Midnight Woodworking


High school woodworking class – day 1

We home school our kids, and twice a year we get together with a group of other home school families and have a co-op. One parent will teach a subject, to a group of the kids. It is typically a subject they would otherwise not have access to at home. This week we started our fall co-op. My wife and I are teaching a woodworking class to a group of high school kids. Since our church lets us use classrooms and other church facilities to teach our co-op classes, I decided that one of our woodworking projects would be a gift for the church. We should have time for them to create two other take-home projects as well.

We started off class, over in the church. Father Jason would like to hang a large picture of “The Last Supper”, on the curved balcony wall above the chapel.

After we looked at the picture and its future location, we gathered around the chapel altar and discussed possible solutions to framing and mounting a large picture to a curved wall.

I discussed different methods of joinery with the class by looking at the different joinery techniques, I used in the construction of the altar as well as the tabernacle.

They also got to see where the relic was kept in the center of the altar, as well as the hidden door inside the tabernacle. Father Jason really likes having hidden chambers in the furniture I build. Maybe we need to include one in the frame…

After we finished discussing the project and its design, we went out to the pavilion to talk about our other two projects for the class.

One of the projects these teens will make is a pen, turned on the lathe. I started by discussing safety, then moved on to the various types of tools you can use on the lathe.

I bought a new mini-lathe to use for this class. My other lathe was way too heavy to transport back and forth. I picked this one up at Harbor Freight and it is rock solid for its size and price.

My wife Tracie, gave a demonstration on how to turn and finish the parts of a pen, on the lathe.

Then she walked them through the assembly.

When she was done, the kids each picked out a blank of wood, that they will use to make their own pens. With only a few minutes left in class, we discussed the third project which will be a marshmallow catapult. They seemed a bit more excited about that project, but more on that in a couple of weeks…

The class seemed to go well, and hopefully the kids will learn enough in this class to find an interest in woodworking. I hope that they also gain the confidence to pursue that interest.

Next week, we will start construction on the picture frame and possibly start turning a pen.


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