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Joined: Friday, November 17, 2006
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Topic: New Project Ideas
Posted: Tuesday, January 26, 2021 6:45:00 PM

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

The New 3rd quarter Assignment

The assignment is a video of making the phone buddy and a fairly easy quiz afterward.


Some students haven't checked in for assignments yet, so 4 are currently on the list. 2 more on-line students are new to the class and will start from the beginning and work through the first quarter assignments.

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Topic: New Project Ideas
Posted: Saturday, January 16, 2021 8:36:52 AM

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


We began this semester mostly distance learning with a few students coming on campus for their assignments. With much spare time between lessons, I was able to cycle small groups through the wood shop. Mostly we played around with the laser engraver and wood burner, but this 7th grader was motivated to get multiple projects done. Among them is a cutting board and this heart box. I'm sorry I wasn't carrying a better camera so the picture had the contrast adjusted so you can hopefully see the engraving on the top.


I'm so glad I was able to do this. Sitting for long periods of time is not in my nature. This was a fun break for all of us. I even had a few come through who had never been in wood shop before. Everyone who is able, returns to our normal schedule next week.

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Topic: New Project Ideas
Posted: Saturday, December 19, 2020 10:29:18 AM

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

We stopped early December... 15th since the health department decided three Covid cases in two weeks was too much. We were one of the only places left doing in-school learning when a couple of people tested positive who weren't even on campus. It started to run through their family and they would stop coming to school. I don't know all the particulars, but wood shop was going fine. We all washed hands before entering and washed hands after leaving, wore masks, and kept the door handle and other surfaces sanitized. When the call came in, we couldn't hear it above shop noise and I let my students go for recess. That was 2nd period but we never really got out of 2nd period as the students were sent back. Parents were called and students were released as parents could come get them, and wood shop continued for one boy. We just had to get this done for Christmas and thought we had two more days. We had to cram that into two hours as we didn't know how much time was actually left, so we rushed to get it out the door.

The last project out the door...

This student previously completed an amazing step stool that I wish I would have photographed. You know how parents can be when someone brings home a well made project. Mom's immediately want something, or at least mine did. In my case I ended up doing an entire kitchen at age 15, but now I'm getting off track.

This case a little different, but no less profound as mom see's her opportunity to get something she really wants and likes and knows the final product will be nice. It's happened so many times before in my career. This mom wanted a place to store some stemware and the student brought in a plan from the Internet that I thought was terrible. It lacked all character and was awkward and boxy looking. I told him to bring in a few dimensions for his particular use and we remade the entire plan, but not on paper. No, we were working on it as we went. What do you think? Should we do this? What if we changed that?


The pieces ended up not looking boxy but they do require a ton of sanding since they are made from maple. Bayne spent many days getting out machine marks and burns from his cutting.


Assembled in just a few minutes before closing the doors, this turned out fantastic.


You did a fine job Bayne. I silently wonder if he might end up in the woodworking industry as have so many of my students. He hasn't thought about the future much, but this may have given him an idea.

My own junior high wood shop experience did not go this well. In fact, wood putty was my best friend and took up more space than the wood. All kidding aside, I would never have continued in woodworking if it hadn't been for a school counselor signing me up for it at high school. I figured at the time that it would be a good place to fiddle around even though he assured me it would be much different at that level. He wasn't kidding either as I managed to completely transform myself and my life because of it. I couldn't even imagine what else I could have done that I would have enjoyed more than being a wood shop teacher.


I hope mom thinks it turned out well considering we didn't have much time to get it assembled. I also hope Bayne considers his options with his new skills and doesn't settle for a boring career.

Well, we are scheduled to go back January 19th, but wood shop will not open as I will be helping in other ways. If I'm understanding it right, the plan is for the kids to stay in small groups as teachers will move from room to room. I will also do a study hall late in the day. I'm so excited.... can you tell? I think this also means no wood shop on-line learning. Plans have a way of changing but they start a quarter like this, it has to stay that way through the whole time. We will see what happens. In the mean time, I hope what I have been posting is really helping others.

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Topic: New Project Ideas
Posted: Saturday, December 12, 2020 11:24:40 AM

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

I'm up to seven students now in the distance learning... and playing catch up on posts.

The candlestick


The video inspired me to try making the candlestick while only using scraping tools. This age group has a hard enough time getting used to the lathe without stepping it up a bit to "riding the bevel", especially on something like this. I could just see their disappointment if their tool caught and ruined their work day after day.


Scraping is a good way to get them started on the wood lathe. This is a piece of cottonwood from our own on campus trees. The finish is clear Danish oil, no wax. Imagine a set of these on the Christmas dinner table.

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Topic: New Project Ideas
Posted: Saturday, December 12, 2020 10:41:32 AM

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


The Sahuaro Ornament

Another nicely done small project just in time for Christmas, and made by one of my lesser motivated students. What could be more appropriate in Arizona than a Sahuaro cactus tree ornament.


The freeform style of this gem immediately caught my eye and I just had to commend this student for the artistic way he captures the subject. I know my own would be all stiff and perfect while the gentle curves on this sample is what sets it apart. In fact my artist wife likes this so much she wants me to ask him if he would do 20 more so she can paint and send them out in some Christmas cards.

What....? You don't want my version? Ha! Maybe if I make one in two parts that slide together for a 3d look. Maybe I should do that... and then again, maybe I should show the student how to do one like that. After all, he's on a roll.

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Topic: New Project Ideas
Posted: Saturday, December 12, 2020 10:33:42 AM

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

I'm up to seven students now in the distance learning...

Here is more stretching out for distance learning so I can make my own videos last. I may not have a chance to get more made and this one fit nicely, especially since it is a project posted by a boy their age.


I did a class reminder to all in class learners to continue with our promise to the school that we each would wash hands before and after class, wash safety glasses before and after use, etc... Taking no chances since the flare up began in our state.

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Topic: New Project Ideas
Posted: Sunday, November 29, 2020 12:37:30 PM

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

I'm up to five students in the distance learning...

What looks like more fun..? Distance vs. In class.


I just added the Ping Pong Ball Shooter to the videos. It was difficult to complete with everything else going on. I found a few errors in the captions, mostly not staying up long enough to read the longer ones. And at least one s was dropped to make the caption read oddly. I'd go back and fix it, but it would take too long at this point. To get it through the process, I had to break it up into four parts and then put those completed parts back together. Maybe later I'll tackle going back into make the minor adjustments. That brings it up to nine youtube videos. It may stay there for a while since I'm too busy to continue filming with in class students all but one period a day.

I did have one covid incident in class, but as far as I can tell, it didn't spread to me. It's unclear if if spread to anyone else. I understand that the student should be back after a brief time off.

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Topic: New Project Ideas
Posted: Sunday, November 29, 2020 12:02:54 PM

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

Pecking Hens

I try to challenge every student to do their best. Here is a complicated project I call "Pecking Hens". You may have seen it before, but if you have not, thin fishing line goes down under the paddle and is weighted, so when it swings in a circular pattern, the hens start pecking at the ground.


I didn't expect this camera shy student to want to make something so detailed and then to follow through no matter what problems had to be solved. She did a great job and it should be ready for paint soon. I think her family will like this cute project.

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Topic: New Project Ideas
Posted: Sunday, November 29, 2020 11:22:03 AM

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

It has been nice to have students back working in the shop this quarter.

Now that we are halfway through the quarter, results have been spectacular. In class learning works better in almost every way. Better attitudes, better participation and better grades. In fact I think the majority of my students are so glad to be back that they are doing even better than before.

Take this student's project for example. I couldn't get much out of her and she usually put up a fuss when I tried a little pressure. I just persisted and she did her best, usually sticking to the wood burning tool. However, I didn't see this one coming. I was shocked when she came up with the idea and happy that I could help to show her how.


I really love the way this well thought out project turned out. I especially like how it got this student to finally participate in something higher. It was very well decorated with carefully chosen artwork. The message is crystal clear! "I love you mom... let's just say we don't get along too well." And it shows nicely on this resawn Aspen tongue and groove that was given to me last year. Good thing I hadn't run out of it yet or this event would never have happened.

You never know when or where a student will open up, let you in to their world, and express themselves as well as this. I hope mom loves this and will cherish it forever. I couldn't get the artwork on the back of the box photographed before it went home. I didn't think about doing that until I saw how this photo turned out, even with a crumby camera. The back had more of these cute cartoons.

I have to admit, cartoons are different than when I was a kid. I don't get the appeal of these particular choices, and maybe I'm over thinking it, but they do look good. They remind me of Felix the cat.

The following day when I asked if I could photograph the back, I was told that it already went home and is wrapped up for Christmas. Talk about pride in her achievement.

I don't know if she showed it off to any teachers, but if she did, I'm sure it came as a surprise to them and will certainly wow her mother. It just goes to show you that any one of your students can come around in the end. I can't tell you how it felt to show her how to make the corners and how well she managed to make them the right way. Let's hope there is more to come in the future.

All the students have taken well to hand washing, mask wearing, and cleaning their safety glasses before and after use. I am grateful they are doing this without being told over and over. Let's just say it is a pleasant surprise that there is no argument about it. It seems to be received as well as any other safety rule.

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Topic: New Project Ideas
Posted: Sunday, November 29, 2020 11:03:02 AM

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

A new idea just before being locked out.

I'm using part of the Thanksgiving break to play catch up on posting here. Before the pandemic, I had just completed this prototype. It is saved in CorelDraw so it can be made on the laser engraver and cut out on the scroll saw. All the hook marks too. It was really gaining in popularity but now that we are back in class, it has been somewhat forgotten due to the reminders of lockouts I'm assuming. I've also had to answer many questions about what is "Yale".


I made sure students knew they could put whatever name they liked on the key, as long as it wasn't too long. A very long name would probably not look right.

I have more in class photos I will soon share.

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