What are you making this weekend? Here at Woodshop Cowboy, we are making cutting boards and slab tables at Nova Labs, of Reston, Virginia. Nova Labs is offering two premier woodworking classes at the premier makerspace in the DMV area. … Continue reading Learn #Woodworking this weekend! Two Spots Left!
What are you making this summer? Here at Woodshop Cowboy, we are making cutting boards and slab tables at Nova Labs, of Reston, Virginia. Nova Labs is offering two premier woodworking classes at the premier makerspace in the DMV area. … Continue reading Learn to Make Slab Tables & Cutting Boards
This fall I have introduced a new tech platform into my practice. The FunKey unlocks tons of potential in a classroom.
Do you want a board that reads keystrokes and plays like a MakeyMakey but with at a size and price point for a real classroom?
FunKey does that.
Do you now need a board which takes different sensory inputs and outputs as light, sound or motion?
FunKey does that.
Do you need a board which can help you teach programming?
FunKey does that.
Want a kit that comes with a variety of sensors, so quick and easy to hook up, students can create medical devices in a class period?
FunKey does that.
What doesn’t it do?
Teach. But that’s what teachers are for.
Let’s set up a few projects with a basic kit and see how we can put it to work in the Maker classroom!
In full disclosure, I received a pair of FunKey Super boards in return for a blog review, but all opinions are my own. Innovations, on the other hand, those belong to my students.
On a hot summer day, nothing beats a cool, breezy scientific adventure. The Drain Pipe Regatta is a great investment for a classroom or backyard exploring space, as it helps teach the basics of fluid dynamics, buoyancy, motion and transfer of power. Connections to the great sailing ages in history, from the Polynesians exploring the Pacific, to Columbus’s crossing of the Atlantic, to the great whalers and galleons of Napoleonic Europe abound. This project is the base for a great mix of artistic creativity and scientific inquiry.
Boats can be made with nearly any craft material. I have made origami boat challenges, foam board & skewer boats and water bottle boats. Tweaks can be made with each regatta to reflect learning goals, materials or kids interests. The Cub Scouts of America hold a raingutter regatta every year. Scouts design small sail boats and race them down a 10 foot section of rain gutter.
Pirate-themed get-togethers optional.
Bench hooks are portable work surfaces used to make basic woodworking tasks, such as crosscutting boards and drilling holes, easier to perform. As a bonus, they help protect the surface of your woodworking bench from bumps and dings.
In the makerspace, bench hooks can be used for numerous tasks and roles (such as a surface to solder on without ruining Mom’s dining room table).
These week, my youngest and I made two bench hooks. The most common design works best with saws that cut on a push stroke. We also made and tested a bench hook modified for pull saws. Bench hooks can be modified in numerous ways, so take the jump and get hooked!
This week, we made a quick foldable checkerboard inspired by my youngest child’s love of the game. This basic folding design can expanded and modified to play any board game. Just let your imagination run wild!
This project incorporates measuring, marking boards square, using a hand drill and hand saw, and an all natural, no-fuss stain (although it is stinky!). Super quick, super cheap and super easy for young makers between K – 3rd grade. Continue reading Home #Makerspace: Simple Kid’s Game Boards for Young Makers #Woodworking
The KID Museum of Bethesda, MD offers a range of Maker activities through outreach, studio time, open play/build and structured classes. It’s open for drop-in visits on weekends and reserved for workshops, school trips and scheduled events during weekdays. … Continue reading #Makerspace Tour: KID Museum in Bethesda, MD
Most of the time on this blog and @woodshopcowboy or WoodshopCowboy on Facebook, I showcase student-centered projects and articles. Sometimes I make projects for my own enjoyment and personal needs in my own personal makerspace/workshop. Here’s a peek behind the curtain. Continue reading Making a Makerspace: Shop Tour 2015
This is the third Tool Primer article on finishing your woodworking project. You can find Part One: Sanding here and Part Two: Penetrating Oils here.
In this article I will discuss the film finishes available for woodworking projects at most local big-box hardware stores. The first step is creating a clean, dust-free uniform surface by sanding all a parts to a high grit. I detailed my process in Part One. The finishing process is the difference between a good woodworking project and a heirloom piece of furniture. When I want to really knock a project out of the park, I focus much of my energy on choosing and creating a proper finish.
Earlier in the year, the great folks at Canyon Mesquite donated a number of spalted red oak boards to make furniture out of. It took a while, but we finally made some great use of them. Finished with Howard’s Feed-N-Wax. … Continue reading This Week in The Classroom: The Simple Coffee Table in Spalted Red Oak