LumberJocks

Can You Fix This?

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Blog entry by Kelster58 posted 04-20-2018 01:25 AM 742 reads 0 times favorited 23 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I teach Industrial Arts at a small school in Pennsylvania. We have a wood shop teacher, a metal shop teacher, and I teach Computer-Aided Design. We try to have students begin their projects in the CAD lab and then take their plans to the shop for fabrication after they have planned and done some problem solving in the CAD lab. I also teach safety and introduce hand tools to all the 8th graders in my school. My 8th grade students get to use some tools and the drill press to make a car powered by a mouse trap, a hovercraft powered by an electric leaf blower, and a bird house, after they do their safety lessons. We are very busy during the school day.

I am constantly amazed at the number of people that think because we know a bit about woodworking and metal working and have tools available to us, they can ask us to fix anything and everything. We’ve had pianos pushed into the shop(Music Department), motorcycles in the shop(student’s father). Can you fix my coal screen(brought in by a student), weld this, glue this, fix this chair.

Board members and administrators only ask for school projects such as: build a display for the school store, make a railing close to a loading dock to keep staff and students safe, repair a stainless steel shelf in the cafeteria so no one gets hurt from it. We do those types of things for the administration and board members. Never been asked to do anything for them personally. They are all very careful about that. No discrimination against tax payers. We help all of their children the same.

Our rule is, if it is for a student for class we do that right away. If it is for a board member or administrator, we do that right away. We try our best to teach our students how to repair or make things their parents send in with them. Everyone else waits or in some cases gets turned away.

I teach CAD for the most part, so woodworking is more of a hobby for me. I will say that my students look at the Lumberjocks website mostly every day.

A day after I agreed to make a box for the Spring Box Swap I was asked to make the set for the school play and have it completed by Easter. I make 50 bird houses each quarter for my 8th graders. I made a set of crosses for a friend. I barely got my box for the swap completed in time. I have several more projects in my queue already. I like to stay busy and enjoy doing things for people.

Is it just me or do you all get asked to make or fix everything under the sun? Sometimes it seems people ask me to do pretty much anything. Do you all get that too????

My Projects since February 14th (all completed after school, not during the school day)


Main Set for School Play


State Room For School Play


Brig for School Play


I had to make 2 doors stand up by themselves and open and close


Crosses for a friend


50 bird house kits for my 8th graders to put together. I cut the pieces they drill the holes and screw them together.

My box for the Spring Box Swap, to be revealed soon…...

-- K. Stone “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” ― Benjamin Franklin



23 comments so far

View EarlS's profile

EarlS

1027 posts in 2341 days


#1 posted 04-20-2018 02:07 AM

That is what I would call a full time job!!! It seems like teachers in general seem to have a lot more people asking for their time and assistance. I’m grateful to those, like you, that make the time to help.

I rarely get asked to do “will you fix it” jobs, though recently I had a single mom that my wife knows through church that lost a tapered round pin for her table. I made her a dozen of them so she has some spares.

A co-worker asked me to make walnut panels for his truck bed. I did that for the cost of the materials. I also posted it on LJ. Other than that, I’m not sure why I don’t get more “requests”. I’m OK with that since it means that when I do get asked for help I generally have the time and the inclination to do so.

I’m anxiously waiting to see all of the boxes as well.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View NormG's profile

NormG

6109 posts in 2997 days


#2 posted 04-20-2018 03:55 AM

You are a Saint

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

View Kelster58's profile

Kelster58

671 posts in 534 days


#3 posted 04-20-2018 10:05 AM



That is what I would call a full time job!!! It seems like teachers in general seem to have a lot more people asking for their time and assistance. I m grateful to those, like you, that make the time to help.

I rarely get asked to do “will you fix it” jobs, though recently I had a single mom that my wife knows through church that lost a tapered round pin for her table. I made her a dozen of them so she has some spares.

A co-worker asked me to make walnut panels for his truck bed. I did that for the cost of the materials. I also posted it on LJ. Other than that, I m not sure why I don t get more “requests”. I m OK with that since it means that when I do get asked for help I generally have the time and the inclination to do so.

I m anxiously waiting to see all of the boxes as well.

- EarlS

Earl, thanks for your kind words. Seems like you get some projects to help out friends and acquaintances as well. It is nice to help others out. Some people you can’t turn down.

-- K. Stone “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” ― Benjamin Franklin

View Kelster58's profile

Kelster58

671 posts in 534 days


#4 posted 04-20-2018 10:05 AM



You are a Saint

- NormG

Thanks so much!

-- K. Stone “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” ― Benjamin Franklin

View Ron Aylor's profile

Ron Aylor

2597 posts in 641 days


#5 posted 04-20-2018 10:18 AM

Kelly, I agree with Norm … you are a saint. I don’t get asked per se, but I do fix a lot of things at church.

-- Ron in Lilburn, Georgia.  Knowing how to use a tool is more important than the tool in and of itself.

View Kelster58's profile

Kelster58

671 posts in 534 days


#6 posted 04-20-2018 10:37 AM



Kelly, I agree with Norm … you are a saint. I don t get asked per se, but I do fix a lot of things at church.

- Ron Aylor

Thanks Ron, I have a project in work for church right now. I’ve seen your work, you are amazing and an inspiration. That has Saint written all over it….........

-- K. Stone “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” ― Benjamin Franklin

View Fresch's profile

Fresch

228 posts in 1914 days


#7 posted 04-20-2018 10:54 AM

I guess as a tax payer why a board member, teacher, administrator, would get any different treatment than myself would be correct; unless you are discriminating against tax payers.
You need to make decisions on the teaching quality of the repair or do no repairs except student driven, after all must be politically correct unless you want a national walkout!

View Redoak49's profile

Redoak49

3239 posts in 1982 days


#8 posted 04-20-2018 10:59 AM

The students and their needs are number one. Doing favors for board members and administrators is bad business. I think you should find the best person on the board and discuss the problem.

View cabmaker's profile

cabmaker

1730 posts in 2802 days


#9 posted 04-20-2018 11:41 AM

Goes with the territory,,,,,sad to see that the ones that get turned away are the ones that pay the bill !

Job too tough ,,,,,step aside,,,,, I’m sure there are others that would love to be in your shoes

View GR8HUNTER's profile

GR8HUNTER

3808 posts in 706 days


#10 posted 04-20-2018 12:52 PM

looks like you do so much for the school ….they all will be rewarded 1 day with blessings from heaven …...OH YE….. yes i am asked to fix everything from bike tires to church items to space ships and swimming pools …. GREAT JOB :<))

-- Tony Reinholds,Pa. REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN

View Planeman40's profile

Planeman40

1175 posts in 2754 days


#11 posted 04-20-2018 02:04 PM

I used to have that problem as I have an extensive home shop. I pretty much put a stop to it by politely insisting that the person asking come keep me company while I do it. That stopped about 75% of the problem. I figured that if it wasn’t worth their time, It wasn’t worth my time.

-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

View CaptainKlutz's profile

CaptainKlutz

261 posts in 1488 days


#12 posted 04-20-2018 04:52 PM

+100 Saint
Thank you for teaching these skills to students. I learned my love for creating things with wood, metal, and drafting them on paper in Jr High School from a teacher like you half century ago. God bless you and all those that are able to keep hand crafting education alive!

Special project requests:
IMHO – it works like this when it comes to Public access to wood, metal shop services:

#1 – Challenge for general public fixing, or customizing objects around house is knowledge and access to tools get job done.

#2 – Challenge is that ANY non-commercial location with a extensive workshop full of tools becomes a potential supplier to help others get stuff done CHEAP.

We all know that commercial operations exist to fix, weld, build, or paint anything anyone wants. But world is CHEAP, and if a low cost source becomes available; everyone will use that source, until it stops being cheap, easy, or available.

When people without access to shop tools learn of my capabilities, they ALWAYS ask me if I can fix/create/build something for them. In past, I would try to help friends as much as time allowed. But I learned hard way there has to be limitations on free services offered.

Like PlaneMan40 above, if requester is not willing to help me work in shop on their project, then it is not worth my time either.
What I tell most folks to dramatize point: $50/hr if you drop it off and have me do work, $10/hr if you sit in shop and watch me work on it, and free if you help me get job done and clean up.

I also learned that helps to treat free work, just like commercial work?
Easiest way to make sure “customer” is sincere is discussing materials budget and time required, and letting them know what it would cost if they paid you. For larger freebie projects, most folks will try to reduce what is required, be willing to help, and occasionally some decide it is too much work to ask someone to do for free.

Unless it is really small project, I require materials costs to be paid so they have some skin in project. Materials cost for project needing 50 bdft of walnut scares most people away quickly. Materials cost scares everyone except high school theater directors that need 10x more volunteers than available. They are happy to buy 30 sheets of plywood and stack of 2×6’s to have you build a new set piece requiring 100+ hours of your free time during the next 2 weeks. Thankfully, my theater star is in college now. But I still get phone calls from former directors asking if I have time to make something for upcoming show.

PS – If I lived closer to you, I would be happy to come help with next bird house kit build. Students come first in my world.

Cheers!

-- I'm an engineer not a woodworker, but I can randomly find useful tools and furniture inside a pile of lumber!

View Kelster58's profile

Kelster58

671 posts in 534 days


#13 posted 04-20-2018 07:14 PM

I guess as a tax payer why a board member, teacher, administrator, would get any different treatment than myself would be correct; unless you are discriminating against tax payers. You need to make decisions on the teaching quality of the repair or do no repairs except student driven, after all must be politically correct unless you want a national walkout!

- Fresch

I should have been a bit more succinct in my post. Board members and administrators only ask for school projects such as: a display for the school store, a railing close to a loading dock to keep staff and students safe, repair a stainless steel shelf in the cafeteria so no one gets hurt from it. We do those types of things for the administration and board members. Never been asked to do anything for them personally. They are all very careful about that. No discrimination against tax payers. We help all of their children the same.

-- K. Stone “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” ― Benjamin Franklin

View Kelster58's profile

Kelster58

671 posts in 534 days


#14 posted 04-20-2018 07:15 PM


The students and their needs are number one. Doing favors for board members and administrators is bad business. I think you should find the best person on the board and discuss the problem.

- Redoak49

I should have been a bit more succinct in my post. Board members and administrators only ask for school projects such as: a display for the school store, a railing close to a loading dock to keep staff and students safe, repair a stainless steel shelf in the cafeteria so no one gets hurt from it. We do those types of things for the administration and board members. Never been asked to do anything for them personally. They are all very careful about that. No discrimination against tax payers. We help all of their children the same.

-- K. Stone “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” ― Benjamin Franklin

View Kelster58's profile

Kelster58

671 posts in 534 days


#15 posted 04-20-2018 07:19 PM

Materials cost scares everyone except high school theater directors that need 10x more volunteers than available. They are happy to buy 30 sheets of plywood and stack of 2×6’s to have you build a new set piece requiring 100+ hours of your free time during the next 2 weeks. Thankfully, my theater star is in college now. But I still get phone calls from former directors asking if I have time to make something for upcoming show.

PS – If I lived closer to you, I would be happy to come help with next bird house kit build. Students come first in my world.

Cheers!

- CaptainKlutz

You definitely have experience with high school Musical directors….lol

I wish you did live closer. Students really enjoy seeing other people share their experiences, time, and talent in class.

-- K. Stone “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” ― Benjamin Franklin

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