This Week in the Shop: End of Summer Program

The summer program wraps up today.   Our summer program acts as an experimental zone, a transitional buffer and a slice of consistency for both teachers and students.  Personally, I love summer programs – no grades, no pressure, just the chance to provide as fun and therapeutic educational experience as possible.  Anyways, this summer saw the return of the butterfly bench.  Students took all four group projects home to their families.  Notice the recurring butterfly motif from last go-round.  I think I’ll be making some linoleum stamps with this design on them at some point  soon. This summer has been a wild … Continue reading This Week in the Shop: End of Summer Program

Tool Primer: Painting A Room

In February, I learned the necessity of insurance, family, cash-in-your-pocket and good-quality plumbing.  My house flooded – and I’m talking spectacular water-from-the-ceiling, I-hope-this-never-happens-to-a-house-I-own flood.

Every room in my house received flood damage.  We moved out for a month and the landlord gave us a new house (ok, his insurance did).  I will say this: we got lucky and it could have been worse.  I saved our expensive things from harm, my landlord had insurance.  This could have gone worse.  I count my blessings.

As the contractors worked tirelessly to fix the damage (new lighting fixtures, new kitchen, new floors, new carpet, new tiles, new paint, new drywall…..), I painted my boys’ room.  Some results:


The Tool Primer for Painting a Room after the jump!

Continue reading “Tool Primer: Painting A Room”

This Week in the Shop: Children’s Picnic Table

This week in the shop, I got the chance to use up a few of the pine boards laying in the woodpile.  My son got a picnic table out of the deal.  The table is 24″ L, 11″ W & about 11″ H. The table: The chair (the rails are too close together): The result as he knows it: A side shot of the chair.  It’s a little skinny: I attached the top with a few screws. You can deduce the construction of the side with this shot. Make it safe & keep the rubber side down this weekend.  I’ll … Continue reading This Week in the Shop: Children’s Picnic Table

This Week In The Shop: Jewelry Box

One of my MasterClass students finished a jewelry box just in time for Mother’s Day.  He’s been working for close to three months on it.

We began with a design consultation, in which we researched various box designs on the web.  I want to give a big thank-you to Andy, an extremely talented and generous woodworker who provided some valuable feedback for my young student.  I greatly appreciate your help Andy. 

A walk-through & gallery after the jump.. Continue reading “This Week In The Shop: Jewelry Box”

This Week in the Classroom: The Butterfly Bench & Butterfly Growers

I missed Monday and Tuesday this week – my wife was in the hospital with a parasite.  Luckily, the parasite left on his own and we’ve named him Jack.  Jack is our second son, born on Sun 13 at 5:30am.  A whopping 8 lbs.  A beautiful boy. But this blog is about woodshop & teaching.  Looking over the 3 and a half days this week, the students accomplished many things. First, they braved the cold – it’s 40 deg here in Houston and while it didn’t put me out much, my student’s had a difficult time with the weather.  Especially … Continue reading This Week in the Classroom: The Butterfly Bench & Butterfly Growers

This Week in the Shop: Playhouse and How To Play in It

I just finished my son(s, I’m expecting another next month) Christmas gift: an outdoor playhouse. I used a router on table to create a half inch wide dado for the cedar edging. A cedar post with a deck cap from Lowes provides the stability. This project had some interesting design challenges. First, I couldn’t build something permanent, as I’m a renter, not owner. Second, I had very limited indoor and outdoor space for this project. Designing in planes, using plywood, seemed to solve the space issue. Industrial velcro attaches the sides to the townhouse itself and provides good stability. The … Continue reading This Week in the Shop: Playhouse and How To Play in It