Monday, May 13, 2013

First Class Meeting 5-9-2013

     After all of these years teaching there's still a bit of apprehension whenever I start a new class or meet a student for the first time.  I've told myself that's a good thing; having had complacent teachers that "just go through the motions" and as a rule, didn't get much from their class.  Woodworking is a passionate endeavor for me and I want to share that.
     There's an even mix of male/female in this class with four of each.  Skill levels range from novice to those with quite a bit of experience that want to add some hand tool skills to their repertoire.  The goal for the first to sessions is to try to keep the class pretty much at the same place on their project which is this bench hook:

De-Constructed Bench Hook
    My aim is to familiarize them with marking techniques, chisel, plane, and dovetail saws as they build this project.  It's one they'll be able to use in their future work.  Class started with a demonstration on how to lay out the dovetails -- then they were on their own.  Once all the layout was completed another demonstration showed cutting and chopping out the waste.  We accomplished quite a bit with all getting the tails laid out and cut.  First thing next Thursday will be transferring them, cutting the pins,  and hopefully completing the project so we can start work on the tool tote.  Here's some candid shots of them hard at work.  It's interesting to see the different approaches and body stances they use.  They're definitely concentrating on their work -- looking forward to see how the fitting portion of the joint goes.  One thing I've stressed is that cutting the joinery in 3/4" thick material is much more difficult then when we use the 1/2" thick material for the tool tote project.

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