I swear the conversation went like this: Wife: “What dress should I wear?” Me: “I don’t know, you look great in anything.” Wife: “This dress? What about this one?” Me: “I don’t know if you’ve been watching me, but I haven’t taken my eyes off you in forty minutes.” Wife: “I need a full length mirror, I can’t see anything here.” Me: “I can handle that.” Exit stage right. I know a good exit line when I’m handed one. Mirror from Lowe’s, sans frame. A saw kerf down the middle makes a perfectly sized dado. Pocket hole construction. The … Continue reading This Week in the Shop: Mirror, Mirror
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
Two projects really took off this summer – chalkboard slates and boomerangs. The boomerangs, of course, took off a little bit more. Back in the fall I built a bike barn. It’s more of a third-world shanty, but it housed the bikes and kept them sort of organized. Either way, I picked up a large number of cedar shingles as a roofing material. Time got away from me – I never roofed the barn. Instead, I used the shingles to create these cool little chalkboard slates. I used an exterior paint as primer, then covered them in green chalkboard paint. … Continue reading This Week in the Classroom: Boomerangs and Chalkboard Slates
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
I ended the year with an exploration of music. I used xylophones, pendulums and windchimes to explore frequency, wavelenght, pitch, volume, etc. I probably should have found a way to incorporate physical waves, but a trip to the beach was out of the question and I met disaster in my attempts at building a wave pool. We did, however, create a pretty sweet 2×4 xylophone and frame. Make it safe & keep the rubber side down this weekend. Continue reading This Week in the Classroom: 2×4 Xylophone
As a parent, I know that art projects can be a mixed blessing. Some are breathtaking. Most should go in the circular file. Worse still are things my kids build – they fall apart and break. They take up space. God save me if my sons bring home noise-making pieces of art they have built. As a teacher, I conveniently ignore my own good sense. I present wind chimes built in preparation for Mother’s Day as part of our “building music” unit. Make it safe and keep the rubber side down. Continue reading This Week in the Classroom: Why Mothers Hate Me On Mother’s Day
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
Hello mudder, hello faddah, here I am at Camp Grenada Make it safe & keep the rubber side down this weekend. Continue reading This Week in the Classroom: Camp!
My boys are back in town and they are locked and loaded – here’s a few glamor shots of their beautiful simple benches. Remember – if these look good to you, come build your own version with me at TX/RX Labs in May. Continue reading This Week in the Classroom: The Boys Are Back In Town!
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