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Profile: tbockman
User Name: tbockman
Forum Rank: Newbie
Real Name:
Gender: None Specified
Joined: Friday, November 17, 2006
Last Visit: Thursday, September 12, 2019 10:26:54 PM
Number of Posts: 0
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Last 10 Posts
Topic: New Project Ideas
Posted: Thursday, September 12, 2019 9:45:02 PM
Another challenging project

Actual size

I'm always challenging the students to pick quality projects and to try something new. Pick something difficult when you are ready. Forget the path of least resistance! Work towards something of quality that is so cool that you can't wait to get into the wood shop each day. This small racer has created a huge wave of much needed inspiration in our class this year.

Here was my inspiration...

Maybe in the future I will add actual steering.

It's kind of funny that this thread started as a way to share project ideas only to end up being a running log of activity on building a school wood shop at a school that doesn't really have the money to do what we are doing. I hope you are enjoying seeing what we have been working towards, even as I begin to think it's almost time for me to retire again. Physical things as you get older can really bog you down and that's what is happening to me.

If you haven't taken the time to look back at some of the updates I have been making to each post, then you are missing out on some really great stuff. I figured out how to make links within this site, that will go directly to each post. Slow connections or Internet speeds might require a little patience to load, but using the back browser arrow brings you directly back to where you left off reading. For example.... here is a direct link to the crankyman automata post and the back arrow brings you back here.

These links help clarify or point out ideas without a lot of fumbling around on your part. Now this makes me wish I would have made the posts smaller, concentrating on a single concept/issue/project, but doing that creates more pages. However, I could further direct teachers to these concepts in greater detail... so maybe some day I will be able to break it up into smaller sections. Doing this as an after thought would not keep them in chronological order. That order is part of what I think makes it more fascinating.... to watch a budding program thrive from day to day, week to week, etc... and work within the constraints of the times.

It's also too bad that DivShare has messed up their site. If any of you have been trying to get material on the broken links, let me know. I found my stash of material on one of my external hard drives, so I should be able to send them over e-mail. As I have time in the future, I would have uploaded this material to photobucket and remake the links, however, photobucket changed the free user agreement and I'm unsure as to what will work and what won't. Contact me so I can send material directly over e-mail.

Here are some general page short cuts for you...

Go to page 1 ... 2 ... 3 ... 4 ... 5... 6 ... 7... 8... 9...10... 11...12...13

A message to new wood shop teachers who may have stumbled onto this site!

Because of spam... this site has been closed for quite some time now, but if you would like to join, we could use some new blood. The older guys have been retiring and thinning out the ranks. I didn't ask permission to post this, but I found out from a new member that he did this to gain access.... Send an e-mail to I have noticed that this is helping new members get into the site while keeping the spammers out.

I've seen at least thirteen new members have signed up since making this notice.
Topic: New Project Ideas
Posted: Friday, September 06, 2019 8:49:52 AM

Welcome to another great school year!

Bayne is a new 7th grader in wood shop. Most of our 7th graders are in their 4th year of wood shop by now, but with only a couple of small starter projects completed, Bayne has already managed to show great skill by cutting this out on the scroll saw. His ability clearly shows good craftsmanship. I am also impressed by his great color choice.

I can't wait to see what he will make next.

Here are some general page short cuts for you...

Go to page 1 ... 2 ... 3 ... 4 ... 5... 6 ... 7... 8... 9...10... 11...12...13
Topic: New Project Ideas
Posted: Saturday, May 18, 2019 9:54:33 AM
Helping out Kindergarten

With only a few days left of school, anyone who has completed their work helps cut shapes for the Kindergarten teacher to use with her kids.

That should do it for this year. Carnival is Wednesday and then summer break.

***UPDATE*** 5-23-19 First day of summer and it is cold and rainy... totally not feeling like summer. I spent my morning at the cabinet shop picking up some materials. If I do this once a month, I will have more materials than I know what to do with.

Topic: New Project Ideas
Posted: Saturday, May 18, 2019 9:10:39 AM
Kiss a pig?

Fun for all as Ms. Axe and the entire student council line up to Kiss a pig... oh and I can't forget my former student (who is now a teacher here)... Mr. Guzzo bringing up the end of the line. His class raised a lot too and he felt he owed it to his kids. What a great sport.

Hey, good sport or not, I'm really glad I didn't have to do it. Another advantage to being the wood shop teacher.
Topic: New Project Ideas
Posted: Saturday, May 11, 2019 12:54:53 PM
This is Ashley

Ashley is almost done with junior high school. She is making finger joints on her final (last) project in wood shop. (A week and a half left before graduation.) If you remember back to her other projects last year... you already know that she does high quality work.

When she wondered what to make this time, she went to the Internet and found this picture.

This is a close up during the cutting of the finger joints.

Because I forgot to take a picture of this, here is Nevaeh gluing the finger joints for her project. We use a scrap stick to spread the glue. Finger joints are strong because they have so much gluing surface.

Now that the finger joints are glued, Ashley smooths any rough spots.

With the corners smoothed, Ashley paints the edges in art class. Ms. Leon helps her stamp a bumblebee on the front. The stamp was made from a maple block run through the laser engraver.

Ashley lightly sands the corners to take off any unwanted paint that may have gone over the edge. Nicely done Ashley!

This project was made from scraps of tongue & groove aspen that was resawn on the band saw. It appears almost completely white. Ashley has not decided if she is going to put a finish on it. She likes the color like it is. Water-based clear finish would leave it this unique white color. Oil-based clear on the other hand would yellow it.
Topic: Introductions
Posted: Thursday, May 09, 2019 5:08:18 PM
Now it worked. I sent shared with google docs. Hope this works.
Topic: Introductions
Posted: Thursday, May 09, 2019 2:27:02 PM
Nothing yet... try again.
Topic: Introductions
Posted: Thursday, May 09, 2019 9:56:01 AM
I wouldn't know how to access a PM since this site doesn't support their messages section. I'm not sure what the issue has been, but e-mail me instead and I will send along some examples.

My first job didn't even include a text. I had a bunch of industry pamphlets at best. My second job included a 25 year old textbook I think from the 1950's. I also found some of the old Stanley posters from the 1960's. I've had to come up with almost everything and had a pretty good start before I found this site.

After being featured in both WOOD and American Woodworker magazines, the founder of this site called me. He really wanted me to start my own site, or rather a western alliance of teachers on this side of the country. I decided I had too many irons in the fire and chose to stick with posting here. That's when things got really exciting.

I started showing a few people my materials and after some of the teachers saw them, a bunch of us decided to get together on a curriculum writing/building project where we/I collected contributions and curriculum materials from everyone who could add stuff and then I spent several years building a product we all shared... including anyone who were early in and then wanted an update later.

Hey... I even had someone in Australia contribute, then someone from Ireland, many more from Canada, and tons from all over the US... and even one from South Africa. After the project ended, many more people asked for copies and gave more material. It grew quite large.

Unfortunately during that time I also became the focus of an on-line stalker who really tried to make things difficult. I took everything I had posted off this site. Let me know if you want to know how to do that. It is easier than you think to completely erase all traces.

I started over with a new name and laid low for a while. Then I came back when I felt I had something new to share. I mostly post in that same thread now. That's what I have to share.

I'll look into how to access google docs again. It's been quite a few months since I last uploaded and my memory isn't what it used to be, but I'm sure I can figure it out. Two people insisted that they wanted to share it that way. The biggest problem with google docs is space. I couldn't add everything without paying for the upgrade to more space, so it is a little limited.

The Green Construction, On-the-job training, and maybe even the CNC folder, and a few other things may be all that is missing. What I have been doing that is a successful way to share it, is having teachers send a self-addressed stamped envelop and a 64GB flash drive which takes me 5-6 hours to upload, then send back, so e-mail me and let's get you some curriculum.

The best part about the self-addressed envelop is that I can mail it from home and not go stand in line at the post office. That's all there is to it and then you have everything from that group with only a stamp and flash drive as your investment. Well, maybe a little time too since it's a comprehensive endeavor that you can go into and change it/personalize it to fit your program.

Just don't leave it behind if you leave that job. It will not belong to your school, but can travel with you to another school. Also, talk to me before you share copies. I like to keep track of what is happening with this material.

It's a couple of hours later now.... and I'm at school. I just got on google docs. It does have the CNC folder. It has all the woodworking folders. The links will not work from google docs viewer. I would be curious to know if you download an entire folder of the many that are there, will the links work inside that folder. Can you use the links to get to material during a PowerPoint presentation? I do know with a flash drive they will work perfectly. Let me know if you are willing to give google docs a try.
Topic: Introductions
Posted: Wednesday, May 08, 2019 9:45:59 AM
Welcome Jordan! When I first came to this forum, it was alive with activity. That was well before the economic downturn. Many woodworking programs have since been shut down and many teachers I have known over the years have disappeared. Sometimes they will say they are going into retirement and sometimes it is simply that the program has been cut. Look at how long it has been since the last post besides my own. Nearly 8 months.

I started hearing from some of the many math or science teachers who were asked by their Principal to restart woodworking at their school after years of neglect. They often get into the shop and find it is almost too far gone and there are difficulties getting machines to work properly or finding materials on outdated budgets, so they are looking for ideas. I'm trying to help as much as I can by posting here.

To make a long story short, my own high school woodworking program was cut due to a lot of factors including economic pressure as our state legislators started cutting funds to public education. The fallen job market also contributed, such as cabinet shops going under. I managed to work at a few of these shops and knew the people well. One of my former students started his own shop and managed to weather this storm. I worked there for a short time after retiring early.

Then I got the call to help a small charter school build a program. Lucky for me, the cabinet shop lets me pick through scrap materials before they have a chance to go into the dumpster, so I have built this program with hardly any money, and almost no public funds. Maybe you are in this same boat or maybe you have been blessed with tons of new equipment and lots of money to run your program. Most of us can only hope to reach that level.

I have my own curriculum I can freely share. It's pretty good stuff. E-mail me by removing the red in the address below and I will send a few examples and tell you about how you can have the entire curriculum. I have much of it uploaded to google docs. I just need to remember how to get to it, but there are other ways to share it... however, most of it is too large for e-mail.

Here's one aspect. Everything in the curriculum is linked together so you don't have to fumble looking for the right video or handout when you show a PowerPoint for example. It's cool to use. My students have enjoyed it too as I also made them see historical things and show evidence of our links to the academic subjects Math, Science, and Language arts.

We in fact managed to ace the cabinetmaking exit exam that the state required for everyone who completed the program. We had the top state honors with the top test scores for three years in a row right before I was shut down. After that "failed Principal" was asked to leave, my former school tried to bring me back two years later, but knowing they were still cutting programs and staff, and since I had already found a secure niche at the Franklin Phonetic School (shown in my posts), I declined their offer.

Seriously, that was turning down a lot of money, but I ended up making a feast out of famine with some wonderful students here at this charter school. The successes have turned into them adding more days to my schedule until I was at a four day week, and also already collecting state pension. Who could ask for a better situation.

However, I can tell that I am getting near the end. I'd like to go a few more years but physical issues are beginning to take their toll. I'm not sure how much longer I can last. I need/want to pass along everything I have put together to as many wood shop teachers as I can. The curriculum has a first year Green Construction folder and an On-the-job program as well, just in case you have to also do the carpentry classes or get students jobs like I had to do.

You are right. It is the best job in the world if you are up for all of the unique challenges. 38 years and counting. Go wood shop!
Topic: New Project Ideas
Posted: Sunday, April 28, 2019 10:26:25 PM
This is Sawyer

Sawyer is currently in the 4th grade. He is both funny and smart. He came up with his own projects, designing them from scratch. This robot with the blaster hand is his first project.

This game table is his 2nd project. I told him is was a bit too much for him but he was unafraid and kept insisting that we try. He never gave up... except he almost had enough with all the sanding.

Sawyer designed the table to be portable... so the legs can easily be removed. He did get a little help, but did as much as he could to get it finished on time. The after school program ended on 4-25. What a great job Sawyer.

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