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This is what the lathes look like I will have a photo of the actual shop sometime, the lathes do not work by the way,
Hi I relocated to Iroquois High School this year as a 11th grader my old shop class was huge and had safe machinary. Now im at Iroquois in Ny and its a mess the table saw, bandsaw, lathes, router, planer, jointer, and drill press are from the 1950’s. The radial arm saw is from black&Decker at least 25 years old and extremely unsafe. Half of the hand power tools are so loud and scary for people no one uses the tools. All of the screwdrivers and other misc tools have missing parts making them not usable and the cabinets are filled with mostly unidentfiliable tool parts that looks like junk. Now since I have had shop class all the way through High school I don’t have to make the bird house, tool box, etc… My project is to inventory and totaly organize the shop. After seeing the danger of things I have seen like the cluttered paths and kick back with the table saw do to the opsolete blade guard. It’s clear to me that for the sake of the shopclass to countinue for years to come and the saftey of students the shop needs the money necissary for the shop to be overhauled. The sad thing is the the interest in shopclass is there but sports/gym are always the priority for people so the shopclass is always last and in my oppinion not even on the schools budget list. Please if anyone can help my school it’s places like this. I will take some photos of the shop and post them.
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Wow people! The kid is trying to do something positive and you rake him over the coals for it. Schools have to maintain a safety standard that is dictated by our governments (the very same people you elected) and the lathe pictured doesn't have any safety guards. The old Rockwell lathe I have was such a victim of a school needing to upgrade equipment to have safety guards in place. Recently our program was suspended for a semester due to Workplace Safety and Health deficiencies (that would be OSHA for those of you south of the 49th parallel).
There are many good comments here despite some of the negativity. Leadership in your program is key. You can start that yourself by generating the interest you have started. Good job! Be a good student, regular attendance and applying yourself demonstrate your commitment to an education and that will speak volumes. Along the way you will also gain an education.
As far as places to get help there are many people and organizations out there willing and wanting to help. Look to local businesses for help refurbishing tools or replacing. Look to your local government websites for available grants you can apply for. Create a plan, communicate well and acknowlege those who help. When you go soliciting for funding remember you are selling yourself, your program and your school. People will want to help but generally they also want to know what's in it for them. You do need to get over your fear of older tools, many older tools are over built and have more mass which ends up having less vibration than newer tools. I also recommend looking up OSHA regulations for your state as this will determine what safety items you will need for different tools. Work on what you need before going after "wants". When you start showing success in your program you will be able to upgrade off of that.
Best of luck and definitely post more pics.
It's a shame that the school districts don't consider woodworking and other trades worthy of time and finance. The discipline required to learn the proper use of tools and the math used to create fine work are exactly what our youth need today. Good on you for making it happen at your school.
I suggest that you approach any woodworking clubs, often advertised and supported by your local fine wood working tool stores and any hardwood/curly wood outlets. Then encourage your instructor to help you invite these old craftsmen to help by holding a demonstration on how to tune your tools, demonstrate techniques that fire the imagination, and promote the possible vocational prospects associated with woodworking.
You might find that some of these master craftsmen have a unfulfilled desire to give back to the community and share their skills and might even organize some sort of fundraiser or silent auction of donated pieces .
Good Luck to you and your program.
The first thing the shop class should be doing is teaching the students how to clean up and sharpen the hand tools. After that, how to use them. The old power tools should be left alone until the casework is taught. How to sharpen and use handsaws, planes, scrapers, and chisels are key.
I thought that the power tools were the way to go until I stopped in to the shop in Williamsburg, VA. The guy there was making a harpsichord. The board that he had was too thick so he was resawing it by hand, to be finished with a plane and then with scrapers. This teaches so many things that power tools are not going to do. Just sayin.
I am a younger man in my 20's. I was under the impression I needed new machines in my shop. So, I loaded my shop up with new tools. I've spend the last year selling all those tools to buy the old ones, similar to the ones at your school.
Newer is not always better, especially with machinery. I have a 100 year old jointer. I'm 29 years old, and the machine will out last me.
If the machines need work, the solution is quite simple: Work on them!!! It would be a good experience. I good woodworker needs to have a ample amout of mechanical skills. If you plan to have your own shop one day, you can run out and buy new machines every time a machine has an issue.
I do agree with you that cluttered paths are dangerous. Also, Some hand power tools may indeed need replacement, but the stationary tools are gold.
I live in wny. If you go to that Iroquois High School. I can assure you, its going to be an uphill battle. The district will not be keen on spend the money on new equipment. Districts do not see the industrial arts (shop class) as important.
If your your going to apply for a grant. I suggest you pick a copy of Matthew B. Crawford's, Shop Class as Soulcraft: An inquiry into the value of work.
Crawford argues why the resurgence of shop class in schools is vital to America education programs within the schools as well as the nations overall economy. I encourage you to read the entire book. However, the first chapter and the intro highlight some intriguing, thought provoking ideas that would best suit your plea for grant money. If your going to ask for money you are going to need some ammunition. I believe this book is a good place to get started. You need to convience them (either the grant committee or school board) why allocating money to the shop will improve your academic experience. Remember, they are educators. If you can't convience them it would positively expand your eductional horizons, they will dismiss your request.
Good luck to you!!! .... and good for you. You have enough initiative to try and get what you want. I hope with your will and determination you can be successful in this endeavors.
I think you should focus more on English class than wood shop.
Congratulations on your initiative and your interest in woodworking.
All of the comments you have received contain great information. I have spend years acquiring old tools and restoring them as well as new, state of the art tool. There is a time and a place for all of of them
I hope you are successful in accomplishing your goal of creating a "better" shop as you complete high school than what you found. Obviously, your instructor at your previous school and your experiences there left a valuable impression in your mind.
Keep going! I would also encourage you to work on your communications skills.......... Just as your shop skills will serve you all of your life, your communications skills will do the same. You can be good at one or the other, or, if you choose to, you can master both and discover what synergy is all about.
I suspect you will succeed. Work the corporate leaders in the industry and in your community. I believe that you will find support for solid projects driven by people with passion.
Agreed that new tools won't fix the problem. The technology behind the tools hasn't changed that much in my lifetime, let alone yours. Shop class isn't where you go to learn about the new and shiny. Shop class is where you go to learn how to do something practical.
Tuning up the tools you have will serve you better. It will cost significantly less money, probably give you better results, and will definitely increase your skill set.
Also, learn to use hand tools. Learn how to sharpen them. Learn how to tune them up. Learn how to make and use marking tools. You can build very nice furniture with a very small set of tools, small enough that even a high school student could purchase a full set second hand with an after school job.
I understand your frustration with the shop you have to work with,but new tools will not fix the problem. It will take leadership and commitment form the teacher and the school to get things back on track. Good luck with your efforts.
I just started teaching at a junior college that is well equipped and well funded but the good tools are in very bad shape and the level of craftsmanship is incredibly low.
57006,I am pretty sure that I got the job you applied for.
...But now I am way off topic.
I taught high school in a shop that was the same age as yours. Many of the machines did not work when I came. The students did not care much and it was a dumping ground for poor performing students. The program was going to be shut down if I did not so something within one year. During the first year, students thought I was tough and demanding. When the first competition came my students took the show. They won the first three places and won every competition since. My program almost doubled in size in a school that grew little. Everyone wants to be part of a winning team. The state had heard about what I was doing and spent part of a day with me to develop the state standards. The standards I was teaching at were higher than what most colleges and junior colleges were teaching at. Students from one of the universities would come and see me in action. I was training some local teachers in an effort to raise the bar. So I know it is possible to raise up a dying and dead program. Fast forward to 2012 and I interviewed at a junior college and what the college was proud of did not compare with what my high school students produced. I was not hired. I realized they already has someone else in mind.
Hi, Thanks for all the support. Currently I have been speaking to school administrators on the issue and progress has been slow so i'm going to speak to a local tool company to see if they can help at least jump start the program and draw attention. Mike(mdf812) the old tool are very good but for some reason kids including me to be honest tend to shy away from old things; but you and Nate did give me an idea I could see if I could recondition what equipment I can and paint the equipment in school colors. Nate thanks I probably should focus more on organization and repairing all equipment that can be repaired and if anything should be replaced it should be the table saw with one that has current safety features like the SawStop or a Delta unisaw(I'd love to have one for myself). I'll keep you guys posted. Thanks again!
You might try writing to different manufacturers. These companies do trade shows and use the equipment in demonstrations. After that the equipment is no longer "new" and is usually sold as used or maybe donated i.e. given away. This is a route I might be tempted to explore further. The worst they can say is no and the best they can say is yes. Good luck and don't let anyone discourage you. You've taken the initiative to do this and I think that speaks well of you.
You guys are right.You help this kid.I have to go post a plea for someone to give me a free car on Car and Driver now.
For Timothy Patrick you have a typographical error. You might consider taking typing classes.
I'm sorry if I have struck some nerves out there .You want constructive ideas?Take up a tool drive.Ask for parents to donate stuff they have no use for.Ask the local hardware store or home depot to donate stuff.Maybe you don't need more than what you have.You would be amazed at what you can do with very little.Maybe you could ask fine woodworking magazine for the Tage Frid series as a donation.Much can be learned from this.If you are going to ask for help be very clear as to what you want because if you can't put your thoughts together while asking for help it makes people wonder if you are worth helping.This is from experience on the job.My earlier comment stands because it sounds like it was written after a fall down a staircase.Bt the way.This is intended to be where you show your shop.So show it.
JS, Do post the pics when you get the chance. Don't worry about the 2 goobers trying to correct you spelling. Old machines if still sound are better than most of the stuff out there today. They just need a bit of work. Good luck with your new venture. Gary
As far as getting grants goes, I don't have any information. But Richard Starr has an excellent book called Woodworking With Your Kids. The kids, in this particular case, are the shop classes he ran on a shoestring budget for all ages in elementary and middle schools. His budget was laughable by the standards of 1972, when he originally wrote the book. There wasn't enough money to buy wood, let alone tools.
In the process of figuring out how to build a program without a budget, he also built a program that anybody would be proud of. He has eighth grade students turning out finished work that anybody would be proud of.
So if you can't get the grant, see about revamping the program. His book changed how I look at my own shop.
Sorry.... I was having Technical difficulties. There are all sorts of grant opportunities out there you just have to be willing to search for them. Your state is a good place to start. Try googling, (your state) division of the arts. Schools are often eligible for discounts and tax credit when purchasing tools. Talk with your teacher about your concerns and maybe you can work together and come up with a solution. City arts organization may also be able to point you towards grant programs. They usually have people who are familiar with writing grants, and willing to give advice.
Hope this is helpful.
One of the main problems with FWW online are the opinionated jerks who talk trash. If you don't have anything nice or helpful to say then don't say $h!t. Mike has a good point there is nothing wrong with most quality old tools, as long as they have been properly maintained.
Man, give the kid a break on the spelling. This is Fine Woodworking, not Fine Literature. Instead, try and recognize that he's trying to take some initiative to do some good for his school.
I have no advice for you kid, but good luck!
learn to spell big guy
then concentrate on making those tools work for you
There is still hope for you.You still have time to pick up an english class so that you can learn how to write a paragraph and spell.Texting causes people to forget how to write and spell.Good luck!
I completely agree with Mike, if your school shop is filled with old tools you are lucky. The only tool I would consider upgrading would be the TS. I don't own a Sawstop and never will, that being said I believe that this is the perfect application for it.
I pray that you can get things up and running, for the better of all people involved. I commend you for stepping up and trying to accomplish what you think is important-don't ever stop! Please keep us informed on what happens, I am sure it won't be quick. And you unfortunately will probably miss out on most of what your efforts will provide but look at the big picture my friend.
As a middle school shop teacher and lifetime woodworker, I can tell you that the 25-50 year old machinery is 10 times better than any brand new machinery a grant will pay for. I've said many times, if I was given a blank check to replace all of my 50 year old machinery with brand new ones, I would turn it down. My shop actually has 2 yates american lathes exactly like the one in the picture you posted. They are solid, well made, cast-iron machines, much like all my other 25-50 year old machines. Take a look at new machinery and you will find what used to be cast iron parts replaced with sheet metal and sometimes plastic parts. The castings are of lower quality and even the machining has a lot to be desired.
A shop program is only as good as the teacher who is running it. When I started at my school 3 years ago, the shop was a disaster, as far as organization and machine upkeep goes. I was told that the previous shop teacher was so "burnt out" that he had his students sanding his workbench tops to keep them busy. I spent countless hours after school and over the last several summers organizing my shop, repairing/upkeeping machinery, and introducing new projects to change the culture of the room and class. We are now building electric guitars with my 8th graders.
Keep in mind, my budget is very, very slim. It's a shame that all the money goes towards the sports world, however, that's the case in many schools. I admire your efforts as an 11th grader to try to improve and "save" your program. However, as I said before, even with new tools and machinery--organization, safety, and upkeep is all up to the shop teacher. Having said that, one thing you might want to consider is "donorschoose.org" . Your teacher can set it up, and you basically explain your story, what you need for your classroom, how much it costs, and why--and donors can pick your story and donate money to the cause.
Hope this helps and your shop class can turn into something great. A quality shop program can do wonders for students and the community. Good luck to you!
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