Home #Makerspace: How to Make a Light Box for Art and Play

This week, art class happened at night. Using some leftover holiday string lights and acrylic sheeting, I made a light box for my two young boys to draw, play and design on.

This Week in the Shop: Milk Paint Finish & Oil+Acrylic Craft Paint

This week, learn two different finishing techniques which incorporate safe, green finishes for fine woodworking. Check out what’s going on in the WoodshopCowboy Shop!

Home #Makerspace: DIY Street Hockey Sticks

It’s winter here in Northern Virginia and my sons have discovered a strange and wondrous sport of the North:
Hockey!
Learn to build your own hockey sticks – and a technique that can be applied to all sorts of shop and furniture projects.

Home #Makerspace: Build a Pinewood Derby Car With #YoungMakers

Every winter, millions of families prepare for serious bonding time at kitchen tables, in garages and in workshops across the country. We enter with dreams of speed, beauty and glory. With a little luck and skill, we leave with pride, joy and a completed Pinewood Derby Car.

This guide will show you how to support and help your young maker design, make and race their derby car.

Home #Makerspace: Two Easy #KidArt Mobiles

This week, we took to the skies with a two simple mobiles.

Mobiles are kinetic sculptures which rely on and play with the scientific concept of equilibrium and center of gravity. The pieces often spin and flutter with the breeze, presenting a constantly shifting face and focus to the observer. Some mobiles are motorized, such as the spinning toys hung over a baby’s crib.
Here are two very quick and easy spinning mobiles to make in your own home.

#Makered Book Review: Tinkerlab by Rachelle Doorley @TinkerLabKids

TinkerLab: A Hands on Guide for Little Inventors by Rachelle Doorley is a beautifully photographed and curated set of experiments for the toddler to 2nd grade set. While her main focus is art prompts and experiments, she has sections on construction, Maker explorations, take apart sessions, chemistry, and more. Rachelle’s book has given me tons of inspiration and insight into the playful mind of very young children. She walks through the process for setting up an art space, with tool & material recommendations. She also spends a lot of time and space discussing the teaching philosophy behind arts education and why its important. Her habits of mind and interviews with experts are fantastic distillations of the Maker ethos.

Home #Makerspace: #DIY Custom Kid’s Bike with #Maker Tools

Every few years, I find an excuse to engage in one of my favorite old-school projects, rebuilding and repainting a kids bicycle.

Let’s paint some flames.

I mean, dragons.  We will paint dragons.

This Week in the Shop: The Split-Top Bench with Plans

This week in my home shop I finished up a new bench project I developed for class at Nova Labs in Reston, VA. While simple in design and execution, it does involve a full suite of woodworking tools and a a custom jig to complete. This great intermediate project uses the Fab Five of a powered woodshop: table saw, band saw, miter saw, jointer and planer.

The Home #Makerspace: How To Build Your Own Pinball Machine (with Working Launcher & Flipper)

Sometimes, a teacher needs to court a little controversy.  This week, Things 1 & 2 & I build a device which was banned in New York City from the 1940s until 1976, and… Continue reading

Home #Makerspace: How to Saw (for Young and Beginning #Woodworkers)

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,… Continue reading

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    You can get in touch with Mr. Patrick at woodshopcowboy AT gmail DOT com.