Friday, September 23, 2011

Hand Tool Class Ended

Yesterday, Thursday 9/22, marked the last day of the Hand Tool Class and I'm sad to see it end!  Other than giving one on one lessons in my shop or doing a demonstration at the Sin City Woodworkers meetings this is the first class I've had teaching adults woodworking skills. The last time I worked with adults is when I was a teacher's assistant at Diablo Valley Junior College and San Francisco State but that was in the mid-seventies so everything has changed a bit!  Being so used to keeping on top of anywhere from 20 to 35 students in a middle school shop having the opportunity to simply teach a technique, demonstrate it, and then mill around helping where needed was a welcome change.  It's been said that I "pre-worry" and working with these students I didn't have to worry at all.  The only stress I had was self imposed, wanting to cover so many things and not enough time to get it all in.  Working with and in Jamie Yocono's  shop and school was a pleasure.  We plan to collaborate and do it again some time.
Here is a picture of the proud students and the work that they produced:

The Results!
Everyone continued working through the entire last day, as with any woodworking project about the only time you're really forced to stop is while you wait for the glue to dry.  I was able to do a demonstration on the sharpening technique I use and brought in a paring chisel for the demo.  One of the students used it to pare the dovetails on his cabinet.  Everyone who used it liked the idea of having that longer handle for added control, it's 15" long chisel so that seems huge!

Paring Chisel in Use

The final machine steps included cutting a groove in the bottom of the drawer for the bottom:

Routing Drawer Groove
 Since this left radiused corners the edges need to be rounded over with a file or block plane or .........
             OMG, is that a power tool in a hand tool class?

Hard at work with the half blind dovetails.  For most woodworkers they are a bit more complicated to do but this student whipped through them in record time and said they were easier and more enjoyable for her, cool!

Half Blind Dovetails
All in all, teaching this class was a great experience.  I hope we do it again down the road.  I talked to a couple of people at the last meeting of Sin City Woodworkers who expressed an interest in taking the class if it's offered at night.  I think that's in Jamie's plans when she works on next semesters schedule.


  1. Nice class. I'd love to attend one.

  2. Hi Maki, if you're in Las Vegas we may offer it again this summer.

  3. Congratulations to you and your students. They stand proud with their woodwork.