Thursday, December 01, 2016

a table and a sleigh

 In the CSS woodshop, one of my students has been busy building Santa's sleigh out of bits and pieces of wood. He keeps adding things to it. But with each addition, adds also to his understanding of construction.

How does one measure the success of such a thing? The measurement is not something that goes on a report card, nor will it fit the statistical framework into which school districts and educational policy makers attempt to cram kids. One important measure is that when he carries things home from school, his father asks with some surprise (as he reportedly does), "Did you really make that?"

In my own shop, I'm working with timber larger than is usually the case for me. Large mortise and tenon joints made in heavy timber to form a table base presents a change of pace. Ripping a large beam down the center so that joints can be cut and that it can then be re-glued into a single solid piece, is not something I do every day.

I received a wonderful letter from a young wood worker who has found inspiration in my books. He will grow on to other great things. At 12 years old, he's already cut dovetails and box joints.

Make, fix, create, and extend what you do and love so that others may be inspired to learn likewise.

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