Knocking On Wood: Carpentry Class 2 Session 2


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.

  1. The course commitment is too much, 4 Saturdays is a lot. The current class is 3 Saturdays long
  2. I’ve moved the entire format around. Introducing practice time even earlier than teaching about tools and grain.
  3. 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.

Session 1

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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.





Session 2

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.

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