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tbockman
Posted: Thursday, April 14, 2022 4:56:26 PM
Rank: Newbie
Groups: Member

Joined: 11/17/2006
Posts: 0

A big thank you goes out to Woodcraft for hosting this site.


The Ping Pong Disaster

By the title everyone could probably guess what happened. Our beloved Ping Pong Launcher is a project no more. There is always one in the crowd. You know them. They are the ones who don't think first and usually act inappropriately because of it. The ones who rarely want to follow directions or rules. Our friend took an unfinished project out to the playground and started pointing it at the younger kids. The terrified kids don't understand... he thought he was being funny. Our new Principal was certainly not amused. It's a good thing I had proper clearance from the school's founder some nine years ago. Still, I didn't argue the point and took both the templates and the model home. Too bad our society is changing in ways we could never predicted only few decades ago. It was a great project while it lasted.

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tbockman
Posted: Sunday, August 7, 2022 6:59:07 AM
Rank: Newbie
Groups: Member

Joined: 11/17/2006
Posts: 0

A big thank you goes out to Woodcraft for hosting this site.


My Gift To Nurse Nicole

I'm still here! It's hard to believe so much time has past since my first year 43 years ago. Blink of an Eye I've heard it said and they were right. It doesn't seem possible that only a short time ago I was still in school myself. Now as I fight to keep going, I wonder if I'm doing the right thing by returning for another year. Is it my last year teaching or my last year on earth? Who knows for sure? I would like to keep going at least a couple of more years. A big thank you goes out to Nurse Nicole and everyone else on the staff at Banner who helped me on my way. Nurse Nicole brightened my day and I had to do something special for her so she would understand her role in all of this.



Her reply...

Hi Tom,

I wanted to thank you for the kind words you wrote about me to our management here at BUMCP. I am so touched that my care meant so much to you! I always strive to make a difference but in the ICU a lot of the time we don’t get to hear our patients talk so it can be hard to judge how we are doing as nurses. It meant the world to me to hear that I made you feel safe and comfortable here during a scary time.

Thank you also for the pen you made for me!! I love showing it off at work :) Such a special way to remember our time together on the unit and a reminder to always aim to create a nurturing environment even when it gets tough. Thank you for being such a sweet and easy going patient! Glad to hear all went well with the rest of your time here, hope you are still doing well.

Attached is a photo of me using the awesome pen! Can't wait to be able to refill it for years to come. I wish you all the best Tom!

___________

It is a thankless job in the ICU where most of the patients aren't even able to speak. Rest assured they are all thankful even if you can't hear them say it! If you couldn't already tell by reading these many posts, I just happen to be a real chatter box and love a captive audience.

While I don't have another photo of this one at our local hospital ER, Nurse Ashley made a huge difference and I returned and dropped off a similar gift to her. Before I even got to the other hospital, the on call ER doctor tried to steam roll the process of releasing me after my third visit in 15 hours, Nurse Ashley stepped in and tracked down my real doctor that was responsible for my next move, which turned into a two hour ground ambulance ride to one of the largest cities in the country and the right place I needed to be in this emergency. It's all a blur, but these two Nurses may have gone on not realizing how special they are, so I made sure to tell them in my own way. And May is the month for Celebrating and Honoring nurses too.

And if that wasn't enough, there's more. I have run across many a hospital staff and when they make a difference I try to come back and let them know whenever I can. A few months ago I actually had a male nurse named Charles who as it turns out had been a student in my High School class. I gave him, his aide Kat and Nurse Hope, toys for their young children that I made especially for them in my class as a way to show my appreciation. Doggie banks and Ping Pong ball shooters, before they were banded that is. I wish I could have done that for everyone, and several of those also remembered my class. Hey, you've got to love small towns where you can usually see people you know almost everywhere you go.

Oh well, life goes on and I'm looking forward to this new year filled with so much hope and possibility.

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tbockman
Posted: Sunday, August 7, 2022 7:54:32 AM
Rank: Newbie
Groups: Member

Joined: 11/17/2006
Posts: 0

A big thank you goes out to Woodcraft for hosting this site.


Using the laser to meet new staff

When we have new staff, I try to help them get started by showing them how to laser a name plate for their room. It's a great icebreaker to get them into shop and welcome them to our school. I just don't usually end up on their phone. This 4th grade teacher who caught me in surprise, laughed and said "That look on your face"! Then when I asked her to send it to me, she got a reply from someone, but it wasn't me. I think she forgot one word of my email. Who ever you are, please delete this awful photo. I look so old. Ha! I thought you were taking a close up and cropping me out.



MCK Woodworks let's me go through their scraps before they go into their dumpster. This keeps me out of the dumpster which is nice of them to do because I have been dumpster diving many times in my life so I can bring back cool free things to my classes. Sometimes it has been stained and finished as this example shows. My students know that I care about them and the environment that they are inheriting from us. I salvage, reuse, recycle just about everything we have in our shop. I rarely buy new materials or supplies. It's a way of life for me and I've shown this to as many teachers as I can. I hope this example has catches on and is practiced more and more.

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tbockman
Posted: Tuesday, August 23, 2022 11:23:38 PM
Rank: Newbie
Groups: Member

Joined: 11/17/2006
Posts: 0

A big thank you goes out to Woodcraft for hosting this site.


Jumbo Clothespins

I've always wanted to try this project but have never wanted to purchase kits. I prefer to figure out how to do the job with practically nothing. It's a great skill to teach kids so that they can make almost anything.

I ran across this dark colored clothespin in our local 2nd hand store and knew right away it was .60¢ cents well spent. I immediately began searching for springs and almost gave up until I ran across these for $1.15 each when purchased by the 100. The lighter clothespin shown below is the first prototype, before I had everything properly dialed in. Not a bad start.

The template

The school liked the idea and made the purchase but as you can see above, I found the springs were a bit smaller than the dark example. I managed to scale it down to fit and made this template which was used for that prototype. I believe the scaled down version actually looks more in proportion to a real clothes pin... and it better fits the scrap wood we are able to get for free. With a little adjustment to the outside notch, the spring eventually went into place better on the 2nd try.

The clothespin drilling jig.

Students trace the pattern in mirror image but it doesn't get cut to shape until after it goes through this drilling jig where two different sizes of Forstner bits cut the front and middle arched notches. I later added a couple of springs to the ends of the filler piece so different length could be held securely. Sorry they aren't in this photo, but it really made it easier for students who may have cut their blanks a fraction short.

The traced pieces slide in from the right and the spacer keeps them in place while the end is closed. The top hole guides are made from MDF and are easily replaceable if they get abused. The other parts of the jig are made with solid maple and hickory scraps from MCK woodworking, a local cabinet shop run by a former student of mine.

The clothes pin parts are being securely held slightly apart from one another at the front end but together at the back forming a slight V shape. Drilling through the guides makes holes and completes the arched notch operation.

Kade is the first student to try out the project. This will be a great test to see how well everything works in real production by a student.


The Bandsaw

That will be followed by doing some cutting slightly outside the traced lines giving each half it's tapered shape and leaving room to sand away the saw marks.


After a little bit of sanding with the belt-disc sander, the spring is added, being installed in the same way as it's done on it's little cousins out on the clothes line.

We noticed that tweaking the spring a little bit helps the pieces to lay down flat when they come together. We started out doing this by hand with a couple of wrenches. This method is easier, works better, and doesn't scratch the gold finish.

The spring's coil fits down into the mortise. There is a groove on the back of this maple piece that give leverage to tweak the spring just enough to make it install better and hold the pieces flatter. The spring must be taken past the line and then allowed to come back until it lines up with the mark. If it's not far enough, we keep trying until it is because it does matter.


Here is a close up of the final shape after tweaking. It's only a small amount but it really makes a big difference in the final appearance.



This next photo demonstrates the easiest way to install the clothespin's spring. Place a screwdriver through the coil and start the spring from the tapered end. As the spring gets pressed downward, it works it's way down until it snaps into place. Easy does it.


And as expected... the students are all lining up to give it a try. I love when a plan comes together. My students are the best and deserve the best I can give them. I love figuring out how to help them to figure things out.

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