Unlike generations before us who would sew their clothes and build fences, we now go out and buy everything ready made or call in the repairman when something is broken. This causes us to become dependent on others, unable to navigate the world on our own. By taking a practical class like woodwork, we learn skills that will help us in our everyday lives.
Why You Should Take Woodshop
Woodshop teaches you much more than how to build a birdhouse or wall shelf. It also helps you to understand the principles of math and science through project-based learning. In order for your project to succeed, you must learn math and physics. When you build something like a table with an octagonal end, you apply fractions, geometry and the Pythagorean theorem.
The class also teaches you the value of persistence, encouraging you to keep trying even if something goes wrong. Unlike with other classes, you are not expected to get the answer right the first time. Any mistakes can be undone and fixed; it’s all about learning to persevere until you succeed. There’s nothing better than gaining satisfaction from knowing you finished the project and made it yourself.
What Do You Learn?
Each school will have different projects they embark on with their students, but typically you can expect to learn similar basic projects and use of tools and machinery. The classes will also vary depending on the grade you are in.
Elementary students: Since this is the first time you will have the chance to learn woodworking, you can expect to learn how to use basic hand tools, such as a hand saw and portable electric sander, and work with a smaller selection of projects.
Projects include things like:
• Wooden banks
• Corner shelves
Middle School students: Once you progress to middle school level you will be exposed to more hand tools and sanders, such as the oscillating spindle sander and the small belt sander. You will have a wider selection of projects to choose from.
Projects include things like:
• Coat racks
• Wall shelves
• Magazine racks
• Bigger birdhouses
High School students: Once you reach high school level you can expect a much wider selection of projects to work on, which will be larger and more complex. You will be taught how to choose materials and about different types of design. You will learn to work with machines such as the jointer, band saw, saber saw, drill press and portable drill.
There are also options for choosing advanced woodworking when you are in high school, which would run for the full year. This gives you the opportunity to work on several small projects or even one large project. You can make things like benches, small tables and small bookcases.
Buying Tools and Hardware
Before you start a project you will need to buy woodworking tools and hardware. You only need the basic tools to get you started, including things like a hammer, basic cordless drill, saw, measuring tool and screwdriver.
You should never just go for the cheapest option, as you will need a set of quality tools that feel good in your hand. Use comparison guides that will help you to evaluate tools and determine which one would be best to suit your needs.
Starting Your Own Project
If you have a parent that can help you with your own woodwork project, then there are plenty of online resources you can use to help get you started . You should always work under the supervision of an adult until you have gained the necessary skills to work on your own.