR Lifetime Member
Dear 2020 Rollagology Students and Insturctors, May 7,2020.

By now you’ve likely heard that the Western Minnesota Steam Threshers Reunion, (WMSTR) Board of Directors have significantly changed the summer activities on the hill as a result of the corona virus pandemic. A small inconvenience compared to the real personal tragedies that some have endured because of it.

In that light, I’m informing you that the planned classes for the weekend of July 11 and 12, 2020 have been cancelled. A decision on whether or not the show will happen Labor Day Weekend is still to come. I was fortunate to sit in on the board meeting where the decision was made to cancel Rollagology and I’ll assure you that they thought long and hard trying to balance the level of health risk and social responsibility against the desire to have fun and promote our hobby. In the end, obviously, the risks outweighed the reward and the classes were cancelled.

The current plan is to reschedule for the second weekend in July, 2021, which is the 10th and 11th . Everyone paid up in 2020 is automatically paid up and registered for the 2021 classes. If, for some reason, that doesn’t work for you, contact me and we’ll either line you up for 2022 or refund your fee, whatever works for you. We hope you can make it to the classes, they’re going to be AWESOME!!

Here’s wishing you well and praying you stay that way. It’s a bummer that we won’t see as much of our Rollag family this year as we normally do, but the thought of future care free times we’ll spend together next year and beyond, keep me going in this time of isolation and uncertainty.

Take care and God bless,

Ray A. Wangler

Rollagology Administration