Sunday, April 22, 2018

routing drawer guides

Yesterday I got a chance to work in my own shop, routing drawer guides in the sides of  jewelry chests. The drawer guides consist of two parts. A 1/8 in. x 1/4 in. strip of wood is glued in grooves cut in the drawer sides, and grooves in the box sides are routed twice to be widened for the strips to slide within.

The first routing is done between stops with a thin cereal box cardboard spacer between the work piece and fence. By removing the spacer for a second routing, the groove is widened just enough to allow smooth movement of the drawer in the groove. Is that something you can understand from words alone? Perhaps not. In all likelihood I might just as well be speaking French unless you are already a woodworker with extensive experience of your own. Even then the meaning of the words may escape you.

Words are like that. They are generally insufficient, except when some prior experience is involved and even then may lead the reader astray.The routed grooves shown in the photo were but the first. Each jewelry box side required 5 carefully routed grooves for the drawer guides to fit. The process required careful measurement and careful planning. This may help to explain why education based on language is not enough and why schools must provide various means through which students become usefully engaged in the real world.

Otto Salomon, proponent of Educational Sloyd, said that the idea of a class of students was a challenging one in that students come into a classroom with varying degrees of experience in the subject, some knowing some things and some knowing others, but rarely on the same page with readiness for understanding the same information at the same time. What's known by one is not known by another. What's easy for one is not easy for another. What's simple to one is not to another, and What's concrete to one is not to another. Even student interest will vary from one student to another.

This makes education much more of an art form than a routine process and it requires that the teacher's relationship to each student be strong enough that little stands in the way of learning.

Make, fix, create and assist others in knowing the necessity of learning lifewise.

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