Sunday, October 18, 2020

for a fair selection

Other woodworking teachers will be interested in this website hosted by Woodcraft Co. to benefit those few woodworking teachers left.

The cartoon illustrates the absurdity of standardized testing in American schools.

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


Friday, October 16, 2020

Woodworking with Kids Volume 2, number 2

I just sent out my email newsletter Woodworking with Kids, Volume 2, Number 2. You can subscribe through this link:

The photo shows the type of hall table I'm making in my home wood shop.

Make, fix and create... Assist others in learning lifewise.

Thursday, October 15, 2020

finished buddy bench

We finished making buddy benches yesterday. I  attended and supervised the first and second grade class via google meets. The benches turned out strong and cute, and the students are very proud of their work.

In the old days, I might have been questioned for doing so much of the work, but welcome to the real world. No craftsman is an island unto him or herself. We are all supported and encouraged and "scaffolded" by others. I remember taking pottery classes both at Hasting College and at Memphis State, and realizing that if I were to work on my own, I would need a wheel, knowledge of where to get supplies and the means to acquire them, and a kiln to go along with the skills I was learning. Then, once pottery was made, I would need a means to sell what I'd made. Each of these components would be dependent on others.

So perhaps the greater lesson in wood shop and in life is that of learning to work with others toward shared goals that align with personal interest.

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

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Building a buddy bench

Today at the Clear Spring School, first and second grade students will be assembling buddy benches. What are buddy benches? When you feel alone, you can sit on one, and be joined by another, thus assuring you're not alone. These are being made from weathered white oak, and will likely last no more than a couple seasons or so. But that will give us the excuse to make more when we have a fresh group of first and second grade students.

I'll be instructing the class via google meets, so have prepared a tutorial covering the making of them. It's roughly done but can be found on my youtube channel. 

Many of the steps involved require greater strength and skill than would be found in an elementary school student. So this is a cooperative project with children and adults working together toward a common goal.

In my own shop I'm building "torsion tables" using a simple technique of my own invention. I've given them that name due to rods used to stabilize the design. The table base is held together with turned front to back cross members, tenoned on each end with holes drilled to allow for the addition of the rods that triangulate the structure. Because the tables are a unique design, I'll attempt to interest various woodworking magazines in allow me to write an article about making them. The photo shows the turning of a basic part.

Make, fix and create.


Thursday, October 08, 2020

first dibs?

A gallery that sells my work asked about a hall table they'd sold a number of years ago, wondering if I had more. The one they sold was part of my response to the Bush Era economic collapse. Remembering depression era furniture, made of scrap wood when furniture makers had very little to work with, I raided the barn where I keep various woods. As a result, I made and sold almost a dozen tables that year, while the economic prospects appeared nearly hopeless.

And so, not having exhausted my supply of beautiful and interesting woods, and not having wasted the knowledge and aesthetic judgement required, I've begun making two tables. Let me know if you want one. Between the two (and a reasonable price), you can have first dibs. The tops are made of soft maple that's spalted. The worm holes, sealed with epoxy, are free.

Yesterday I resupplied Crystal Bridges Museum store with a supply of boxes.

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

Sunday, October 04, 2020

Woodworking at home or in school with kids.

Woodworking at home or at School with kids, Volume 2, number one is out now and can be found here.

Make, fix and create...

Friday, October 02, 2020

Carving a spoon knife

This is a video  produced today for my students at the Clear Spring School. The full playlist of 9 segments can be accessed here:

Make, fix and create. Assist others in learning lifewise.