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Hosted a scouts paddlemaking workshop today

Discussion in 'Paddles and Paddle Making' started by Douglas Ingram, Feb 27, 2010.

  1. Douglas Ingram

    Douglas Ingram Red River Canoe & Paddle

    Thought that you all might like to see some photos of a paddle making workshop I ran for some local Scouts/Ventures today. We are actually running it over several sessions, but today was the big work day.

    We made the paddles of Pine for its ease of working with hand tools.

    Attached Files:

  2. Kathryn Klos

    Kathryn Klos squirrel whisperer

    Super! It's encouraging to see the Scouts making paddles. Denis' love for wooden canoes stemmed from a Scouting experience.
  3. OP
    Douglas Ingram

    Douglas Ingram Red River Canoe & Paddle

    Did you notice the WCHA decal on the bandsaw?
  4. pklonowski

    pklonowski Unrepentant Canoeist

    Looks like a lot of fun! I assume your shop's addition is done? Looks like we can see it through the door?
  5. OP
    Douglas Ingram

    Douglas Ingram Red River Canoe & Paddle

    Yes it is, yes you can. Want to see photos of it?

    I've been doing this work for so long, paddle making for work has forced me to look at woodworking with a certain eye towards time efficiency. I have to constantly remind myself about the situation that complete newcomers to hand work and woodworking are in. I have to set up the work environment, schedule, tooling, and talk, to focus on the person and not the work. This has to come across, in this instance, to the kids. The paddle is not the goal, building their skills and confidence is.

    What does this look like? Well, with this group of 3 boys and 2 girls:

    -fear of the bandsaw
    -timidness in using the tools
    -no idea at all if what they are accomplishing is good or not
    -not listening to instructions and having no clue what to do when it comes time to do it.
    -getting carried away when the plane works well and not stopping at the line.
    -asking me if their work is good enough, not because they believe that it is but because they want me to tell them that they can stop.

    On the plus side, I have no patience at all for anyone who tell me that the youth of today are no good. Everywhere I go I see great kids, but they are only going to be as good as the communities that raise them. These kids were polite, respectful, willing to learn, easy on themselves when the work wasn't easy, worked a good 8 hour day without complaining, and cleaned up. They even said "Thank you" at the end.
  6. pat chapman

    pat chapman Willits biographer

    Good on you for working with this group of scouts. I have lots of respect for those that pass their passions on to kids and that have the patience for working with them.

    I don't want to be a killjoy, but I would have liked to have seen the kids wearing ear and eye protection when using the bandsaw. Shops with powertools can be very dangerous. It's imperative that we pass on the simple methods available to protect ourselves. (By the way, I have the same opinion about photos of canoeing w/o lifejackets :))
  7. pklonowski

    pklonowski Unrepentant Canoeist

    Well, of course, pictures are always welcome....!!!!

    I'm more or less with Pat on the safety equipment gig. When I have kids (or adults, for that matter) in my shop, there are goggles enough to go around, and no more than one power tool can operate at a time, so I can supervise closely... and people can cover their ears, since I'm short on earmuffs. (The foam plugs get lost too easily, and who'd want to re-use them, anyway?) This assumes the power tool is making enough noise to warrant hearing protection; scroll saws, jig saws, drill press, & many sanders are pretty mundane. Going on memory from the last time I ran a bandsaw (years ago), I don't recall it being all that loud, but what you're cutting can make a difference. I suppose it's all a matter of personal preference.

    I really like the idea of a paddle-making class for scouts. Some year, when I get spare time.....
  8. OP
    Douglas Ingram

    Douglas Ingram Red River Canoe & Paddle

    I knew that somebody was going to mention safety gear when I posted those photos. At the time I was thinking more about all the other safety issues about operating a bandsaw: keeping the fingers clear, staying clear of the operator, staying clear of the wood being worked on, not startling the operator, etc.

    There are many factors in thinking and working safe. While I will not argue the point of using eye and ear protection, and modeling the same, I admit that I fell short. But at the same time we cannot loose sight of all the other factors and only notice some.

    As the question of noise was raised, this saw cutting 4/4 Pine made about as much noise as watching TV at normal levels, and that includes running the dust collector at the same time (which sucked out all the dust of the cut, hence no dust mask)

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