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Profile: Scrappy
User Name: Scrappy
Forum Rank: Newbie
Real Name:
Location Corunna, MI
Gender: None Specified
Joined: Monday, October 15, 2007
Last Visit: Sunday, March 16, 2008 8:52:09 AM
Number of Posts: 0
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Last 10 Posts
Topic: CCSU-Senior Design Project
Posted: Monday, March 10, 2008 11:12:55 PM
A few pieces of food for thought in your research.

1. You might want to conduct some sort of survey of schools in your area and see if woodworking / technology education has increased or decreased in a given time frame....possibly in the past 40 years. This will indicate a trend and you could follow up that research with how current administrators think technology education will change in the next 20 years. In Michigan, we have noticed a decided decrease in "shop" types of classes due to the high cost for running those programs. It seems that community colleges are now filling that role. The poing is......will high schools actually consider purchasing CNC equipment in the forseeable future? I know several that buy small CNC trianers....that make plaques and very small items...nothing as large as a table.

2. How many administrators think they would purchase CNC equipment of sufficient size to make furniture of the complexity you describe. You will need to supply survey administrators with an approximate cost for equipment and continuing maintenace.

3. Do students in your target range have sufficient skills to learn complex CNC coding? In Michigan, "shop" type classes are considered dumping grounds for the vast majority of students that are enrolled in them at the high school level. I am amazed that it is not a state requirement to take a few special education classes to become certified to teach "shop" type classes....because a disproportinately high percentage of sped students are in shop class.

4. Take a close read of mikeb's rsponse. He indicates a budget of 3000 dollars. In my experience, this is a very generous budget.

I am sure I will have additional thought on this posting......
Topic: an interesting article
Posted: Friday, March 07, 2008 5:25:11 PM

Copy and paste the article to a word document. It will be "printable" then. If you are not sure how to do that, any of your students will be glad to show you how it is done.
Topic: Finish
Posted: Saturday, March 01, 2008 10:54:49 AM
I'll throw in my two cents worth here. We use any finish a student wants as long as it is water soluble.

They always choose some sort of stain and some sort of clear coat.

No spraying for many of the reasons listed above....brush on only.
To avoid brush marks, I demonstrate how to paint, stain, and clear coat using a stipple technique.

For brushes we use very inexpensive chip brushes that I buy from Harbor Freight when they run one of their many, many "sales". I buy them by the boxload and hand them out to students as if they were made of platnum and were the last item of real value on the entire face of the earth. Student's notion of cleaning a brush is to make some attempt at seeing that they are haphazardly thrown in the botton of the utility sink......and left there until I get around to taking them out or immediately throwing them in the waste basket. Some of the more initiated students actually pass the bristles through running water for all of ...maybe...three seconds before throwing them to the bottom of the sink. No expensive expensive finishes.

Our shop has a large overhead door in the back. The shop is a makeover from a now defunct auto shop. We apply finishes only on days where we can open the overhead door. Tables are moved to the area immediately outside the door where the finishes are applied. Yes to all of you purists, environmental dust can get into the finishes, however, short of buying all the needed equipment that OSHA requires for a finish room, this is our best alternative.
Topic: Links Page
Posted: Wednesday, February 27, 2008 8:42:58 PM
Nothing new. Just being moved back to the first page.
Topic: Time magazine article on teaching
Posted: Monday, February 18, 2008 5:29:29 PM
Here are the appropriate links:,8599,1713174,00.html,9171,1713557,00.html,28804,1713510_1713513,00.html
Topic: Anyone use or consider monitoring cameras in their classroom?
Posted: Saturday, February 16, 2008 5:42:25 PM
Our school installed cameras in all the hallways. All bomb threats have ended, theft has ended, kids messing with other kids has ended. When someone goofs up, all you need to do is threaten that you will be looking at the tape. The truth comes tumbling out faster than a duck to a june bug.
I agree, get permission from the higher ups. There is no downside to cameras in the classroom.
Topic: New Teacher Project Ideas
Posted: Tuesday, February 12, 2008 10:02:14 PM
Should I add this link to the LINKS page?
Topic: Reassigned, but excited!!
Posted: Monday, February 11, 2008 6:46:01 PM
I guess I will be the first to mention the Table Saw. I teach at the high school and am not sure what would be appropriate for middle school students as far as allowing them to use a table saw. I can't think of a shop that can easily survive without one. You (the teacher) will use it to cut larger stock into managable lengths/widths for students to use on the other saws, lathes, etc. It does not need to be a big fancy cabinet saw. A very good contractor's saw would work nicely. Just make sure you buy and use good quality blades.

I am sure I am going to get alot of heat from you bandsaw re-saw fanatics on my contractor saw statement. It's okay, I can take it.

As far as content goes, I use every project as a stepping stone to another project. My syudents begin with incredibly simple projects and the progressively increase in lengt of completion time and in expected fit and finish. My goal in this easy project beginning is to teach them to work appropriately in a shop environment. Cleaning activities, following safety rules, locating and replacing tools to their proper place is heavily emphasized during this first project activity.

I focus the students on very few tools with the first project and slowly add tools for their use as the project complexity increases. My first semester is all about the slow introduction of tools while adding related safety information. My goal is to have every student well aquainted with all the tools in the shop by the end of the first semester.

Second semester focuses on having the students become better craftsmen (craftspersons for all you that insist on political correctness) by insisting on closer fit tolerences on projects. As always, safety is reinforced at every new project. These projects are about the same size, but require more precise workmanship (workpersonship).

I always get a few students who take a second year of woodshop. For those students, I allow them the "sky's the limit" attitude. Of course if they choose to make a "sky's the limit" project, they need to supply the needed materials.

Make sure to have some sort of broken blade policy. Beginning woodworkers break a huge amount of blades as they learn to control the tools appropriately. My scroll saw blade policy is two blades per class per week. We have five scroll saws. It is amazing as the number of saws go out of service due to broken blades, how students become more careful about cutting feed rates.

My bandsaw blade policy is one new blade per bandsaw per month. I keep a large number of coping saws on hand for when the inevitable happens and there are no working bandsaws/scrollsaws. Again, it is amazing how students become self policing when the bandsaws go down due to blade breakage. Beginning students break a large number of blades because they equate a heavy cutting pressure with faster project completion. It takes time to learn to cut with a light touch.

Having a blade policy will lower your anxiety and speed the learning rate for students. Anyone caught deliberatly causing tool/blade damage is immediately sent to the asst. principal.

I have no idea how teaching is at your school, but I made a similar decision several years ago. I made the move from teaching drafting to teaching woodshop. It was the best move I have ever made in my life. I find it a joy to go to work. I wish you the same.

Insist on proper dust collection....or do not take the new assignment on. YOU will be in that environment for extended periods of time. It would be nice for your retirement years to be without some sort of breathing appratus. Bill Pentz has a very good site that discusses health risks related to dust exposure.

Topic: HP Plotter Question
Posted: Thursday, February 07, 2008 5:28:26 PM
You have not given us enough information to diagnose your problem. The way you posed the question is similar to me asking if anyone here can help me with my Ford because I can't get it to run. There are simply too many variables.

Does your school have a tech support person? If so, contact them.

Whoever you bought the plotter from should supply tech support enough to get it up and running.

Does your CAD program print to a printer? If not, possibly you are not executing the correct print/plot sequence.

Maybe you do not have the correct computer drivers for the HP.

You can register with HP using the following questionnaire and get help from them directly.

Topic: Links Page
Posted: Thursday, February 07, 2008 10:24:45 AM
This page is an attempt to list the webpages that people post on this site. I will do my best to keep it current. If there is something you want added, contact me guessed it...a link.

If you want to keep a more perminant record of this posting, you could copy and paste it to a word document in your computer.

Also keep in mind, web links are notoriously unstable. They change or are dropped with no notice. A link that works today, might be long gone tomorrow. Gather the informaion you need and store it in a safe place for later use.....cuz, later they might not be there.

A web site of working calculators for a lot of eng. math problems.

Time Magazine articles related to education. Here are the appropriate links:,8599,1713174,00.html,9171,1713557,00.html,28804,1713510_1713513,00.html

This will link you to a site that discusses workplace ethics.

Power Tool Institute will send you a packet that includes safety information, classroom projects related to safety, safety lesson plans, a large fold out poster, and safety related worksheets.....oh yea...and a very well produced DVD on circular saw safety, table saw safety, miter saw safety, and general power tool safety. All free of charge.

Suppliers of alot of stuff including electrical parts and electrical motors.

Our final project for my 8th grade semester class is a Skate Deck. We work on our Picture Frames and our Skate Decks at the same time. It takes about 2 weeks to complete this project. I buy the Skate Blanks from a member of this forum, Bob Merriam (a great resource and a great guy). Here's his website:

Since 1928, the Michigan Industrial and Technology Education Society has supported both teachers and students in the areas of Industrial and Career & Technical education. MITES is a non-profit organization with over 600 members and volunteers who believe in the power of hands-on, relevant, and real-world learning.

Hey out there I have just spent the last week with my 8th graders from wood shop/drafting in the compouter lab using the "Building homes of our own" cd. It really kept them busy, on task, and they liked it. wow to the creator. You can get a free copy with unlimited site license from the same name web site. Its fun too. Jeff seiver Ball Junior High Anaheim Ca.

Plans for making your own 3-D carving machine.

Video resource for making carved fish replicas.

The Picture Frame is an 8th grade project. It takes about 2 weeks to complete the project. Here are the plans:
Here are the steps it takes to complete the project:

I do two units of drafting one is isometric shapes: and the other is desiging a House and a Castle. I give them the steps to create a basic design of a House and Castle and they add their own designs to the drawing and then color it. You can see that assignment here: and here:

The wood projects we do are the Checkerboard (takes about 7 weeks):
and a CD Holder (takes about 3 weeks):
We also have time at the end of the semester to do a Router Sign:

"Exhibtgroup giltspur is dedicated to reducing waste in America's landfills by responsibly disposing of used exhibit materials, not only through recycling, but by donating them to local schools. So now, instead of ending up in a dump somewhere, things like wood, metal and plexiglas are keeping grateful Industrial Arts students busy" To learn more about EG's ... recycling program... please visit:"

Offers a discount for teachers. All you have to do is ask. I believe it is 30% off of your purchase. A gallon of T-9 is 70$.

Here is the link for more examples of student work featured last May at Mount Wachusett by Ken Hanson of the Forest and Wood Products Institute.

Two years ago I had the opportunity to participate in a Temperate Forest Foundation Teacher Tour. There are four tours this summer in Mississippi, Oregon, Michigan and New York. Typically, local sponsors cover the hotel accommodations, means and transportation while on the tour. Some sponsors will even pay your mileage if you drive to the tour location. It's an incredible experience. Details and application are at:

The end of the year for the first year project is a ski chair. I am able to get the skis for free for this project from a local dealer.

This project takes 7 weeks with about 32 students a class. I have my students takes notes each day on the steps that I will be showing them. There are about 70 steps to construct the Checkerboard:

I also show them the steps we will be working on my website:

I have them take evaluation

I then grade them using a rubric:

And these pictures are what they came up with.;a=32606561&f=;f=

I also made a video:

During my first year of teaching, the school principal explained to me that "I need to find my own style of teaching". It took me a few years to understand what he meant. Check out the following link, it may be of value, if not disregard it.

Insist on proper dust collection.... YOU will be in that environment for extended periods of time. It would be nice for your retirement years to be without some sort of breathing appratus. Bill Pentz has a very good site that discusses health risks related to dust exposure.

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