The first 2 sessions of the carpentry class have gone by so quickly I’ve not had the chance to “report” about them before this
Over the course of Knocking on Wood I, I learnt a lot about teaching woodworking; probably more than my students.
This time I have tried to reduce the shortcomings.
- The course commitment is too much, 4 Saturdays is a lot. The current class is 3 Saturdays long
- I’ve moved the entire format around. Introducing practice time even earlier than teaching about tools and grain.
- Actual working time has been increased so that the time to correct mistakes is larger.
The participants for this carpentry class are as varied as the first, education-ists, environment-ists and non working-ists; all wish to learn.
One thread runs through this group and with the previous one; my jobs are too small, no carpenter will take up my designs, home repair. All these 3 reasons are perfect; to me its the beginning of a revolution. Ofcourse 16 people will make a really, itty bitty revolution, but hey a rolling ball of snow can begin from a bitty pebble.
Last week, 7 participants and I got together in the asylum for the first session of the carpentry class. This time after a quick round of introductions and some ice breaking, I went straight for sawing and chiseling out bits of wood.
The task was simple, fit one piece into another in various ways. The learning from the exercise is massive; I’m definitely going with this exercise in the future. It is easily the only task that needs to be mastered to be a master woodworker; You learn
- Measuring and marking: This sounds so trivial, but I know 16 persons who will take a chisel to you if you say this is easy.
- Cutting with a saw: After marking, you had better cut on the correct side of the line; Sigh! yes there is a correct side. Come for a class and you will learn.
- Chopping with a chisel: The final stage of any thing is taking out the waste. A chisel is accurate and neat and practice makes perfect.
We ended carpentry class 2 session 1 with a talk on tools and grain. I felt this was much easier to grasp as the hands on time had given enough context.
Carpentry class session 2 began with joints, and then the design of the laptop table.
Interestingly, 2 members of gang II decided to change a few parts around. One will build a “tablet table” and another is building a tools trolley. Using all the same number of pieces and simply moved a few around, voila a new item of furniture.
Ahh, I so love building with wood.
Day 2 ended with the completion of the frame for the table top. That’s the big one; 4 joints, 8 chops, 16 cuts.
The accuracy of the joints created was a kind of vilification of the time spent in practice.
All in all a great first 2 sessions of carpentry class.