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Old 06-05-2018, 12:11 PM   #1
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5 Skills You Should Have Learned in High School Wood Shop


1. Understand How Wood Works and Behaves

Before you put any tool to your lumber, you will need to understand its proper orientation and what direction to plane the board. As trees grow, growth ring layers continue to build on one another and this produces beautiful grain that shows in our boards.

2. Sharpen Saws, Planes, and Chisels

Too many people have perpetuated the myth that working wood by hand is really hard work, simply because they were using a dull tool.

3. Use a Hand Plane

With a lot of woodworking tools, the basic technique is pretty self-explanatory. But not all of them are so intuitive. Proper use of hand planes requires a bit of instruction and practice to develop the feel of adjusting the cut from coarse to fine.

4. Cut a Mortise and Tenon Joint

This is the most fundamental joint in all wood construction. Whenever we have to join a horizontal member (like a chair rail) to a vertical member (like a leg), we need to interlock these pieces at a right angle. By fitting a tenon into a corresponding mortise (hole), we can create a solid 90° joint. Although it may look intuitive to make, achieving a nice, tight fit requires careful technique and practice. There are many ways to make a mortise, but I use a stout chisel designed for that task and simply determine the width of the tenon based on that chisel’s dimension. Cutting the tenon is usually a matter of four straight saw cuts. When you do learn how to lay this joint out properly and cut it to a snug fit, the world of woodworking opens up to you. At that point, you know all the joinery required to build most tables and chairs.

5. Finish Your Furniture

After investing a number of weekends building a nice table or chest, how are you going to finish it? Finishes beautify and protect the piece you’ve worked so hard to build so don’t cop out and do the “rub it with oil” thing. There are so many beautiful finishes that become second nature to work with. I use shellac 99% of the time. Once you get the feel down, it’s really quick to apply, very forgiving, easily repairable, and you never have to clean a brush (because it re-softens in alcohol)! There are other varnishes that provide good protection for outdoor use as well.

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Old 06-05-2018, 06:47 PM   #2
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Re: 5 Skills You Should Have Learned in High School Wood Shop


Reading a tape measure – A skill essential to making accurate cuts and squaring projects

Joinery – Understanding the inherent strengths and weaknesses of various joints

Fasteners – Learn when to use nails, screws, pegs, biscuits etc.

Work space organization – Trying to assemble a project on a bench strewn with tools and scrap wood is frustrating and potentially dangerous.

Tool care – Properly using, cleaning, protecting and storing tools.

Use the LEARN method of instruction.

Listening to information taught in class
Examine classroom demonstrations and methods of woodworking techniques
Apply what is learned by building woodworking project(s)
Research outside articles to further gain knowledge on given subject matter
Notify others what has been learned through written responses, group collaborations, and oral presentations.
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Old 06-05-2018, 07:09 PM   #3
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Re: 5 Skills You Should Have Learned in High School Wood Shop


High school wood working shops have for the most part, went the way of rotary dial phones many years ago. So to me, these five points have to be changed to a newer version.

1. Maintain the highest grade average possible in every class.
2. Take accounting courses, financial planning courses.
3. In the first year of high school, start setting goals to align with a good job.
4. Take the needed courses to land the job. Graduate school, get the great job.
5. Then, just pay someone else to make a mess of their garage or shop, breath the dust, cut off their body parts... all while they build your custom wood furniture for you.

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Old 06-05-2018, 09:45 PM   #4
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Re: 5 Skills You Should Have Learned in High School Wood Shop


How not to cut your finger off.


How to stall as long as possible to complete your project until the last minute.


How to pretend you have a plan when you are only winging it.


Loved wood shop in High School. Don't know that they even have that anymore. Might have sewn the seeds for a current career 40 years ago. Was fun and that's why I have continued to be around this stuff.
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Old 06-05-2018, 11:38 PM   #5
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Re: 5 Skills You Should Have Learned in High School Wood Shop


Might I add .

How to cut a square straight line with the various HAND saws in the shop.

I have encountered people when handed a manual saw, looked at me like I had two heads, facing different directions.

Even some on this site will try to use a POWER saw, where it can't fit, and is not needed.



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Old 06-06-2018, 05:51 AM   #6
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Re: 5 Skills You Should Have Learned in High School Wood Shop


Quote:
Originally Posted by de-nagorg View Post
Might I add .

How to cut a square straight line with the various HAND saws in the shop.

I have encountered people when handed a manual saw, looked at me like I had two heads, facing different directions.

Even some on this site will try to use a POWER saw, where it can't fit, and is not needed.



ED
I agree. Some people cannot appretiate the precision of a good hand saw.

I have a Japanese pull stroke saw and love it. The cuts using this saw are incredibly smooth with no tear out, a real plus when doing detail work.

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Old 06-06-2018, 06:22 AM   #7
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Re: 5 Skills You Should Have Learned in High School Wood Shop


1) Understand your tools and your/their limitations
2) Respect the one teaching you. They have BTDT
3) If they aren't your tools, don't touch them without permission
4) Don't think you know it all, 'cause you don't
5) Be proud of your work, but don't criticize another's
6) Offer help to those who need it. You'll be in their boat one day
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Old 06-06-2018, 06:33 AM   #8
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Re: 5 Skills You Should Have Learned in High School Wood Shop


This is a friend. Note the "rides" behind him.
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Old 06-06-2018, 07:56 AM   #9
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Re: 5 Skills You Should Have Learned in High School Wood Shop


I assume that is not at an old car show. Cars had a lot more style back then!


I find it hard to believe that many schools are doing away with the shop classes. Not everyone is well suited for academics and everyone needs to know the diy basics.
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Old 06-06-2018, 08:06 AM   #10
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Re: 5 Skills You Should Have Learned in High School Wood Shop


Quote:
Originally Posted by chandler48 View Post
This is a friend. Note the "rides" behind him.
Cool pic. Let me see if I can still recall my old cars since I grew up with those cars, its been a while though..

Starting L -R ... 66 Chevy Nova wagon, 68 Chevy impala, 68 Buick Wildcat... ?
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Old 06-06-2018, 09:09 AM   #11
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Re: 5 Skills You Should Have Learned in High School Wood Shop


That Chevy II looks more like a 62-63, I had a 62 wagon. The 65 was more sleek because that was the first year they put V-8 in them, best I remember.
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Old 06-06-2018, 09:15 AM   #12
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Re: 5 Skills You Should Have Learned in High School Wood Shop


Didn't the 68 impala have 3 round tail lights on each side? possibly in the bumper?
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Old 06-06-2018, 09:23 AM   #13
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Re: 5 Skills You Should Have Learned in High School Wood Shop


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Didn't the 68 impala have 3 round tail lights on each side? possibly in the bumper?
Best I can remember they did.
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Old 06-06-2018, 10:58 AM   #14
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Re: 5 Skills You Should Have Learned in High School Wood Shop


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Originally Posted by Drachenfire View Post
I agree. Some people cannot appretiate the precision of a good hand saw.

I have a Japanese pull stroke saw and love it. The cuts using this saw are incredibly smooth with no tear out, a real plus when doing detail work.

I too use a pull saw to cut lumber.

I can cut a 4X4, at any angle needed, before most can set up their fancy power saws to do the same job, and my cut is smooth, flush, and straight at any angle.

Where often that flying blade power saw has mangled the 4X4.


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Old 06-06-2018, 11:02 AM   #15
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Re: 5 Skills You Should Have Learned in High School Wood Shop


I agree the Nova wagon looks to be a 62, but I'm thinking that the others came out with round tail lights in 69.


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