What are you making this weekend? Here at Woodshop Cowboy, we are making cutting boards and slab tables at Nova Labs, of Reston, Virginia. Nova Labs is offering two premier woodworking classes at the premier makerspace in the DMV area. … Continue reading Learn #Woodworking this weekend! Two Spots Left!
The Closet Organizer Last month, Marie Kondo’s show hit Netflix and it seemed like everyone needed to find a way to tidy up their life. I renovated the laundry last year – removing and installing new flooring, re-painting the walls, constructing new cabinets, etc. The last ticket to punch was to design and install a closet organizer. I began by figuring out what I would store in the closet, then designing a shelving system that would work in the space available. Taking a look at what I needed looked like this: Essentially, I designed a small tower with two shelves … Continue reading This Week in the Shop: The Closet Organizer
This Week in the Classroom I’m going to explore a variety of design challenges that I use in my classroom. I designed each of these projects to prompt students to explore the engineering design process, learn basic scientific concepts, such as forces and loads on structures, learn executive functioning and soft skills, and develop presentation skills in a variety of media. These projects are designed to be super flexible in practice. I can extend these projects, compress the time, develop thematic elements. None of these projects use expensive materials or electronics. Some of these project briefs I use nearly every year, in nearly every course. They are simply that good.
What are you making this summer? Here at Woodshop Cowboy, we are making cutting boards and slab tables at Nova Labs, of Reston, Virginia. Nova Labs is offering two premier woodworking classes at the premier makerspace in the DMV area. … Continue reading Learn to Make Slab Tables & Cutting Boards
This Week in the Shop we build tool holders for my recently installed tool wall. An organized workspace is a functional workspace, especially in community shops. When everything has its place, every part of the shop seems to work quicker. So this week, I put together a few tool holders to put up some screwdrivers, chisels, pliers and nail sets.
There are tons of storage solutions out there. I prefer tool walls, both in my personal shop and at community shops. The plywood provides a solid anchoring surface and custom tool holders can be rearranged as needed. Tool holders can be customized for each tool and can be made from small scraps for next to nothing. Lastly, they can be painted, stained, chalkboarded and more. A tool wall fits any work are, whether craft, machine, woodworking, leather or whatever else.
I have used pegboard, hanging tool-o-dexes, tool chests and more to help organize my workspace. Pegs fall out, hanging tool-o-dexes cost too much for their value, and tool chests attract clutter. Commercial systems never seem to be worth the bang for the buck (nor are they as much fun to install as designing your own tool holder).
This Week in the Shop we make a storage crate suitable to store a large pinewood derby track. This crate is simple to build and made out of very cheap materials. As built, this crate costs roughly $75 per crate … Continue reading This Week In the Shop: Storage Crate
Woodshop Cowboy goes to Maker Faire Nova on Mar. 18th at George Mason University at Fairfax, VA. You can purchase tickets at nova.makerfaire.com. Enjoy lots and lots of hands-on exhibits, including drones, blacksmithing, 3D Printing, robotics and of course, woodworking! The full list of maker exhibits is pretty overwhelming. I will be building a small selection of projects: the simple bench, a pencil box with four corner joinery, the nightstand & and a simple crate…all with mostly hand tools and a few easy types of joinery. I will also have a number of projects to display, cool tunes and some … Continue reading Woodshop Cowboy Rides Again at Maker Faire Nova….
Every woodshop, makerspace or garage could use more storage. If you have an unfinished wall in a shed, garage or basement, this project is for you! This Week in the Shop we build open shelving using simple brackets made from 2x10s with a table saw, power drill/driver and miter saw. This project easy to build, cheap to build and useful. Check out the build video!
This fall I have introduced a new tech platform into my practice. The FunKey unlocks tons of potential in a classroom.
Do you want a board that reads keystrokes and plays like a MakeyMakey but with at a size and price point for a real classroom?
FunKey does that.
Do you now need a board which takes different sensory inputs and outputs as light, sound or motion?
FunKey does that.
Do you need a board which can help you teach programming?
FunKey does that.
Want a kit that comes with a variety of sensors, so quick and easy to hook up, students can create medical devices in a class period?
FunKey does that.
What doesn’t it do?
Teach. But that’s what teachers are for.
Let’s set up a few projects with a basic kit and see how we can put it to work in the Maker classroom!
In full disclosure, I received a pair of FunKey Super boards in return for a blog review, but all opinions are my own. Innovations, on the other hand, those belong to my students.
This Week in the Shop, I will peel the bark off my new digs in Northern Virginia. Last summer, my family and I relocated to Northern VA to be closer to family and pursue new jobs. It’s taken a while, … Continue reading This Week In the Shop: The Woodshop Cowboy Workshop & Studio 2017