Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Winding down...

We are winding down the school year at the Clear Spring School with this being the last full week of classes. Students are working on end of year presentations and performances, and it always seems to come quickly to this point. Yesterday in wood shop, one of my youngest students announced that he wanted to make a train. I invited him to study an engine that had been left hanging about, and asked him to tell me what he needed first. With me supplying the materials, he left the wood shop happy, indeed.

I have been making rings on the lathe to use as rewards for extra effort in cleaning the wood shop. I used most of those yesterday with my students grade 4-8 pitching it to help.

One of the big challenges in box making with kids is to get them to make square cuts. If the cuts are not square, the box will not be. If the box is not square, the lids and bottoms will be hard to fit, and the box will not sit on a table flat. Square cuts are why we have miter boxes.

Yesterday I got a new miter saw for use in the wood shop at school and as an illustration of what is available to others wanting to introduce wood working to kids. This one is made by Stanley, and was delivered to my door for $38.00 through Amazon. To prepare it for actual use, I'll add a board on the bottom that will then allow it to be clamped to the bench or table, so that students can put their attention into powering the saw, rather than in holding the miter box still during the cut. The saw is large, but the teeth are small and hardened for long life.

I purchased this saw to test because it has those little yellow clamps, that twist tight against the stock. While large adult hands may have enough strength to hold the stock in position while a cut is made, a child's hands do not. I'll be testing it with kids later in the week.

Make, fix, create and assist others in learning likewise.

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