This Week in the Classroom (and the shop): Time Lapse Photography or Filming Rigs

In my second period this semester, I’m moonlighting as a video producer.  I don’t get to do any fancy music videos or full-feature movies, but I do get to make a documentary.  We’ve got the backdrop ordered, the lights rigged up and a the interview stool picked out.  I even have a low-slung directors chair that I talk to when its empty.  I pretend my boss is sitting there. In the woodshop, I made this little rig to support my students.  This is just a prototype.  I’ll be working on a second rig  which will find a permanent home in … Continue reading This Week in the Classroom (and the shop): Time Lapse Photography or Filming Rigs

Check Out the Shutter Table Project on Recyclart.org

Recyclart.org is a site dedicating to showing off recycled and salvaged projects from readers around the world.  If you’ve followed WodoshopCowboy for a while, you know I make the most of the Houston ReUse Warehouse’s offerings.  Here’s another shot at how my boys and I used louvered shutters and fence posts to create some pretty sweet little coffee tables last semester.  Check it out there or at the original post here… Remember to make it safe, keep the rubberside down this week and like WoodshopCowboy on Facebook! Continue reading Check Out the Shutter Table Project on Recyclart.org

This Week in the Classroom: The Poor Man’s Tripod (For Taking Panoramic Outdoor Pictures)

My school is undergoing a little bit of construction…and by a little bit, I mean a cool of five mil of construction.  We just needed a little documentation of the facts. I’m going to use this photography stand (and yes, I walked around with my shirt like that all day)… I put a 1/4 coarse threaded bolt through a board, flipped it around and stuck it into the post.  You can see the crossbeams at the bottom giving the piece a little stability. …and the results are pretty spectacular. Make it safe & keep the rubberside down this week.  Remember … Continue reading This Week in the Classroom: The Poor Man’s Tripod (For Taking Panoramic Outdoor Pictures)

This Week in the Classroom: Block Printing & Stamps

As my students have become more competent with tools in the past few years (and cripes, does it feel weird to say years…) I’ve gotten the chance to think:  what would be really cool to do next?  What would be just flat out awesome? Here’s my answer:  wood & lino prints designed by the student, for the students work.  My summer crew churned out about 30 different wood projects and many pieces deserved something special.  In the third week, I took the plunge and bought $80 worth of tools.  We spent the next few weeks cutting as many designs as we could and experimenting … Continue reading This Week in the Classroom: Block Printing & Stamps

This Week in the Classroom: Swingin’ Chalkboard Signs

Here’s a few shots of a project build I did a few months ago.  The challenge was to build a recycling container from completely recycled materials.  I picked up some nice crepe myrtle branches and immediately saw a V shaped stand with a small basket to collect recyclable goods. To bad we never did finish it.  We got all the way to the crossbeam.  Spring break came with all the lassitude of a wilted Texas flower in August.  We never stood a chance. Eventually, I snookered a student into repainting an old cabinet door into a chalkboard sign.  Then I parked … Continue reading This Week in the Classroom: Swingin’ Chalkboard Signs

This Week in the Classroom: The Conversation Bench

Students with autism, people with neurological disorders and people with two eyes and ears and a brain often need a place to talk.  For my students with autism, the act of conversation can be harrowing, heartwrenching and terrifying.  On a … Continue reading This Week in the Classroom: The Conversation Bench

This Week in the Classroom: Boomerangs and Chalkboard Slates

Two projects really took off this summer – chalkboard slates and boomerangs.  The boomerangs, of course, took off a little bit more. Back in the fall I built a bike barn.  It’s more of a third-world shanty, but it housed the bikes and kept them sort of organized.  Either way, I picked up a large number of cedar shingles as a roofing material.  Time got away from me – I never roofed the barn.  Instead, I used the shingles to create these cool little chalkboard slates.  I used an exterior paint as primer, then covered them in green chalkboard paint. … Continue reading This Week in the Classroom: Boomerangs and Chalkboard Slates

Book Review: One Block of Wood by Nina Tolstrup

This spring, a sweet little book fell into my hands.  Nina Tolstrup, an UK designer (she owns studiomama, a design firm).  Her projects include lamps, scooters, wall planters, book ends and card holders – all out of One Block of Wood. Ms. Tolstrup’s eye for function and style dovetails nicely with her habits of simplicity.  While not every project is truly made from one piece of wood, each project involves a minimum of cuts and a maximum of flexibility.  As a woodworker, I appreciate her style – as a teacher,  I appreciate her clear directions, beautiful visuals and simple construction.  I’ve used … Continue reading Book Review: One Block of Wood by Nina Tolstrup

This Week in the Classroom: Up-Cycled Shutter Coffee Table

A few shots of the shutter table project.  My students & I created these (there were four completed tables) tables using up-cycled window shutters & salvaged fence posts.  Finished with spar urethane.  Pocket hole joinery throughout. Continue reading This Week in the Classroom: Up-Cycled Shutter Coffee Table

Making A Makerspace: Top 10 Tools in a Maker’s Classroom (2012)

This year was a big year in the STEaMworks (STEM focus, art driven, work/project centered: the STEaMworks), my self-styled Maker classroom.  We (and the Math/Sci Team) built a lot of projects: rockets, rocket cars, derby cars, catapults, simple robots, box-making, bench-making, bridge-building, sail-testing, music making, spirographs, pendulums, 3D prototyping, CAD models, Arduino projects, Alice computer programming, Art Cars, shed construction, a digital STEM Fair and more.  I’ve just typed that up and still can’t believe it!  Nine months and so much sweat, math, science, art and tears.  How did we (my co-workers and rock-solid team, my students and my very … Continue reading Making A Makerspace: Top 10 Tools in a Maker’s Classroom (2012)