Monday, July 22, 2013

Practice Woodworking: July (heatwave) Edition

The summer of 2013 is filled to the brim with woodworking classes here at the Lohr School of Woodworking. Tomorrow will close out another Practical Woodworking course.

I must first commend our current practical woods students for being so brave and willing as they have managed to show up with smiles and motivated attitudes despite this unbearable north east heatwave. I am a Floridian girl and even I am dyin' from these temperatures so, good job guys, your dedication is admirable!

Jeff, Doug, Terry, Susan, Bill, Cate, Paul, Dan, Gwen, John, and Vince have done a wonderfully impressive job this week learning, listening, and executing new woodworking techniques. Furthermore, they have really become one as a class as they work together to implement their newly absorbed woodworking procedures! Each of them started the week with three rough, FAS, red oak boards and, today all eleven workbenches are graced with nearly completed hall tables.

We have been lucky enough to have the week to get to know the students and today is the day that they get the chance to add details that make their tables unique to them. I love to watch the creativity and personality shine through the pieces as they quickly approach completion.

Throughout the week, students see demos covering every concept, machine, tool, technique, strategy, and jig design we can cram into the week. Although the weather has been rather warm, we did stick to the status quo of making the messiest, dustiest tasks into outdoor activities. Here, Rob is demonstrating how to use the router sled/table. In this demo, he explains the jig's assembly, design, and use. As we use it as a method for milling one face of a board too wide to fit through the jointer or planer, it is safe for you to assume that the router throws a lot of dust and chips around as it levels the face's surface. Luckily, in the summertime, the mimosa tree is in full bloom so we were able to teach, learn, and mill board faces under the shade of a beautiful and delicious-smelling tree.
The latest and greatest addition to the shop was fueled by Jeff's efforts to contribute as little was we can to the ever-growing landfills. As we are located on the farm with it's own functioning ecosystem and work with all natural, earth-grown wood, we do our best to make environmentally-friendly decisions with our trash and material reuse.

A fancy new water cooler will limit the number of plastic water bottles we go through here at the shop (especially in the height of the summer). The idea is to have one reusable bottle for each student/staff to last the week instead of 2-5 throwaway bottles per person per day. Perk number one of this handy machine: the water is always ice cold without having to restock the refrigerator. So, welcome to the shop, new water cooler. We look forward to your convenience and ice-cold hydration services.
All in all, last week was yet another wonderful week spent with ambitious and motivated aspiring woodworkers. We were pleased to host the eleven of you and hope to see you return to the shop in the future!

Another week begins here at Lohr Woodworking so look out for an update or two about our next summer adventures.


  1. Larissa--great blog. I look forward to learning more through future posts.
    Practical Woodworking (I am proud to be a July 2013 graduate) exceeded my expectations. I gained confidence in operating machines safely, practical knowledge about staging a project and using a variety of tools, a new appreciation for the beauty of wood, and inspiration for future projects. Lohr School of Woodworking's recipe for success: patient, cheerful teachers who love what they do and who enjoy sharing their expertise with students of all skill levels.

    1. Thanks so much for your kind words, Dan!
      We are so happy to know you enjoyed the course and your time here. Be sure to share with us any surely-beautiful wooden projects you work on! Stay safe and motivated! We hope to have the good fortune of seeing you around the shop again in the future.