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
I will be bringing the woodworking goodness to KIDFest on Sept. 24th at Veteran’s Plaza in downtown Silver Spring. Look for me there! Continue reading Woodshop Cowboy Goes to KIDfest on Sept. 24th
My semi-regular column This Week in the Classroom is back! I have accepted a position in a small, mostly rural school district just outside of Northern Virginia. It’s great to be in the classroom again, bringing project-based learning to new audiences.
I am teaching middle schoolers, all levels. Middle school is a great age to teach, despite some of the unique challenges the students pose. Students can really make connections, find passions and dive deep into a project. They are about as creative as they ever will be and watching a kid’s creative power light up is just something cool. Middle school is also a fraught time for many young people, making the classroom a place of great promise and great worry.
Here’s my current greatest hits list of web tools, software platforms and services I like to use in my Tech Ed/Maker Classroom.
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!
This is a scaled down, fun-filled air hockey table is a perfect summer project.
Two employees of Brunswick Billiards Co invented Air Hockey in the 1960s. The game field consists of a low-friction (usually by means of an air blower creating an air cushion under the puck) playing field with two goals. Each player has a striker, and smashes a puck at the opposing player’s goal. First player to a set number of goals wins. Air hockey tables are staples of entertainment in billiard halls, arcades, boardwalks, rec rooms and other places of ill-repute. Which is why I just had to make one.
I utilize a 5-gal shop vac as a blower, marker board, 1/4 plywood, one 10’ 1”x6” and some pin nails. A 3D printed part certainly helped with the fitting, but isn’t essential by any means. I also utilize 45 degree miters for a very clean look, but butt joints and screws might make a stronger, stiffer system.
Let’s play some air hockey!
Here’s a quick project to cut out on the scroll saw. Scroll saws are small, cheap, versatile tools that can cut through all sorts of thin materials, such as plastics, wood, plywood and cardboard. They have a very, very low … Continue reading Home #Makerspace: Paper Airplane Launcher
Some things are impossible, such as unicorns, bipartisan agreement on the greatness of bacon and getting small boys to fold their clothes. While I didn’t do the impossible this week, I certainly made it easier to master.
A folding board is a cool little device that helps you fold clothes quickly. This is great for young children and people with mobility issues as it minimizes the physical effort while maximizing effect…it makes folding fun. Better yet, a folding board can be made with plywood, cardboard or any other stiff, flat material. There’s no need to spend $20, just use some scrap wood.
Here’s a picture tutorial of how to fold a T-shirts.