Friday, February 05, 2016

Yesterday in wood shop...

One of my elementary school students has been making a new boomerang, as his first one broke. This is a chance for him to refine his design in the hopes that he can get it to come all the way back. About every 15 minutes of sanding as he works to refine the edges requires further testing, so we go out and watch it soar.

I'm not sure how many of my readers actually have the kind of opportunity to observe youthful creativity as I do. But I recommend getting involved.

One of his classmates has been interested in making a doll house, and I suggested that she start simple and build her skills first before tackling a larger project. She agreed that made sense, so the small house shaped box at left and below is one we worked on together. This particular student is very shy about doing things that require skills she does not as yet have. To see and participate in how something can be made is a first step.

The box opens by removing half the lid which rests in place due to the piece of wood glued on the underside.She plans to decorate it at home and give it as a valentines gift.

I'm also working on an electric k-body guitar as you can see in the photo. It's one of about4 I'm working on for my own amusement. I have the neck done, the sides assembled, and have drilled holes for the piezo, jack and control knob. Next, I begin painting it.

I hope I have some readers in the Portland Oregon area who will sign up for one or more of my classes with the Guild of Oregon Woodworkers. I enjoy meeting friends from the blog. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me via email.

One of my former box making students asked about whether or not I'll offer more advance classes for students who have already taken one of my classes. Here is my response:
It is hard to fill classes that have some kind of restriction on who can enroll. Marc Adams insists that my classes be open to beginning box makers, so as not to discourage anyone from choosing to participate. As you know box making can go to many levels beyond what we can cover in a one week class. In fact, you can go for years of steady improvement if you like.

The same applies to my ESSA classes. I structure them and design the curriculum at an introductory level, as it would be a very poor marketing decision to exclude any of the folks interested in taking the class.

At the same time, I think that my classes at Marc Adams School of Woodworking, even though they are at an introductory level, have been of benefit, even and perhaps most particularly for those students I’ve had there who have completed their masters at MASW. Each year I have two or three in my class who have their MASW masters and are wanting to apply their previously earned skills to box making. Each year I also have one or two others who simply choose to take the class again, planning to refresh and take their own box making to the next level.

One woman, an MD from the Chicago area, has taken my MASW  box making class three times and has vowed to take it again. First,  it’s fun, and second, she keeps learning new things… both from me and from others in the class. At ESSA, I have had a lawyer from Tulsa take my box making class three times for the same reasons.
When I was a young man, I loved learning (not necessarily in school) and wanted to learn for the rest of my life. Woodworking is a field in which that can be done, and the simple box I helped my student make today is an example. I am in that luxurious position of learning new things. The k-body guitar is also an example of learning and testing new techniques. I've been using a tiny Veritas draw knife to trim the edges of the guitar top in a very efficient manner.

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

No comments:

Post a Comment