Friday, June 7, 2013

Practical Woods: June 2013 Edition

The Lohr School of Woodworking is happy to welcome and work with another new crew of aspiring woodworkers!

Safe from the erratic spring weather patterns happening outside, we've been working away the week in the shop with eleven new Practical Woodworking students. The Mikes, the Steves, John, Fred, Jono, Lesley, Pat, Bill, and Jim have been a wonderful addition to our shop this week as they have learned about everything from tree growth and wood drying, to milling rough boards to squared perfection!

As per usual, we have a collection of students with a wide range of prior woodworking experience and knowledge. And, even better, this group comes equipped with bright and hilarious personalities! As a new teacher here at the shop, I love to see how students of every level are excited and eager to learn the "right way" to do things in order to have the best results quickly (while making sure to keep all their fingers and limbs).

One of the best and most interesting parts of the course are all the Lohr-original jigs! After so many years in the trade, Jeff has come up with the easiest, safest, and most logically constructed jigs to make most processes fool proof and comfortable. A jig for cutting mortises in table legs, a jig for cutting perfectly tapered legs, a jig for leveling surfaces of bigger-than-the-planer boards, a jig for this and a jig for that. He keeps all of the stages of each jigs' progression so students can see where his logic started and how it developed into these hand-crafted, time-saving assistants. Best of all, like all other information and processes presented in the class, Jeff tells students in great detail how they can copy these things when they return to their home shops.

As I continue to ease my way into woodworking instruction, I am quickly learning how different (and just slightly the same) teaching math to eighth graders is from teaching adult woodworkers. The first major difference is that these students want to be here. In fact, they seem to love being here as much as we do; something I can't say so much about most 14-year-olds being forced to learn math.

I look forward to the next couple of days as the Mikes, the Steves, John, Fred, Jono, Lesley, Pat, Bill, and Jim see their tables come together and sigh with relief when they can go home and digest all the information that has been thrown their way this week. Now, onto Day 5 (sanding day) of Practical Woodworking!


  1. Larissa, Rob, Jeff
    Thanks again for a great week at the school, learned a lot and look forward to practicing. But you guys were key and I really enjoyed it.
    Mike G.

    1. We're so glad to hear you enjoyed your time at the school! You were a wonderful addition to the class. Keep practicing and feel free to share with us any surely-great pieces you make!