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: 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

Build a Bench This Weekend

My very first class for TX/RX Labs (or any other place non-school) is completed.  Six students (adult, this time) built benches with me for two half days.  We were a little crunched on time, but we stayed late (or showed up early) and completed our benches. I want to thank my students for coming and sticking with me, my teaching assistants (Oleg, Jim, Oz and Roland) and TX/RX Labs for having me.  Most of all though, I want to thank my brother Jim.  I think I’m good at this stuff – but I taught him how to build the bench … Continue reading Build a Bench This Weekend

This Week In the Classroom: Pendulum Art (Swinging From the Rafters)

A quick video of our last major math project in my co-taught Math/Sci course.  I will take no credit, Ms. J took the project out of my clumsy claws and completely rocked it! We nicknamed this the spirograph project and you can tell from the wikipedia link that we are WRONG!  It should probably be described as pendulum art.  In reality, it’s just plain fun. The original prototype… And a great slideshow of other sandart created by our students. Continue reading This Week In the Classroom: Pendulum Art (Swinging From the Rafters)

This Week in the Classroom: Why Mothers Hate Me On Mother’s Day

As a parent, I know that art projects can be a mixed blessing.  Some are breathtaking.  Most should go in the circular file.  Worse still are things my kids build – they fall apart and break.  They take up space. God save me if my sons bring home noise-making pieces of art they have built. As a teacher, I conveniently ignore my own good sense.  I present wind chimes built in preparation for Mother’s Day as part of our “building music” unit. Make it safe and keep the rubber side down. Continue reading This Week in the Classroom: Why Mothers Hate Me On Mother’s Day