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henryj
Posted: Saturday, January 10, 2009 9:19:56 PM
Rank: Newbie
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Joined: 1/10/2009
Posts: 0
Location: La Ronge, SK
I am a middle school math/science teacher who in his younger days worked as a carpenter building houses. I have, therefore, been tapped to teach woodshop at the school I'm currently at. It has a reasonable sized shop with a fair set of major power tools. My students will by and large have never held a hammer in their hands. My question is: What should a shop like this have in the way of hand tools, powered and non-powered?
Jeffseiver
Posted: Saturday, January 10, 2009 10:08:52 PM
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Joined: 11/22/2007
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Location: Mission Viejo/Calif.
Loaded question. Have you taught shop very long? Is your school located in the inner city or rurally? How many kids per class are they giving you? Personally I have found that middle school kids should be taught hand tools only with the first three projects and then eased into machine tools in a stepped process. I don't think that you should have them use a joiner or large planner at all. The table saw should be restricted also for you to make specific cuts for them. A smaller size band saw is advisable too. Be prepared for lots of broken blades and dismantled tools. Also be prepared for behavior and disapline problems. Roll with the punches and don't lose heart. You will find a way that fits your style. If you want some small projects and ideas send me your mailing address at Jeffseiver@aol.com
klandin
Posted: Sunday, January 11, 2009 12:06:02 PM
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Joined: 6/1/2006
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Location: Connecticut
As you know, middle school is a funny age group. The younger ones (fifth or sixth grade)seem just out of diapers, while the eighth graders are smack into worst part of their "I already know everything that I need to know" teen years. After many years of teaching both rural and inner city middle school students, what I know for sure is that you must keep them busy, you must keep them interested, and you must set and maintain consistent classroom behavioral expectations. I don't know what state mandates you are held to where you work, but here in Connecticut I had to follow a "Technology Education" approach in my curriculum. So what I did was to divide the marking period up into several different units of study. Each unit would be dedicated to the study of one of the major Technology Education core subject areas, power, transportation, communication, etc. Each unit would be anchored around one specific student project. I'm not a big fan of the pre-manufactured "modules" that are so big now. Instead I equiped my room with lots of basic supplies and created my own curriculum. When we studied transportation I built a working wind tunnel that my students could use to test their balsa wood air foils, and I built an eight foot long test tank that my students used to test their model sail boats. When we studied electricity I bought a classroom quantity of power supplies and a whole bunch of analog volt meters, ammeters, aligator clips, light bulbs, motors, and switches, and then I made up a bunch of self guided work sheets for my students to complete. For basic classroom supplies I leaned very heavily on hot melt glue guns (the low temperature variety), and I allowed my students to use a small bench top band saw, a bench top drill press, and a hot wire foam cutter that I built. Because I had a VERY tight budget I relied heavily on inexpensive consumables such as cardboard salvaged from boxes, foam blocks that I cut out of 2" thick blue (sometimes pink) insulation foam, and wooden parts that I cut up from pine 1" x 6" boards.

As I have written elsewhere, if I were trying to run a more traditional woodshop program for middle school aged students I would focus exclusively on hand tool skills with the younger ones. Proper layout, sawing, drilling, planing, and hammering technique. I would also look into resurecting the Sloyd system. I recently particiupated in a collaborative inter-district project in which my high school students designed and mass produced all of the parts for sixty bird house kits. We then went to a neighboring district's elementary school where my high school kids supervised a whole cafeteria load of fifth graders as they hammered and glued together their bird houses. It was a great feeling to watch my students as they patiently tutored the little ones in how to assemble their bird houses. But it was also a bit of a revelation to realize just how little many of the younger ones knew about building things. Be prepared for a surprising number of middle school aged students who have never before held a hammer.

If I were designing a woodshop program for seventh or eighth graders I might be tempted to introduce them to a few of the safer power tools such as scroll saws, band saws, drill presses, and possibly mini-lathes, but here too I would place my major emphasis on the proper use of traditional hand tools.

This list is not all inclusive, but here is what I would recommend:

Table saw - for instructor's use only
two band saws - I like the bench top models for this age group because they are easily moved, and the full sized floor models can be too tall for the wee ones.
two drill presses - see above
two scroll saws
four cross cut saws
four rip saws
six coping saws
twelve 12" steel rules
four 24" steel rules
twelve steel tri-squares
twelve combination squares
six bench planes
six block planes
twelve hammers
four egg beater type hand drills
a variety of rasps and files
a variety of screw drivers
a class load of safety glasses - get the small child sized ones
lots of sand paper
glue by the gallon
lots of nails: 4df, 6df, 1" & 3/4" wire nails, 1" & 3/4" wire brads
lots of band aides
the patience of Job


Keith Landin
Woodshop instructor, Woodstock Academy
"Mens tua sit implementum acerrium in fabrica"
creighta
Posted: Monday, January 12, 2009 7:22:59 AM
Rank: Newbie
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Joined: 1/16/2008
Posts: 0
Location: Georgetown/OH
If this class is just starting I would not go overboard.

Start with 2 each of hand drills and 1/4 sheet sanders. I like Ryobi b/c they are cheap and durable. I have never had a Ryobi hand tool die in class.

You will also need the usual hammers, screwdrivers, drill bits. Harbour Freight for these. And don't forget tape measures and WOOD.

For my first program I put together a nice home shop and it worked well for school too.

Remember you can add later. Just get them in the shop under budget for now.
Gene Luby
Posted: Monday, January 12, 2009 12:33:55 PM
Rank: Newbie
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Joined: 9/19/2008
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Location: Little Egg Harbor,NJ 08087
I have allways been a big fan of the saying learn to crawl before you walk,same being with woodworking,I would teach the students the basics of woodworking+ being new to teaching woodshop it wouldn't be a bad idea.I would outfit the shop with handtools first
Handsaws (rip /crosscut)
Copping saws
Try sqs
Combo sq
Files
Wood rasps
Block Planes
Hammers
Hand drills
Various screwdrivers
Nail sets ,Keep it simple,have them build small projects,as the students progress the use of,Elect drills,jig saw,finally scrollsaw,drillpress,bandsaw,Good Luck Gene
henryj
Posted: Monday, January 12, 2009 9:49:57 PM
Rank: Newbie
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Joined: 1/10/2009
Posts: 0
Location: La Ronge, SK
Thanks to all of you who have replied to my cry for help. Much appreciated. Just so you know, my school is in La Ronge, Saskatchewan, is primarily aboriginal students (who have never held a hammer before), and is located approximately 10 hours drive north of the U.S. border from eastern Montana.

Again, thanks and additional ideas and project plans would be much appreciated, especially hand tool ones that they can in turn teach younger ones to do.
klandin
Posted: Tuesday, January 13, 2009 12:23:44 PM
Rank: Newbie
Groups: Member

Joined: 6/1/2006
Posts: 0
Location: Connecticut
Good luck Henry. Enjoy the cold!

Keith Landin
Woodshop instructor, Woodstock Academy
"Mens tua sit implementum acerrium in fabrica"
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