Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Woodturning Education

One of my concerns as a former teacher is the lack of industrial arts
teaching in our present school system. Perhaps you are fortunate to still
live in an area where the trades are respected enough to be part of the
formal secondary school system. Not in most of our schools in Canada. Budget
cuts have cost us our table saws, our drill presses and our wood lathes.
While this has meant some bargains for purchasers of used equipment, it has
been a real loss for our children and a trial for our teachers.
Not all children are destined for greatness in computer science or further
academia; not all are future doctors, lawyers, or other white collar
workers. Some like to get their hands dirty with some auto grease or
sawdust; some flour or fabric; some paint and plumbing adhesive. If you take
a child with little interest in history and math and remove their outlet in
learning wood turning or auto repair, you remove the opportunity to teach
some of that history and math and create a frustrated child at the same
time. Frustrated children create frustrated teachers, trust me on this one!
In a saner day we taught industrial arts and home economics. One of the
courses taught in some schools was wood turning. One text book use was
Milton and Wohlers "A Course in Woodturning", 1919. The text is available
online from Project Gutenberg and I have now reformatted it and placed it on
my web site as well. I hope you enjoy it for the historic context and also
because there is a lot to learn here. Over the next year of so I need to
update a lot of it for today's hobby turners but there is some great stuff
here. I hope you enjoy it.
A Course in Woodturning
God bless and safe turning
Darrell Feltmate
Truro, NS Canada

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