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  • My first woodworking project

    I spent part of Gr4 and all of Gr5 at Broadview Avenue Public School in Ottawa. For a few weeks in Gr5 my class walked over to Woodroffe Ave Public School where they had a woodworking shop. We were given choices of objects to make, so I made a knapkin holder for my mother. We had to sketch it out on paper, transfer it to thin Poplar boards, cut them with the appropriate hand saw (cross cut, rip and scroll) and the teacher assisted those who were unable (we were 9, 10 years old). Once cut out we had to assemble with small nails and then stain the work. My mother kept this and used it every day since I gave it to her, and I recently inherited it, so it will now sit on my table.

    Just a memory ...

    Click image for larger version  Name:	Knapkin-holder.jpg Views:	0 Size:	440.1 KB ID:	1284111
    WoodBob, LeftFinger and 5 others like this.
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  • #2

    Re: My first woodworking project

    Funny my first woodworking project was in cub scouts where we made napkin holders after tracing our hands onto plywood. I don't have any idea where it went but my mom had it until she passed.
    baymoe and John Bartley like this.
    Jerome
    Canada's South Coast

    Port Colborne On.
    Every loaf of bread is a tragic tale of grains that could've become whiskey.......but didn't....

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    • #3

      Re: My first woodworking project

      In grade 7 I turned a peanut bowl out of veneer that had been glued together. Veneer sheets were trimmed to size on the big paper shear, glued together, clamped with the wood screw clamps, trimmed to rough shape on the bandsaw and turned on the large lathe. Our elementary school had taken over a former high school which had a full woodworking shop . Cannot remember a table saw but maybe that was considered more dangerous than the large bandsaw we were allowed to use. The peanut bowl had a long career but I cannot remember when it disappeared from the family homestead, more than likely it was cremated in the blast furnace we used to heat a poorly insulated farmhouse.
      John Bartley likes this.

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      • #4

        Re: My first woodworking project

        You were lucky Bill! We didn't have any more tech/shop classes until I got to high school and took machine shop in Gr9.

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        • #5

          Re: My first woodworking project

          My only regret looking back is that I did not continue taking woodworking and automotive classes into high school. I am attempting to master skills at 60 that would have been taught in grade 9 intro to woodworking and I am so lost when it comes to basic mechanics. I marvel at the members here restoring old machinery, discussing spindle diameters and redoing bushings and bearings. Hopefully they are passing it on to their sons, daughters,granddaughters etc .
          John Bartley likes this.

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          • #6

            Re: My first woodworking project

            Mine was gr8 . We walked over to a high school and made a cutting board . Due to the distance we didn't get a lot of shop time. To this day I hate hand planes and still look over my shoulder for the shop teacher
            pirollodesign likes this.

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            • #7

              Re: My first woodworking project

              I went to a brand new high school - 189 kids the first year, almost 1200 when I graduated.
              Wasn't allowed to take a shop in Grades 9 or 10, and wasn't going to be with those little grade 9s when I was a big grade 11.
              Had shop a long walk away at another school in Grade 8.
              Grade 8 bowl used by Mum and I inherited it, have shown it at GHWG, and it's on a bookshelf beside the TV.
              Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_2994.JPG
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Size:	44.1 KB
ID:	1284195
              pirollodesign, and 2 others like this.
              Noel

              "Being so impressed with the beauty of nature, I never cease to be amazed at how the
              'touch of the human hand' can transform it into another kind of beauty that is so uniquely human.
              "

              John Snow, Outdoorsman and Retired Teacher

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              • #8

                Re: My first woodworking project

                I really enjoyed the pictures of first woodworking projects. My journey started back in 1960 when I decided to make myself wooden boats to sail on the farm pond; I don't have any of the boats anymore but I do have the scars from cutting curves with a Swede saw. That thing was too heavy for a boy my age (6) to handle so there were quite a few mis-cuts; lots of them in ME. I used my Dad's rasp to "smooth" them out; slathered them with left-over paint from his automotive business; and nailed some scrap lead onto the bottom to make them float upright . They were probably butt ugly but I remember them with great pride; I certainly had a ton of fun with them.

                My first "good woodworking" stemmed from working with my grandfather and from shop class in Grade 7 (age 10). I was permitted to keep Industrial Arts in my class schedule all the way through Grade 12 including draughting and metal working. It is too bad IMO that so many schools have collapsed their Shop/Industrial Arts programmes since they proved so useful in both my profession and in my various life-long hobbies. I expect that those classes were a big positive influence on many others too; an influence that the younger generations are missing out on.

                Thanks for sharing your pictures and stories.

                Ken

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                • #9

                  Re: My first woodworking project

                  My first "serious" woodworking project was this plant stand in 1984. Prior to this, some tinkering with wood in my father's workshop a decade earlier. The plant stand design was part of the 1st year of Cabinetmaking curriculum at a local college (Algonquin College). So we all had to make the same piece, mainly to learn through-dovetails. Best part is that the plant stand is still in use here and holding up very well (recent pic attached). So it has also become a conversation piece of sorts now
                  Last edited by pirollodesign; 05-19-2020, 10:32 AM.
                  Pirollo Design



                  http://www.pirollodesign.com

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                  • #10

                    Re: My first woodworking project

                    Thank you all for sharing your memories. They are great !!

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                    • #11

                      Re: My first woodworking project

                      My brother was doing some cleaning and found my first project just last year!

                      I think it might have been grade 5 that they would start bussing us once a week across town to the one elementary school that still had shop and "home ec" facilities. It may have been grade 7, who knows. For half the year, you'd spend half a day a week doing shop, for the other half a year you had to switch and do home ec, where you'd learn to cook and sew. Side note, those skills came in just as handy. My cooking skills got me a job in a professional restaurant setting, which is how I paid for Mrs.callee's wedding ring! To this day I'll hem my own pants, darn my own socks, or Sew on my own buttons. I like the self- sufficiency of it.

                      In shop class we had a grumpy old guy named Mr. Thiessen who was always yelling something about using the right tool for the right job, whatever that meant.

                      On the first day I was eager to start cutting wood, but instead he made us draw pictures of a coping saw. I was confused and annoyed. He said we couldn't start our project till he approved our picture, but every time I brought my picture to him he would point out some minor little detail of the coping saw that I had either failed to draw or failed to draw correctly, and send me back to re-saw. I thought it was the stupidest thing ever - after all, this was shop class, not art class!!

                      Finally I got it right and was allowed to start the project - a pine key holder shaped like a key with cuphooks for the keys. We had to trace it, cut it out with the coping saw, sand and stain it, install the hooks and drill holes for the finish nails that it could be mounted with.

                      At the end of the class Mr thiessen explained that shop work was all about attention to details. Being able to notice details and pay attention to them was the difference between good work and bad work, safe and unsafe. If we couldn't notice the details of a coping saw when drawing it, how could we pay attention to the details when using it?

                      It was a lesson I didn't appreciate at the time, but it sure stuck with me, and I replicate that draw-the-coping-saw-make-a-keyholder lesson every year in the carpentry class I teach.

                      Here's mine:


                      I like how we were each assigned a student number we had to stamp on the back of all our work:

                      Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_20200520_0949081.jpg
Views:	103
Size:	1.85 MB
ID:	1284341 ​​​​​​​

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                      • #12

                        Re: My first woodworking project

                        Originally posted by callee View Post
                        My brother was doing some cleaning and found my first project just last year!

                        I think it might have been grade 5 that they would start bussing us once a week across town to the one elementary school that still had shop and "home ec" facilities. It may have been grade 7, who knows. For half the year, you'd spend half a day a week doing shop, for the other half a year you had to switch and do home ec, where you'd learn to cook and sew. Side note, those skills came in just as handy. My cooking skills got me a job in a professional restaurant setting, which is how I paid for Mrs.callee's wedding ring! To this day I'll hem my own pants, darn my own socks, or Sew on my own buttons. I like the self- sufficiency of it.

                        In shop class we had a grumpy old guy named Mr. Thiessen who was always yelling something about using the right tool for the right job, whatever that meant.

                        On the first day I was eager to start cutting wood, but instead he made us draw pictures of a coping saw. I was confused and annoyed. He said we couldn't start our project till he approved our picture, but every time I brought my picture to him he would point out some minor little detail of the coping saw that I had either failed to draw or failed to draw correctly, and send me back to re-saw. I thought it was the stupidest thing ever - after all, this was shop class, not art class!!

                        Finally I got it right and was allowed to start the project - a pine key holder shaped like a key with cuphooks for the keys. We had to trace it, cut it out with the coping saw, sand and stain it, install the hooks and drill holes for the finish nails that it could be mounted with.

                        At the end of the class Mr thiessen explained that shop work was all about attention to details. Being able to notice details and pay attention to them was the difference between good work and bad work, safe and unsafe. If we couldn't notice the details of a coping saw when drawing it, how could we pay attention to the details when using it?

                        It was a lesson I didn't appreciate at the time, but it sure stuck with me, and I replicate that draw-the-coping-saw-make-a-keyholder lesson every year in the carpentry class I teach.

                        Here's mine:


                        I like how we were each assigned a student number we had to stamp on the back of all our work:

                        Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_20200520_0949081.jpg
Views:	103
Size:	1.85 MB
ID:	1284341 ​​​​​​​
                        If only Mr Thiessen knew. good story.

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                        • #13

                          Re: My first woodworking project

                          My first project never survived long after my Dad installed a wood stove. The first 2 years we had a old shop with tinsmithing tools and a blacksmith's forge plus woodworking equipment. The one memory that really stuck was firing up the forge having someone man the blower. Then we would make runs to the table saw for hand fulls of saw dust. As soon as the teacher had his back turned we would toss the saw dust onto the hot coals and crank the blower real hard, The flash flame would almost touch the ceiling, its a wonder we never burnt the school down.

                          Next year there was no shop as they replaced the old shop with a shiny new one. Sadly they removed the blacksmith and tinsmith tools.

                          Paul

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