A number of safety posters for a variety of woodworking tools. Continue reading This Week in the Shop: Safety Posters
Every winter, millions of families prepare for serious bonding time at kitchen tables, in garages and in workshops across the country. We enter with dreams of speed, beauty and glory. With a little luck and skill, we leave with pride, joy and a completed Pinewood Derby Car.
Here’s how to generate that little bit of luck and skill for your family so you too can guide your young maker with confidence.
The Pinewood Derby is a race between small gravity-powered model cars. Each official Scouting kit contains a solid pine block, four nails and four plastic wheels but specialized kits are available online. Official rules vary from organization to organization, and in Scouting, district to district.
This guide will show you how to support and help your young maker design, make and race their derby car.
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
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!
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
For the past three spring semesters (way back to my work at Citizen Schools) I have led a team of students in the design and construction of an Art Car. An Art Car, if you don’t know, is an embellished vehicle of some sort. Last year, I ran a sharkcar, the year before, a gatortruck. This year, I received permission to use the school bus. We run our car in The Houston Art Car Parade every second Saturday in May. Of course, whatever I did had to be removable. Nothing like a challenge. Over two months my students designed, cut out, painted … Continue reading This Week in the Classroom: Art Car
It’s been a few weeks since I’ve let y’all into the woodshop at work. We’ve been building the “simple bench”. If you’ve been reading this blog long, you know I love building benches – butterfly benches, green benches, small benches and long benches. My boys have been working off this pattern: And I give them lots of flexibility in said pattern. We started with three 3 foot lengths of 1×12 stock. The students then cut their bench seats to any length as I rip the rest of the stock into 3 1/2″ strips for the aprons and 5 1/2″ strips … Continue reading This Week In the Classroom: The Simple Bench
Dadoes are much easier to cut when you use two bench hooks…. You can even chisel out the waste right there. My students are having such success using bench hooks, knee height workbenches and the tool chest I’m reconsidering my thoughts on bigger workbenches. I’d like a better assembly table, but it ain’t nothing if I don’t have it. The kids are killing the simple bench project – in-progress pics coming soon. Continue reading Teacher Tip: Use Two Bench Hooks
Yesterday, we completed a physics demonstration: The adjustable see-saw. This seesaw has holes drilled into the balancing beam, allowing students/users to experiment with the capabilities of numerous levers. You just shift its position along the beam and viola! Instantly, a foolish grin hits your face as you try to balance anew.
More pictures after the jump…
This weekend I attended a welding class. I’m trying to get some practice laying beads with a MIG welder. A major safety hazard of welding is being “flashed” by the spark of electricity between the machine and workpiece. “Flashing” means the brightness of the arc has burned your retinas and can cause severe eye irritation, temporary blindness, redness, etc. You avoid this by wearing a proper welding helmet and warning bystanders that you will start welding. I, of course, got flashed this weekend. The fault wasn’t “my own”. Meaning it wasn’t my personal action which cause the flash. I kept … Continue reading Safety in the Shop: Other People’s Tools