This Week in the Shop: New Tools, New Projects

I found these boxes inside a log from a tree felled in my parent’s backyard, in the house my brothers and I grew up in. I’m now in my thirties and my youngest brother is closer to thirty than twenty-five. We’ve grown up, moved out, moved back, gotten married, had kids, and brought our kids back. This holiday season, we’ll be together for a few days and hours. Then, like many families, we’ll scatter to the wind. A few years ago, I stuffed my suitcase with a log instead of presents. This year, I made matching boxes for every person in my immediate family – mom, dad and four sons. Continue reading This Week in the Shop: New Tools, New Projects

Interested in Project Based Learning, Makerspaces and Maker Ed? Free Webinar on Nov. 12th

Continue the conversation with me, Mr. Patrick, on Nov. 12th.   I will be delivering a free live webinar based on my Edutopia article, PBL through a Maker’s Lens.  I’ll discuss the various ways we can integrate standards, choose appropriate projects, build student engagement and choice and generally have a great time.  You can sign up here. This webinar is hosted by the National Institute for Student-Centered Education.  The NISCE’s mission statement: Our mission is to help schools realize the goal of being communities that both inspire and support students to be passionate about their learning while preparing them to … Continue reading Interested in Project Based Learning, Makerspaces and Maker Ed? Free Webinar on Nov. 12th

This Week In the Classroom: How to Build Electromagnets!

Hans Christan Orsted’s discovery that electricity generates a magnetic field led to the development of electromagnets.  Electromagnets are bundles of wires wrapped around a ferrous core.  When electricity flows through the core, the iron magnetizes.  When the electric flow ceases, … Continue reading This Week In the Classroom: How to Build Electromagnets!

WoodshopCowboy.com in the Media this Summer

In an incredible blitzkrieg of media attention, I’m found all over the web this summer. First, Edutopia, a educational non-profit,  published PBL Through a Maker’s Lens this July.  The piece is a shortened, generalized article based on a previous WoodshopCowboy blog post.  So far, it’s brought in 15,000 views and over 1k tweets.  And counting. It also won the SmartBlog Editor’s Choice Award for July.  SmartBlog is an industry news journal which curates the best articles from the most reputable sources around the web of various industries for its readers. In August, I spoke on Edutalk.org’s Live Education Podcast, going into … Continue reading WoodshopCowboy.com in the Media this Summer

Tool Primer: How to Finish Your Project: Film Finishes

This is the third Tool Primer article on finishing your woodworking project.  You can find Part One:  Sanding here and Part Two: Penetrating Oils here.

DSC03801_thumb.jpgIn this article I will discuss the film finishes available for woodworking projects at most local big-box hardware stores.  The first step is creating a clean, dust-free uniform surface by sanding all a parts to a high grit.  I detailed my process in Part One.  The finishing process is the difference between a good woodworking project and a heirloom piece of furniture.  When I want to really knock a project out of the park, I focus much of my energy on choosing and creating a proper finish.

Continue reading “Tool Primer: How to Finish Your Project: Film Finishes”