A number of safety posters for a variety of woodworking tools. Continue reading This Week in the Shop: Safety Posters
In the modern woodshop, the table saw is king. A table saw can rip, crosscut, bevel and miter. It can create coves, tapers, even cut circles with the right jigs and fixtures.
Table saws allow more accurate, precise and repeatable cuts in a multitude of materials. Even more complex joinery, such as tenons and finger joints, can be created on the table saw.
Which table saw should I buy? Why buy used? Why shouldn’t I buy used? How do I pick out a great table saw? How do I avoid bad table saws?
Glad you asked. In today’s Tool Primer, we will walk through the various types of table saws and discuss the different features. Then, I’ll break down which features I find most useful in the shop. Lastly, I will discuss the used table saw market. Lastly, I will make a recommendation of which saw to buy.
Lets get cutting!
I use Japanese-style saws exclusively in my classroom and home shop because I have young makers. I love the quick bite and accuracy of a pull stroke, the low cost and high quality, but mostly, enjoy handing my saw to … Continue reading Home #Makerspace: How to Saw (for Young and Beginning #Woodworkers)
The router can do an incredible number of tasks: cut grooves and dados, used with guides to make parts, do complex or simple joinery and create edge treatments for wood. The router can be mounted on a bench or table top or it can be manipulated by hand. The router is the single most versatile tool in the woodworker’s power tool box.
This is Part 3 in my Making a Makerspace series. If this interests you, catch parts one and two. A makerspace is a space for a group of interesting and creative people to make something. Makerspaces differ from traditional constructional spaces in schools such as woodshops, auto mechanics shops, tech labs, etc because making brings three ideas into the classroom: collaboration, communication and personal fabrication. Personal fabrication brings new, ever-cheaper technologies, such as 3D printing and desktop CNC machines, into the classroom for educational use. Collaboration focuses on group and community work, whether in the shop space, your local community … Continue reading Making a Makerspace: What Do We Make Here? Some Capabilities and Tools for Your Educational Makerspace
I live a blessed life. In the past eight quarters as a woodshop teacher (and going on one quarter as a chemistry/biology/mad science teacher) I have had four injury reports. Not the best record, but not the worst. During set-up this year, I ordered first aid kit for all the tool-heavy classrooms – gardening center, woodshop, chemistry/science lab & art class. I also re-fitted my own space (my shop first aid kit keeps becoming the house’s first aid kit) with some important new tools and the accompanying pieces of safety equipment. So what safety equipment do I use? Home Workshop: Push Blocks … Continue reading Teacher Tip: First Aid Kit & Safety Equipment
In the classroom, I stress safety at all times. After a few incidents my first year as a woodworking teacher, I changed the way I teach sawing. This year, as I’m teaching brand-new students to woodworking, I’m starting from scratch. At home, I apply the same principle. This blog post, though, revolves around a fact of woodworking: it is a risky activity, even when you do everything right.
1. Determine your child’s level of interest. A child who’s fascinated by tools or electrical equipment typically demonstrates an almost obsessive interest in them, pays attention, takes direction well, and instinctively focuses on the job at hand. I’ve taught soldering to children as young as eight, and their ability to concentrate is astonishing. If you’re a DIY enthusiast have a basement tool-and-gadget area, let your child see the fruits of working with these objects and identify with what Mom or Dad does to fix or make things. If you sense your child’s delight in imagining similar creative endeavors, then buying a … Continue reading Parenting: On Making Kids Who Make Stuff
Since I moved into my new digs in April, my shop has undergone a number of changes. I blogged about the move-in and of course I went and changed it immediately. First, a couple bright spots. Not long after I unloaded everything I realized two very important things about home ownership. One, you can put holes in whichever wall you want, where ever you want, when you want. Two, it’s expensive. But not these lights. Remember to buy the bulbs and make sure you wire’m up according to fire code. I’m a midnight rider now. My new bench looks a … Continue reading This Week in the Shop: Plywood Storage & Lights & New Workbench
Yesterday, we completed a physics demonstration: The adjustable see-saw. This seesaw has holes drilled into the balancing beam, allowing students/users to experiment with the capabilities of numerous levers. You just shift its position along the beam and viola! Instantly, a foolish grin hits your face as you try to balance anew.
More pictures after the jump…