Monday, June 03, 2013

What we receive from teaching...

Parts for a small finger jointed box
I am home from Marc Adams School of Woodworking for one week, and back in my own shop. Folks think that teaching is a one way street, with the information passing from teacher to student, but I always return home with new ideas that come from watching my students solve problems and make boxes. They challenge me, asking, "why do you do that?" and their questions make me think more deeply in what I'm doing, observe more closely, and changes in how I work often come as a result.

A good student makes a teacher better, and when I've been with students at Marc Adams School, I've spent my time with some of the best. Then to return home and work in my own shop brings added opportunity to apply what I've learned.

Today I am making small boxes inspired by a small zebrawood box that my student Alfred was making on the last day of class. It was a sweet thing, a small box with a sliding top. My own, will be done in a variety of woods, various sizes, and some will also explore the use of shaped sides. As you can see in the photo above, I've added a vacuum attachment to my box joint router table. It removes the sawdust as it is made, making less mess and allowing for greater accuracy.

Whether you are a student of woodworking or have mastered the art through long years in the wood shop, there is no more rewarding exercise than to share what you have learned with others. You will find teaching and sharing with others to be a fast track toward your own growth.

Make, fix and create...

1 comment:

  1. Teaching is most definitely a two-way street, as I learned from my own students. Often it was a matter of watching how they did something, and either warning them that their method could cause problems (or injury) or telling them that they had just taught me something.