What projects did you make in HS woodshop class?

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I took EVERY woodshop class offered all through Jr. and High school. That amounted to 6 straight years.
Some of the stuff I made:
Jr. High school - The obligatory 3 board slanted mahogany bookshelf. They made us butt it together with countersunk screws. Was only allowed to use hand tools. Took it home and cut dadoes on the tablesaw to sturdy it up better(graces the back of my dunny, currently - perfect fit :) )
An upright guncase of my own design out of knotty pine with a danish oil finish. Black felted every surface a gun could touch and the inside of the drawer.
High school - A very nice custom computer desk with a formica laminated half oval top. Made it out of pine with a danish oil finish. Replaced the one of the same design I made the summer before out of plywood.
A custom wall cabinet for my bedroom. Built to hold all the electronic gear (TV, VCR, Video games, Stereo, etc) with raised panel doors to hide it all.
Spent a year on the lathe turning out all sorts of bowls and canes. My favorite being a set of candy dishes made out of scraps. Turned a few billy clubs too, when the teacher wasn't watching ;-)
Spent the last half of my sr year helping out others get their projects finshed up before we graduated.
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One.
The test block. Plane off one surface, chisel a square, round a corner, a couple of other operations.
Showed my completed (perfect to me) test block to the shop teacher with a proud look on my face. He claimed I had not planed the surface. For some reason this completely burst my bubble. I did not return to that class.
I did not pick up another woodworking project, at least of any significance, until I was well into my 2nd marriage.
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Wow!
It was shop class in Junior HS (7th-9th) 1975-ish
We had a buttload of scary stuff, monster jointer, planer, old Unisaw with several acres of table surface and a wall full of old, super dull planes. I wish I could have bought all that stuff, the shop is probably gone now...
I remember chess boards, speaker cabinets, and gobs of turnings.
We had a large wood locker with only three woods to choose from. Clear pine, $0.10 bf, Honduran Mahogany, $55 bf, and the "premimum" stuff, black walnut for $1.25 bf.
Crusty old instructor with missing finger tips. No real safety lessons but always 10 minutes (1 hour period) for shop cleanup, initiated by ringing a horrendous bell. Really made you jump!
Never a single accident more serious than a nicked finger from a handsaw in my three years of neophyteness.
-Bruce
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I enjoyed High School Shop, albeit when not perfecting truancy...
In Automechanics - We blew our vice-principles new exhaust off his yellow caddy with crossman Co2 cartridges. Who would have thought exhaust manifolds would ever get that hot...
We had a combined "Small engine - Metal Shop" class. That was good for a galvanized metal spice rack.
My favorite was Wood Working. I think of the tools and can only imagine the money. We had a 30" wide surface planer. Four big lathes. Three bandsaws. Jointer, big table saw. The lumber stack "all hardwoods" was floor to ceiling and at least 200 square feet of floor area.
Sadly, the best "us" 15 year old kids could do was make flying bowls. You know, five slabs, cut in a circle, glued up, and mounted on a lathe.
Back then (1977), safety was a five minute issue. No explanation on how to setup or use any of the tools. Four weeks learning how to draw a 2d diagram. Then go to it. None of the kids got hurt, but I saw one bowl get launched towards the teachers desk, missed.
Probably explains my personal preference for the quieter and gentler approach of using hand tools.
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Back in Jr and High school, woodshop was just a "filler" for me. I took woodshop, metal shop, art, and choir whenever I could, because they were easier than learning a foreign language... :)
I wasn't real motivated or talented for that matter...
I remember my first woodshop project in 7th grade, a "drafting" board. This was nothing more than a piece of plywood, sanded smooth, and my name stamped in the lower right corner. No edge trim or anything, just a piece of plywood. :) It was my first time to use a table saw, and I really thought I was doing something. I'm sure the teacher thought I was lazy and a bit nuts! Ironically, I used that piece of plywood as a laptop writing desk all through high school, and years later my wife wrapped it in decorative foil and served cakes on it! :) Who knew what a USEFUL project it would end up being... :)
One school I went to in 7th or 8th grade had the teachers rotate instead of the students. I remember the woodshop guy coming around with his cart of wood and tools each day. Obviously, we were limited to hand tools, but I somehow managed to build a halfway decent bird house.
In high school I built some bookends, a small desk organizer with an out- of-square drawer, and a few other goofball projects. I somehow managed a passing grade, and many of these projects had years of use, despite being horribly constructed.
Ironically, about 2-3 years after high school, I built my wife (girlfriend at the time) a beautiful cedar hope chest out of mill scraps, using nothing more than hand tools. We still use it today and it is one of her most prized possesions.
From those unmotivated beginnings, I went on to build virtually every piece of furniture in our house, and in the last couple of years we actually built our own home and all the cabinetry as well. Not bad for the kid who made a "drafting board" in school... :)
I certainly wouldn't win any awards, or be considered a "craftsman" today either. But I like to think my skills have improved slightly... :)
Anthony
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Tue, Feb 22, 2005, 10:15am (EST-1) snipped-for-privacy@unknown.com (HerHusband) says: Back in Jr and High school, woodshop was just a "filler" for me. I took woodshop, metal shop, art, and choir whenever I could, because they were easier than learning a foreign language... :) I wasn't real motivated or talented for that matter... <snip>
I took shop from grade 4 to grade 12. Not fantastically talented, but motivated, and learned a lot. Some forge work, sheet metal, metal tools, woodworking tools, a but of automotive, drafting, and so on. All just called shop. Every day classes too, not just once a week.
I took art too. The classes in the lower grades that everyone particiated in, and the optional class in grade 8 to 12. Because I wanted to learn more. Took it all 4 years, with "supposedly" a hot-shot big city art teacher who came to our school to teach. One of the larger disppointments in m life. Learned far more on my own. One of the "projects" the "teacher" was most excited about was a lump of clay I grabbed, putting grooves in from my fingers, slammed down, to make a flat side, and then painted the ugliest yellow color I could find. Loads of oohs and aahs over that one. Last day of school I made it a point to try to make sure she saw me smash it on the sidewalk.
JOAT Intellectual brilliance is no guarantee against being dead wrong. - David Fasold
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Aaaaah, yes. I attended a private school called University High School that was attached to the university. Only 120 in 9-12. The main purpose of UHS was to train teachers. Mr. Sonderman was the shop teacher. He was working on his doctors degree at the time and spent a lot of his in-class time working on his desertation ...something about Drivers Education... My very first ww project was a letter wood letter opener with a dutch shoe for the handle. Then I made a test tube rack. Mr. Sonderman helped with my maple and walnut cutting board. I brought some walnut from home that my dad had recovered from a demolished barn. Mr. Sonderman said he would cut the walnut down to size for me on the weekend because we were not allowed to use the table saw. I remember coming to class on Monday and there he was taking the blade out of the saw. "L'Hote!!!! Come here!!!! Why didn't you tell me there were nails in that wood??" Later on that year a girl in my class got her hair caught in the drill press and she was left with a bare spot down the top of her head..like a reverse Mohawk.. The next year I took drafting and we worked in the Biology room more-or-less unsupervised while Mr. Sonderman watched the students in the shop. I got into big trouble that year when David Brown and I were running down the lab tables sword fighting with some meter sticks and Mr. Sonderman caught us. The place closed in 1974. I wish I had gone to the local public school.
Larry
--
Lawrence L'Hote
Columbia, MO
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strips of light and dark wood, 2" wide. Glue together, then re-cut them 90deg. to the original seams/joints. re-arrange checkerboard style. Plane flat, build a frame with a plywood backer underneath the checkerboard.
Also learned how to weld, something with the forge that I've forgotten, plastic keychains, metal sugar scoop, turning on a lathe, and a pad holder (parents still have that one if they haven't chucked it when I wasn't looking ;) Also learned about girls, but that wasn't part of the curriculum!
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Hash pipes and zip-guns...just like evrybody else.
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wrote:

My shop experience in school was very different. In fact, it is probably because of my shop experience that my entire education was different.
I am visually impaired (that' the PC way of saying legally blind). I attended public school until the beginning of the seventh grade. Back in the 50s, there was no such thing as mainstreaming and the school district wanted me out and in a special school in the worst way. But that has no relevance to shop in school.
I started the seventh grade and the shop teacher was not happy with a kid who had a disability. The irony was that I had been working in my father's shop for many years...my first and last table saw ding happened when I was about ten. Blood is a good teacher.
Part of the shop class involved a classroom setting with lectures about the things used and the terms involved with woodworking. Mr. Mitchner (yeah, I still remember his name) did not like the fact that the "blind kid" knew as much as I did. He really became nasty toward me. Oh well.
The district finally got its way, an no it was not just wood shop, there were a few other teachers at the junior high that made things miserable. So, off I went to the special school. No, it was not a problem for me. I kind of enjoyed being away from home and doing for myself.
As for the shop program; it was not your typical school set up. There were several different kinds of whop classed available, wood, caning, basket weaving, and machine shop to name a few. The way the program worked was that you had to certify in two shops if you were in the college prep program.
Wood shop was a lot of fun for me. I mad the usual knickknack shelves, on of which still graces the wall in the entrance to my shop area. a place for glasses, gloves, and anything else that needs a temporary home when I walk in the door.
What I wanted to do was learn to use the lathe. We did not have one at home. The school had a real live bowling alley with real wooden pins. As they became unusable in the alley, they made their way to the shop. Bowling pins made great blanks for small table lamps. Hmm, my first experience with wiring at the ripe old age of eleven.
The instructor in the seventh grade was great. He was patient and did not hang over anyone's shoulder, but was there if help was needed. When he wasn't helping someone, he would sit at his desk in the corner, read the paper, drink coffee and smoke cigarettes. It was the 50s you know.
Unfortunately, he left at the end of my seventh grade year. The person who replaced him was just plain strange. I spent a couple of weeks under this guys lack of guidance and finally went to the assistant principal's off and indicated that I wanted to "test out' of wood shop. It did not take a whole lot of convincing. The assistant principal had substituted for the block head shop teacher and had an idea of what I knew and could do. When I took the signed request to the shop, the teacher laughed at me and said that I could never pass his test. Okay, I blew it, I only got a 98%. I was done with the wood shop. Too bad because the new teacher, the next year, was a lot better and lasted until after I graduated.
For my other certification, I chose machine shop. That was a real hoot. Unlike most school metal working shops, we only had a couple of machines. They were all big. There was and automatic screw machine, a horizontal milling machine, an 8' South Bent lathe with taper and threading capabilities, a monster dual spindle drill press, and a couple of other ex-production pieces. I learned to use them all. Toward the end of my tenure, I became the chief of maintenance for the shop. I also became good friends with the various machine shop instructors. These guys did not sit at the desk and drink coffee, smoke cigarettes, and read papers. That meant that the desk was available for naps (for me) whenever I decided to cut a study hall.
I guess the best thing I learned in wood shop was turning. The best thing from machine shop was learning how to take care of equipment, although nothing I have today requires a #10 tin of grease and a two inch paint brush to apply is. :-)
My educational experiences and my father's requirement for assistance lead me into a lot of very interesting things. I have reconstructed an 1884 farm house that had fallen to rack and ruin. I also redid the carriage house on the same property. I have wired several houses, from the service in. I have set up a small manufacturing company with used three phase equipment (No, I did not do that service, although, when the company moved, I did disassembled it [hot]). I have restored antique reed organs, And now, I just enjoy making small things for around the house and for family members.
Now that I am retired, I have dedicated my time and effort to building up a complete workshop at home. Last Christmas, when asked what I wanted, I could not think of a single large power tool that I needed.
Sorry for being so verbose. The drawback of majoring in English in college. :-)
Bill Waller New Eagle, PA
snipped-for-privacy@comcast.net
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My hat is off to you, sir. Most people *without* a vision disability can't do one-tenth of that.
-- Regards, Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
Nobody ever left footprints in the sands of time by sitting on his butt. And who wants to leave buttprints in the sands of time?
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On Mon, 28 Feb 2005 15:06:10 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@milmac.com (Doug Miller) wrote:

Thank you for your kind words. I really enjoy doing the things that I do. You can also find another example of one of my other hobbies on alt.binaries.pictures.rail, where I post daily. Bill Waller New Eagle, PA
snipped-for-privacy@comcast.net
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Oh my goodness! I was expecting to see pictures of *model* trains!
WOW! I love those old locomotives (pics you posted on 2-22-05).
-- Regards, Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
Nobody ever left footprints in the sands of time by sitting on his butt. And who wants to leave buttprints in the sands of time?
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On Mon, 28 Feb 2005 20:02:25 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@milmac.com (Doug Miller) wrote:

Actually the model trains have faded into the past. This is the first house that I have had in a long time that would even begin to support such a venture, but, then, I would have to give up space in my workshop, and that's not gonna happen. :-)
So in the meantime, whenever I can hitch a ride with a friend, we go hunting for the real thing. The old steam locomotive that I posted is on the East Broad Top, the last narrow gauge railroad in Pennsylvania. I make a semi-annual pilgrimage there early each summer and fall.
As you evidentially surmised from my earlier post, I do a lot of things that I am not supposed to be able to do. :-)
Bill Waller New Eagle, PA
snipped-for-privacy@comcast.net
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Faugh!! As a friend of the family used to put it "Blindness is a damn nuisance, nothing more. It is *NOT* a handicap!" He was totally blind, It didn't even slow him down.
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wrote:

I assume that you've been to the railroad museum somewhere in that area.
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Most of the people posting to this group seem to have had an interest in woodworking going way back to their teen years or earlier. Not me.
Thinking of HS shop class reminds me of 3 big regrets:
1) I didn't really give a shit about the class or school in general. As a consequence, I learned only about a tenth of what I could have learned had I been curious and listened and asked questions.
2) One of my grandfathers was active in woodworking through my teens and into my early 20's. He made probably hundreds of things from small wooden games to rocking chairs to gun cabinets for family and friends. I had the opportunity to learn from someone with great skill. Again, I didn't give a shit.
3) In HS shop, I made a cabinet for my stereo, including partitioned compartments sized for Hot Rod magazines and 8-track (!) tapes. Took it with when I moved to TX for college. When we packed up all our belongings into a utility trailer to move, the cabinet waited till near the end, so I couldn't find a safe place for it without taking the load apart. So, I left it by the curb. Guess I didn't have enough respect in my own work to care that much about it. (and as we drove away, before we got 100 yards down the street, in the side-view mirror I saw two other students come out to the street and carry it back to the apartments).
Now, years later, I appreciate woodworking. Along with learning basic skills, I'm learning to have much more respect for the skills that really talented woodworkers have.
Tip of the hat to all those woodworkers who get their kids interested early!
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