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
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
On Jan. 19th, I had the chance to attend and participate in Houston’s first annual Mini-Maker Faire. I brought 8 students, 3 fellow teachers (or maybe Ms. J brought me), a woodworking bench, my traveling chest of hand tools and a whole lot of salvaged pine. Maker Faire brings together families and individuals to celebrate the Do-It-Yourself (DIY) mindset and showcase all kinds of incredible projects. At Maker Faire, you’ll find arts and crafts, science and engineering, food and music, fire and water but what makes this event special is that all these interesting projects and smart, creative people belong … Continue reading Community Watch: Houston Mini-Maker Faire
On Jan 19th, I will showcase student projects at Houston’s first Mini-Maker Faire. Come see a student-build geodesic dome and participate in a woodworking demonstration lead by student-experts! Maker Faire brings together families and individuals to celebrate the Do-It-Yourself (DIY) mindset and showcase all kinds of incredible projects. At Maker Faire, you’ll find arts and crafts, science and engineering, food and music, fire and water but what makes this event special is that all these interesting projects and smart, creative people belong together. It is a show-and-tell format for people of all ages that brings out the “kid” in … Continue reading Community Watch: Houston Mini Maker Faire
Applied Math Made Easy, a hands-on, application-heavy curriculum designed by a pair of teachers from Wisconsin, has a number of great math labs and activities. Using worksheets to convey directions and learning, the curriculum utilizes a conversationalist tone and “interactive reading” (their term, not mine) to let students learn middle school to high school level mathematics – about a 9th to 10th grade range. I’ve co-taught with teachers who’ve used this curriculum and I can say this: it works. Incredibly well, when your students can read, understand and follow instructions at a high school level. I don’t teach those kids. So … Continue reading This Week in the Classroom: Rulers & Frames
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!
Today at TX/RX Labs, I’ll be leading a class in building a few of these tea boxes. I’m sending a box to one random contestant on WoodshopCowboy Facebook page, just in time for Christmas. Remember to like WoodshopCowboy on Facebook! And remember: Make it safe & keep the rubber side down this weekend. Continue reading Community Watch: It’s Build a Box Day!
In support of my Mathematics and Technology and Computer Applications: CAD courses, I’ve offered a number of Sketch Up projects for students to complete. In Mathematics and Technology, my students created eukaryotic animal cells while in Computer Applications the students created square, triangle and hexagon – based tessellations and designs. Two resources I used heavily in the design and implementation of these projects: Google Sketch Up 8 Hands – On: Student Coursework and the GeomeTrick series both by Bonnie Roskes of http://www.3dvinci.net. Ms. Roskes projects have a real wow factor in the classroom. My students would shout my name to show off their work, … Continue reading This Week In the Classroom: Sketch Up Projects at the Middle School Level
A little while ago, I ran a book review on One Block of Wood. I recently made a pair of bookends using Ms. Tolstrup’s plans out of salvaged pine and live oak. Hope you enjoy the looksee. Read a good book this week. Especially books on pirates! Make it safe & keep the rubberside down. Continue reading This Week In the Shop: One Block Projects – Book Ends
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