Teaching classes opinions/ideas

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Forum topic by Brian024 posted 07-26-2010 08:18 PM 1133 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Brian024's profile


358 posts in 2823 days

07-26-2010 08:18 PM

I’m looking for some ideas/opinions from some of us who have taught classes. The church that I’m involved in has been offering classes; quilting, painting, writing, over the last 6 month’s. I’ve been asked by our pastors if I would teach a class or series on woodworking. The teaching doesn’t scare me, I’ve been involved with our DQ program and the class I help teaches kids some basic building, everything is precut, they build it. I was thinking of offering an entry/beginning, intermediate right now and then evetually an advanced. The class time would be around 2 to 3 hours in length and probably have a class size of no more than 2 or 3 due to the size of my shop, we have a shop at the church but it is smaller, plus being able to help everyone.

The entry class would go over setting up a; basic shop, using basic hand tools(chisels, hand saws), power tools, basic finishing. I have a really easy and quick design of a step stool which could easily be cut and put together in 2 hours. The part that I would like opinions on to are the power tools. The ones I have been thinking of starting on would be a circular saw w/straight edge, jig saw, hand drill, and sanders. I was thinking of including routers but they aren’t needed for the step stool, and I kind of feel they may be better included in the second class, then I can also introduce the router table.

The intermediate class would begin to go into; joinery, milling rough stock, using hand planes, power tools(table saw, router/table, planner). The project would probably be building a small end table, the same style that’s in my gallery. It would probably be done in 2 sessions or more.

14 replies so far

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10850 posts in 2539 days

#1 posted 07-26-2010 09:01 PM

you don´t have to use powertools to teach them woodworking
and if you do , let me surgest only to invite the drill and the sanders

and don´t forget to learn them what the most importen tool is :-0
pen and paper
a good solid workbench
lay out tools
the brain ,why you may ask , there is no spareparts to the human bodyparts
so safty is a big isue here


View Dennisgrosen's profile


10850 posts in 2539 days

#2 posted 07-26-2010 09:03 PM

there was a blog about this not so long ago
sorry but I just can´t remember who posted it
but it was a great blog with many , many good answers

see if you can find it


View lew's profile


11266 posts in 3179 days

#3 posted 07-26-2010 09:42 PM

In light of the recent Ryobi saw trial award, the first thing I would investigate is the liability insurance requirements for your church. As much as we would like to believe no one would consider a lawsuit against a church, I’m afraid it is a reality.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Brian024's profile


358 posts in 2823 days

#4 posted 07-26-2010 09:51 PM

Yeah Dennis, that had crossed my mind to, I might go that route. Safety is going to be the #1 rule like it always is with me.

Lew, I’m definitely checking on that, I was asked yesterday so I haven’t had the chance to sit down with them and talk about that. Our church is actually going through a lawsuit right now, long story for another discussion, so I definitely don’t need to bring another one along.

View a1Jim's profile


115177 posts in 3001 days

#5 posted 07-26-2010 10:37 PM

If you want to cheat a little look at books that cover starting up your own shop and select chapters you can input your own information plus what you gather here and of on line sources. If you make some 3×5 cards with a couple notes and the subjects you want to cover in the order you want that can help. I’ve been teaching woodworking to adults the past 6 years and boy Have I learned a lot LOL

-- Custom furniture

View Div's profile


1653 posts in 2364 days

#6 posted 07-26-2010 11:04 PM

Remember this: What must be a woodworker’s sharpest tool?

His mind!!!

-- Div @ the bottom end of Africa. "A woodworker's sharpest tool should be his mind."

View brunob's profile


2277 posts in 3593 days

#7 posted 07-26-2010 11:38 PM

I teach woman’s woodworking. Long story but it just seemed to happen that way. One good thing, the woman don’t come with a lot of bad habits. Anyway, I teach a tool a night starting with the scroll saw. I have complete projects that can be made with each machine. The only tools they ever get to use by themselves without me looking over their shoulders are: scroll saw, band saw, drill press and sander. I teach two at a time. The classes run for 8 weeks.

-- Bruce from Central New, if you'll pardon me, I have some sawdust to make.

View rhett's profile


734 posts in 3091 days

#8 posted 07-27-2010 12:34 AM

I just did a class for the local adult education program and nothing was cut or put together. As woodworkers I believe we overlook allot of things we know that others don’t. Just going over wood, basic tools and shop set-up took the better of two hours.
If you feel you need to introduce actual use of tools, don’t do it at your shop unless you have airtight insurance coverage. Anything can happen, and if it happens on your property, its your a$$.

-- Doubt kills more dreams than failure.

View Catspaw's profile


236 posts in 3239 days

#9 posted 07-27-2010 01:03 PM

I would keep in mind what tools these people will have available. No sense in teaching stuff that they won’t be able to use when they get home.

Of course, you want to encourage them to expand and invest if they take to woodworking. So maybe gear the beginning and intermediate classes to the most common and affordable basic tools and teach them how to accomplish things with less tool-age. As you said cutting a straight edge with a circular saw and stuff, basic joinery, etc.

Then reserve the advanced for those who are ready to dive in and get the bigger ticket items like a joiner and planer. I consider a table saw a big ticket whether it’s a little contractors saw or not, but, would still be in the intermediate class….being the mainstay of any shop.

I’ve taken classes for stuff and find if I can’t apply what I learned, I tend to forget stuff.

-- arborial reconfiguration specialist

View Cozmo35's profile


2200 posts in 2459 days

#10 posted 07-27-2010 02:13 PM

Brian, one tip I can give you from personal experience. ALWAYS have another adult within eye shot of you at all times. I coached my son’s baseball team one year and had to break up a fight between two of the boys. In order to keep from putting my hands on him, I grabbed the bill of one of the boy’s hats and pulled it down to keep him from jumping back into the fight. He was the aggressor. After the fight was broken up and the parents came to pick them up, the boy told his parents I hit him. Luckily all the other boys were still there and confirmed my story. Otherwise, I would have been in jail or had to fight the boy’s father. That experience has kept me from teaching or coaching since then.

-- If you don't work, you don't eat!.....Garland, TX

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 2498 days

#11 posted 07-27-2010 05:25 PM

I think I am a natural teacher. I enjoy it and I have done quite a bit of vocational teaching in photography. I’ve been asked to consider teaching woodworking and, so far, I have resisted. The liability issues scare me.

Liability insurance is only viable if you are doing a lot of teaching.

Waivers and releases are only of limited value.

I’m retired and I live on a pension and a nest egg of retirement savings. I cannot risk my retirement nest egg.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View Brian024's profile


358 posts in 2823 days

#12 posted 07-28-2010 07:21 PM

Thanks for the feedback guys. After reading your guys responses I’m actually leaning towards not using any tools, like Rhett mentioned. That way I can keep it safe and be able to have a bigger class because I could teach it at the church in one of the classrooms. As far as tools I was thinking for power tools I would go over; circular saw, jig saw, routers, hand drill, and sanders; along some beginning accesories. Hand tools I was thinking; chisels, hand planes, saws. Also go over the different types and species of some common hardwood/softwood. Setting up a shop, safety(eye,ear, and respiratory) and maybe some basic joinery(half lap, dado, rabbit, mortise and tennon). Any others ideas?

View rance's profile


4243 posts in 2584 days

#13 posted 07-28-2010 08:09 PM

I believe this is the thread Dennis was referring to.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10850 posts in 2539 days

#14 posted 07-28-2010 09:04 PM

thank´s Rance
it´s great to have someone helping this ….....what was it my daugter called it…......aah brain
to remember from time to time :-)

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