A Strategy for Woodworking #18: Education

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Blog entry by Gary Rogowski posted 08-14-2014 01:16 PM 1725 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 17: Getting Right Part 18 of A Strategy for Woodworking series Part 19: Your Grip »

I got involved building chairs with the Lumber to Legacy project in Albany, OR. Here’s the story in their local paper.
Lumber to Legacy

Some high schools kids helped us build this cafe chair design. I wrote to the paper explaining my involvement.

“I wanted to respond further as to why I did this class for the kids. I love to teach and this was another opportunity to be with a group that doesn’t get the attention they deserve. Education in the applied arts is mostly forgotten today and it is a need that should be addressed in every community. Technology provides many wonderful things. But it rarely provides the satisfaction of seeing your work at the end of the day in a tangible form. In the shop, these students get a chance to work and see the results of the efforts immediately. The feedback is real and the learning sticks.

What was great was to see how excited these kids were to learn. They listened to me talk about geometry and physics. They asked questions about these subjects. They listened to me talk about joinery and cutting angles. They were to a man interested in learning. And that’s what education should be about: curiosity and the excitement of discovery. Add to this the fact that you get to put your hands on tools and it’s a slam dunk for just about every demographic. But certainly it is of vital importance for our kids. Please let all our educators know that hands on education needs to be back in every school. From the arts to music to shop class, we need to train our kids in the broadest possible way. This is called a liberal arts education. I’m a fan of it.

Why I did the class.” Education works, but we have to help to make it work.

The Northwest Woodworking Studio

-- Gary Rogowski...follow my wit and wisdom on twitter @garyrogowski

3 comments so far

View Mike Lingenfelter's profile

Mike Lingenfelter

503 posts in 4259 days

#1 posted 08-14-2014 02:45 PM

Gary – I’ve really enjoyed this series, you have been doing. This one really sparked something in me. I love your quote “Education works, but we have to help to make it work”.


View helluvawreck's profile


32083 posts in 3012 days

#2 posted 08-14-2014 03:31 PM

I agree completely about the need for ‘hands on education’. For goodness sakes, I’ve seen way to many kids who get out of high school without having learned even how to read a tape measure.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View DocSavage45's profile


8699 posts in 2988 days

#3 posted 08-14-2014 04:28 PM


I benefited from a hands on technical training/college preparatory high school. It aids both the left and right brain development. When I see kids I find out what’s going on. Mostly gaming and smart phones.

Some people are more “hands on,” but they are not motivated by what is being served to them in the schools. I took the time with mother’s permission to show one of my young clients how to use some woodworking hand tools, then asked him to pick a project and make it. It worked in many ways.

Keep up sharing your knowledge with the financially less fortunate. It stays with them.

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

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