This Week in the Shop: End of Summer Program

The summer program wraps up today.   Our summer program acts as an experimental zone, a transitional buffer and a slice of consistency for both teachers and students.  Personally, I love summer programs – no grades, no pressure, just the chance to provide as fun and therapeutic educational experience as possible.  Anyways, this summer saw the return of the butterfly bench.  Students took all four group projects home to their families.  Notice the recurring butterfly motif from last go-round.  I think I’ll be making some linoleum stamps with this design on them at some point  soon.


This summer has been a wild ride regarding student behavior.  I’ve some major challenges in the woodshop.  One challenge has been finding the one-on-one support and guidance necessary for a young student with limited communication skills within an eight-kid class. Shepherding a project to completion when a student demands perfection in himself (and everyone else) challenges a teacher too – because I have yet to design perfection into a lesson plan.

The drums have been finished – lovely group of students to work with.  I used a circ saw & guide to cut the 1/2″ drum cases (4 sides). We also discovered a neat way to spray paint our smaller objects.  I’ve been meaning to hang the smaller objects in the air to promote better spray technique.  I’m mixed on the results, but I’m willing to keep tweaking the set up.

If anyone has any advice on building spray-booths/finishing rooms, I’d love to hear.

My students completed two chairs – one an original composition and another a refurbishment.  The maker chair came out something exactly like this:

The “Mend” project came out as a stool.  Another experiment in repetitive decoration – an autistic student drew the heart designs, then dotted the shapes with paint.  I really enjoy this student’s artistic work.  I think he may become my go-to finish man for a painted work.

Until next time, make it safe & keep the rubber side down.