This Week in the Woodshop: Footboard, Pt. 2

Last week, I showed everyone the biggest project sitting on my workbench.  This week I completed the footboard just in time for Valentine’s Day.  I celebrated its completion by buying my wife a dozen roses, and taking her on not one, but two, dates in one weekend. But I’m back in the doghouse, I mean, woodshop now. I hope you enjoyed the pictures.  I designed the footboard with dovetailed (and splinted) carcass, rear panels from birch ply floating in dados, solid wood support beams on the ends. Finishing this guy was an adventure in and of itself.  I discovered a rule about … Continue reading This Week in the Woodshop: Footboard, Pt. 2

Classroom Project: Try Squares

In my Applied Mathematics class, woodshop has put the shop in applied.  During a unit on fractions, I asked students to build a number of these try squares, all different shapes and sizes.  In order to assess my students ability to read a ruler and calculate fractions, I made all the dimensions wonky.  No 8″ cuts for my students!  Dimensions looked like 8 3/4″, 4 3/8″, 5 “1/16 and all sorts of foolishness.  Once I felt my students had mastered the build process, we took our show to Houston’s Mini-Maker Faire! The construction process for a tool like this can … Continue reading Classroom Project: Try Squares

Community Watch: Build A Box!

Eight students, six boxes built and finished.  It was a long day in the shop – nearly seven hours with only a few breaks for liquids.  I can  think of a number of great moments: the first box getting nailed together, the last coat of shellac being applied, the look of what-have-I-got-myself-into as the students tackled nearly 40 linear feet of hardwood for the first time.  We captured the moment which stands out most for me in the picture below. Take a good look at the boy in the white shirt.  Take a good look at his smile.  He didn’t get … Continue reading Community Watch: Build A Box!

This Week in the Classroom: Try Squares

My new “little” project obsession:  try squares.  These guys mark boards square.   That’s it.  All they do.  The try, not tri, comes from the act of “trying” an angle to see if it’s square, not three, or tri. This slideshow punctuated by a few of my favorite song titles, puns and lyrics in no particular order. These tools come together quite easily.  First, I rip a 2×4 into 1/4″ or 3/8″ inch thick strips.  Then I flatten one side of the strip using a hand plane.  After checking each strip for flatness, I rip the piece again on my … Continue reading This Week in the Classroom: Try Squares

This Week in the Classroom: Gottshall Block Project

I’ve heard before from others in the “making” or woodworking communities I’m a little behind the times.  I make cigar box guitars when they were totally two years ago.  Or I teach developmental woodworking in manner more suited to a different century.  So of course, I discover a sweet little hand tool project about a year too late.  Good thing great projects don’t age. The Gottshall Block is a small project – just a few cuts and nicks with a chisel.  It takes about three to five forty-five minute sessions to complete for a student at about the third grade … Continue reading This Week in the Classroom: Gottshall Block Project

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 Shop: Put Your Legs Up On A Little Something (It’s a Stool)

When my grandfather asked for a footstool, I obliged.  He’s one of those elder individuals with a he once built a school with his bare hands and then sent his kids across the ocean to come to this land and earn their fortune type of stories.  Which means if he asks for a stool, show some respect.  Do it right, show some joinery skills. Hand cut box joints.  I’m not completely there yet, but the joints are getting tighter overall.  The crossbeams give it rock solid marks.  Finished by urethane and the air sprayer.  The method sure uses a lot of spray, but man, … Continue reading This Week in the Shop: Put Your Legs Up On A Little Something (It’s a Stool)

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