View Single Post
  #7   Report Post  
Kevin Craig
Posts: n/a
Default OT (kinda) High School Wood Shop

In article , Larry Laminger

Killing a little time here waiting for the Colts game.

Sorry, I got distracted by football in my first reply.

The thread about getting started in woodworking got me reminiscing and
thinking about what's happened to high school wood shop. Back in the
60's and 70's, my school in rural Missouri had a killer industrial arts
program. It was small, there where about 80 kids in my graduating

Oh, so you went to one of those big schools, eh? My class (Hatfield,
Arkansas, Class of 1981) was 24 students (and not all of them actually

Ours was the biggest class to date; my sister's '77 class had 11

Anyhoo, now that we've played "mine is smaller than yours!", let me say
that I envy your school experience. We had one teacher per subject, and
the Agri teacher was responsible for Shop. His knowledge of woodworking
was limited to a circular saw and a hammer; his skills in metalworking
were confined to a cutting torch and a Lincoln buzz-box arc welder.

Physical Education was nothing but basketball practice (if you weren't
on the team, you sat in the stands and did homework, and swept the
court when the players were through). Likewise, Agri was FFA: if you
wanted to do something besides sweep the shop, you better compete. (And
I did, winning State titles, but was still pretty much shut out when I
didn't choose the teacher's alma mater and chose a major other than

We had lots of good "stuff" in the shop: it was (is) 40x120, and the
classroom takes up about 20' up front. There was a Unisaw, big ol'
planersaur, bandsaur, lathe, and jointer, all Delta. There was a
milling machine and other mysterious metalworking stuff. It all
remained a mystery, because the teacher only knew how to cut with
oxyacetalene, and weld with a buzz box.

I learned enough tool safety and common sense at home that I didn't get
injured at school. Many didn't, and got hurt. I honestly didn't learn
a thing in HS shop, except how to glue steel together with boogers.