In Australia, the NSW Department of School Education plans to ban the
following tools from school's industrial arts (shop) workshops:
List of prohibited items:
angle grinder, disc> 100mm
belt sander (portable powered) >75mm belt
chain block/block and tackle
combination woodworking machines
grinder (fixed), fitted with wire brushes
GTA (TIG) welding
nail/stapling machine, staple > 20mm
power plane (portable powered)
powered sheetmetal machines
router, radial arm
router, table (fixed)
saw, radial arm
saw, circular (portable powered)
saw, drop and slide
Many of you had your first taste of this wonderful hobby at high
school, many went on to enjoy it as a career.
Look at the list above and work out how many of these tools you first
used at school and how many are going to be denied to NSW children.
If you're an Aussi, please write to your local school / local member
and voice your disgust.
Just think how hard it will be for teachers to teach "building &
construction" to year 11 / 12 kids without these tools.
Need determined support please. If you feel stongly about this please
email the minister, The Hon. Dr Andrew John REFSHAUGE,
and tell him how we will become the laughing stock of the world.
Oh great! Not content with destroying
the entire infra-strtucture of the state,
they now want to eliminate anyone who is capable
of fixing it in future. Way to go...
Hardly a laughing stock. You're more likely to become the only folk that
actually know what they're doing. But I agree that given that these things exist
and they are likely to use them in future they should become familiar with their
I've only recently taken up woodworking as a hobby and I am thankful for what I
learned those many years ago. Like most folks I buy all the 'must have' toys and
noise generating devices. So far I have just about every hand-held gizmo on the
market. I accept that I have learn how to get the best out of some of them but
it is somehow just not the same. Power tools are cheapish when compared to
manual devices designed for the same job. And, let's admit it, we just like the
damn things. But hand-tools are way more satisfying and less likely to wreck
your project. That said, I'm still going to use them but I intend to save up and
get some really good planes.
Fair point, I did only look from a woodworking point of view. Clearly somethings
can only be taught with the appropriate equipment. Woodwork is ancient so a
zillion hand-tools exist. Welding is different, I doubt they would give the kids
a forge and a smithy. ;-)
Ah, but "they" did just that. We indeed had a forge, and we also poured
aluminum castings. AAMOF, in junior high school (or middle school, as it is
now known) metal shop, I made a frying pan that my mother still uses ...
that was 47 years ago.
After you complete a project like that as a kid there is a thrilling sense
of accomplishment ... and little in your own mind that you can't accomplish.
These educrats, them with the genes we don't need in the pool, are robbing
our children of that experience, along with the self reliance that goes with
Of course, you couldn't do this today without shooting all the lawyers
These decisions are more often driven by insurance costs than by any curriculum
The liability insurance usually makes up a multiple of the entire cost to
It's sad, but this is a result of people looking for a payday through lawsuits.
costs regarding this equipment are extreme.
If some of you, tradesmen, find this same type of action in your communities,
look for the
nearest vocational school in your district. Then volunteer to speak or teach as
It's this type of action and a community willing to pay more in school tax to
costs that establish or keep these "shop" programs in schools.
No real action on your part, nullifies your contrary opinion.
Just my two cents, you may need change,
Impressive. I'm in 'The Land of the Great White Queen' we never got to play with
anything like that, in my school anyway.
That sort of sums up my point. With human driven hand tools and rough wood (all
hardwoods incidentally when I was at school) you can struggle so much to achieve
so much more that it does jack up your self esteem.
I sometimes think we should just shoot those turkeys for the hell of it.
I assume that you folks did not go to Vocational-Technical School. It seems a
little difficult to really teach carpentry using only hand tools. Finish
carpentry and cabinetry (as a job, not a hobby) would be a little tough that
way too. Most such schools still teach welding (try that without a welding
torch) and other trades that require power tool usage (if you want a job
afterwards). Hey, teaching handtools is good and should be part of the
curriculum, but nobody is really looking for that entry level carpenter who can
use a plane just great, but has never used a Skil saw or that metal-worker who
can melt a little bronze, but can't arc-weld.
We have heaps of such training places. I just went into electronics and then
Woodworking is a hobby, not a job. For those opting for the trades there was
further education and no doubt an introduction to the equipment they were likely
I would starve as a carpenter, I do OK with my software business. But I like
woodwork, right back from being a kid. I just never had the time for it before
(too busy sailing). Now I have and I'm in a country that is too cold to sail.
Yep, I got my first taste of metal and woodworking in junior high
school. About two months after I started, I got my first taste of shop
accidents, when a young fool in my class managed to slice through all of
the tendons in *BOTH* of his hands. A few months later, another young
fool managed to nearly remove both of his thumbs with a band saw.
Then, in high school, I took an advanced woodworking class, that took
up two class periods each day. While there were plenty of careless
screw-offs in the class, there wasn't a single injury, despite the fact
that we had much more hands-on time, with much more dangerous machinery.
After some thought, I've realized why there was such a difference:
The teacher. In junior high, all students had to take those introductory
shop classes, and the teachers were just herding them through like they
would in any other class. In high school, where the class was an
elective, the teacher took it VERY seriously. Before we could use ANY
machine, we first had to stand around and watch the instructor
demonstrate. He would not only show us how to use it correctly, he'd show
us subtle "gotchas", and also (in a controlled fashion) demonstrate the
consequences of NOT using the machine correctly. Then, were required to
read a fair amount on the machine's proper use, maintenance, and safety.
Then we had to pass a written exam on proper use and safety. Then we had
to pass an "in person" exam where we demonstrated to the instructor that
we were capable of using the machine without causing ourself, or anyone
By the time you did all of that for each machine you needed to use, it
was a fair amount of time and effort invested, and it was, in my belief,
the greatest investment that great instructor, Dale Sandusky, could have
ever instilled in us. I suppose that taking all of the machinery out of a
shop is one way to prevent kids from severely injuring themselves, but
it's certainly not the ONLY way.
Similar story in my high school metal shop class - except that our teacher
'Cal' would often be cleaning a hand gun. We could tell from his tone and
the glint in his eyes what he was saying had to be understood and complied
with. He did teach us a lot, and as bizzare as many our projects were,
(ranging from a canon to a cap for a pickup truck, he worked with us to get
it done right.
Darn if you don't have my sympathies. I have a feeling that you are
dealing with the idiocy of metropolitan population groups vs people
that live in the rural areas.
They took your guns, now they want to take your tools. Something is
very wrong. We are responsible for our actions, leave us be.
Whiskey Echo Sierra Sierra AT Gee Tee EYE EYE dot COM
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.