Monday, October 22, 2012

Wood Shop Skills

When I was in 8th grade, I took the coolest class in school: Wood Shop.  After being terrified by stories of sawn-off fingers and hair being caught in drills, I proceeded (with caution) to make a CD rack, a penguin puzzle, a jewelry box, and a few other little wooden cut-outs.  I felt pretty awesome.  

In later years, I would put these skills to use once more as an artist, building cradled panels to paint on and making frames for my paintings.  Not as cool, but still highly useful.

This past summer I had a chance to bring my woodworking skills to a higher level, thanks to a local festival for which I'm one of the organizers.  I'm in charge of the little kids' activities, which take place on an island in the park.  I wanted to step things up a notch this year, so designed a bridge/castle entrance, a turret, and a dragon.  After getting most of the materials donated by one of our sponsors, I was ready to go!  

Mostly.  I knew how to use woodworking tools on a smaller scale, but needed to learn the ways of the larger tools.  Thankfully, I am blessed with a dad who has every tool imaginable and mad skills with all of these tools.  My dad showed me how to use the tools I needed on the castle parts, and I took off on my own for the dragon.  These photos tell the rest of the story:

My Dad, showing me the ways of the saber saw (and an
awesome shadow of an imposing drill)
You can't see it well, but the dragon is
drawn out on the plywood here.
Safety first!!
In process
The dragon all cut out - I decided to make it
into a corn hole bag game as well as a
decoration - the kids had to "defeat the
In the midst of making the dragon and castle, I went on
an African Safari!!!  ...In Ohio.  This is my favorite photo
from the trip of my favorite animal.
Just thought I'd share.
Blue and yellow make...the perfect color for a dragon!
The castle parts and the dragon in process 
Dragon completed!
The castle completed after using a plastic bag
to make it look more three-dimensional
(and awesome).
My initial sketches next to the completed and installed
Dragon on the left and turret on the right on the island
Castle entrance and the dragon at the end
of the bridge on the island

The new additions to the island were a big hit!!  I even received the Spirit Award for my enthusiasm for the festival!  (I was nominated by other organizers of the festival.)  I'd like to thank my wood shop teacher, my's truly an honor just to be nominated...    


Elizabeth Downie said...

Haha! (truly an honor just to be nominated)

You really do have the skills to pay the (volunteer) bills!!!

I want to learn how to do this stuff - can you teach me?

Katherine said...

Yes, I can teach you!

Wee Sisters Three said...

I want to learn also. I was wondering if you could build me a treehouse. Not for the kids, but a bigger one for just me. That would be great, thanks.