Thank you all for the encouragement.
I’ve had some really great PM’s, with some great questions.
In this title I could relate to many wonderful folk over the years. I thought though I would relate a story of one of my Jolly Rouges who is now a mere 76.
In 2004 I got a phone call asking about woodturning lessons for this woman’s Dads 70th Birthday.
They live in Glasgow and although that is only a slow one hour drive, I suggested that she find someone in Glasgow.
Next I new she was at the door. She explained that her Mum had recently passed away and her Dad was very lonely. He was an armature winder to trade and ex merchant navy electrical engineer. He had a wee workshop under his house where he pottered around in. He had mentioned to he would like to try woodturning and she wanted me to teach him.
Why is it when you say no, they hear “come over and we can discuss it”?
Well I wrote out a gift voucher for eight 4hr lessons materials included. She had already put the money in my shirt pocket. In hindsight I should have offered her a job in sales. So I gave her my forms to be signed and the manual for him to read. It lists all the possible projects that he could make.
So begins the journey.
When I have a Fee paying student (rare) Shirley always makes up something nice for 11o’clock tea break. She gives the turning smocks a wash. I also clear a path from the shop to the toilet. Move the pile of woodworking magazines from the toilet book rack, sharpen all the tools and prepare the blanks for the day.
My favourite purchase.
So a few weeks later he arrives at 9am on the dot. Complete with collar & tie. Hey! I grew up in the 70’s we burned our ties and woman burned there bra’s. I notice things like that. He forgot to bring a smile though.
The first lesson is extremely boring, I’m going to explain it a in a wee bit o detail so that it helps a couple of folk who PM me. So you can skip this bit.
I check that they have signed my release form and understood it. Then it is onto the safety LAW’s and instructions. We then go through the Instruction manual for the chosen machine, get that signed (I’ve a page stapled to each manual)Then on the on switch hangs another safety notice that they have to remove before starting. I know this sounds extreme, but as I wrote before, there have been no accidents on my watch in any woodworking shops that I’ve been responsible for. I was taught by men that were proud of their safety by showing ten fingers ans these men started in shops with steam driven belt drive machines. One other thing is all my machines except the Lathe are not for Students use. This includes the grinder. If they want to learn to grind. It is on their grinder on their chisels. Notices on All machines.
The first thing I do is show the settings and turn a sample of what they are going to make. This I find helps and is also a gift for the students Mum or Other Half.
Then it is the students turns out the same item that you have just turned. Make sure you have like 20 blanks for this job. Don’t ever scrimp, it makes the student feel nervous. You will only use two or three but I know from past that students commented on not getting stressed as they were not worried about ruining their project. I also tell them that no one has ever made a faulty item in this shop. This is accompanied by a wink and pointing toward the wood burning stove.
We have tea & sandwiches during this “Critical” break. Seriously, the experts that have came here have said that a “Routine” was one of my strengths.So when 11o’clock comes, we drop our tools with the speed of a “Union Shop.” Amazing the speed at this time of day. I normally run a woodturning DVD during this. It helps break the ice. In this case it was needed. He was a hard egg to crack.
This is the first day so back to the Lathe. Managed to produce two saleable Spurtle’s. It was then one o’clock on the dot. He thanks me, proceeds to dust himself of with the airgun. AAAAaaaaaaaaah! Note to self; Put misuse of air-hose onto the safety instructions.
Boy, I’ve bored you enough.
Would I do it as part two or add it onto this?
In a Sunny but freezing Scotland
-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe