Who Is Going To Teach Woodworking To Our Young People? - Page 2 - Router Forums
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post #11 of 66 (permalink) Old 03-01-2016, 12:49 PM
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I'm already doing it! I belong to Search Results - North Carolina Woodworker. We are a virtual woodworking club, meaning that we don't have weekly or monthly meetings. We get together on the website to exchange ideas and help each other. We have a trailer full of tools, both hand and power tools, that we take to any group, Wounded Warriors, Scouts, Police and Fire Depts, Church Groups, town fairs, etc. to help them get started in woodworking. I am one of the instructors for these Outreach Sessions.

I've attached a .pdf of the tri-fold brochure that explains more about what we do, and we never charge a dime for this. For all day sessions, we even provide lunch (usually pizza and soda or water). We've been doing this for 4 years now.

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post #12 of 66 (permalink) Old 03-01-2016, 12:59 PM
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^simple answer.

You are. Not who or when but you are right here right now.

When you leave your knowledge and ideas here other can read and learn.
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post #13 of 66 (permalink) Old 03-01-2016, 01:40 PM
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I wish I had got into it sooner and passed it onto my sons. I try to tell people about it as much as I can now. There is one absolutely amazing thing that happens when I step into my shop: I feel no pain. I have a bad back from football, a motorcycle accident, and being a truck driver but it doesn't hurt out there. I have bad shoulders and elbows from cranking trailer legs up and down too much, but they don't hurt out there. I have been getting sore hands from driving 10 hours a day, but they don't hurt out there. Woodworking, for me, is extremely therapeutic.
I think I'm going to do a cutting board making session with my church group. Maybe someone will catch the fire there.

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post #14 of 66 (permalink) Old 03-01-2016, 02:30 PM
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Otto, I'm twice your age and have used the Internet ever since it was available in my area which was in the early 90's. I think it is a wonderful tool for every aspect of life and every vocation. It would be hard to imagine life with out it today.

"The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits". Albert Einstein
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post #15 of 66 (permalink) Old 03-01-2016, 04:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OttoW View Post
^simple answer.

You are. Not who or when but you are right here right now.

When you leave your knowledge and ideas here other can read and learn.
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Otto, I'm twice your age and have used the Internet ever since it was available in my area which was in the early 90's. I think it is a wonderful tool for every aspect of life and every vocation. It would be hard to imagine life with out it today.
imagine that..
right here and all...
on the net...
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post #16 of 66 (permalink) Old 03-01-2016, 06:38 PM
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Default The Lament

I'm learning from all of the guys here on a daily basis. LOL

Cricket this is a great question. It is interesting to see what other peoples experiences and backgrounds are. This question will illustrate that quite well, I think, as the thread progresses.

My father got me started, but let me qualify. He was a decent rough carpenter but not a woodworker. I learned the basics but when it comes to woodworking, I am self taught with more then a few graciously offered lesson along the way. I never had any shop classes to kick-start my interests. However, I do learn along the way from the talent that is everywhere on this forum and elsewhere.

When I lived "in town" I was a magnet for the neighborhood kids. They always knew, that, when the garage door went up, that, they were more then welcome to come and watch, learn, ask questions and sometimes get hands on lessons. I can only hope that those lessons traveled with those children as they got older and went their ways. However, as always demographics and neighborhoods change. The kids grew up, moved on, or acquired other interests. The neighborhood declined and the newer crop of kids, instead of looking for lessons came by only to see what was available to steal.

When I built another house and move to a semi-rural area there were no children around to teach. The same for my move to Florida to take care of my mother. None come running to learn when the tools fire up.There are only a half a dozen in the immediate area, and a couple I rarely see outside. It is sad, that, the younger generation is more entranced with gaming proficiency, then learning practical skills and abilities.

It is sad that there are for the most part no opportunities in the schools to learn or even to teach basic hands on skills. With the discipline in the schools today, I would have no patience for these arrogant, rude, idiots!

I think it is sad, but I believe, that, many things we have knowledge of will go by the wayside as interest declines with the younger folks. I can only hope that I am wrong in my opinion.
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post #17 of 66 (permalink) Old 03-01-2016, 08:04 PM
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I don't have a bleak view of the future.

Times may have changed but people still have creative urges. In the past, manual skills were passed down from father to son, through apprenticeships and such. That went away a long time ago. More recently woodshop/drafting/autoshop/... in schools bridged some of the gap and on the job training met the employer needs. Now, we have a vast resource available that is capturing the sum total of human experience - the internet. There are probably multiple web sites and videos describing even the most obscure aspect of woodworking. In 50 years an aspiring woodworker will be able gain any skill he or she wants.
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post #18 of 66 (permalink) Old 03-01-2016, 08:45 PM
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I have worked with both of my sons as soon as they showed any interest in me. They are both capable of doing many things. My oldest gave me the best compliment that a parent could ask for. He was on a job interview and the lady that was interviewing him just stopped talking. He got nervous and asked if something was wrong. She was puzzled with the answers that he gave her. He did not understand. She told him that his outlook was more of the comments she would hear from a 40+ year old, not a 19 year old. Then she asked him, where did you get that mature outlook from. He just replied, my Dad. She looked up, smiled and said, tell your Dad he did a great job, so when can you start. I was blown away, do not think for one minute that they do not listen! I would like to take all of the credit for it, but my wife was and still is very supportive to those two boys. And they know it. They are very helpful to their friends as well. They all share their knowledge with each other. It gives us hope.

Recently my younger cousin has shown an interest in woodworking. I have been bombarding him with info that I have been collecting for many years. He is super sharp, and will do many great things. We are all the ones that will teach and learn from the young. We just need to show them that we care.

Ellery Becnel
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post #19 of 66 (permalink) Old 03-01-2016, 09:24 PM
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I agree about the loss of woodworking class's in high schools. I had a cabinet shop back in Illinois for many years. We made kitchen cabinets and also commercial. I got involved with the high school building trades class's. They had eliminated woodshop, metalshop etc but had a program where the kids would build a house. These were big houses also. One of the kids taking the class moved into a new home we did the cabinetry for. Through him I met the teacher and we started providing cabinets for these homes. It evolved into 4 of the districts schools and lasted for almost 20 years. Over that time I hired a number of these kids for my shop. It was a great program that the teacher ran like a sports team. I would buy jackets for the kids with, "It takes studs to build houses" and a logo on the back. These were kids that may of fallen through the cracks as they had little interest in college, and saw that this gave them an opportunity for a job for life. I would work with the architectural class's to design the kitchens, bathrooms, entertainment centers etc. Then we would build the cabinets and I would teach them how to install the cabinets. I gained a number of great employees out of this program.

AT the end of each year, they would have an open house with all the districts big shots attending at the homes. Discussions would get around to not having shop classes and how they felt getting kids ready for college was the most important task. They would say the trades are a dying industry, of course I would argue the point. Pointing out I was the guy that got their graduates who could not add 1/2" and 1/4", or read a tape measure. I would point out how much a plumber, electrician or carpenter was and how we needed better trained not less trained workers. I also pointed out how wonderful it was they could say 75% or 80% of their kids went on to college. I would agree but say you didn't finish the sentence. Half dropped out the first year and they were lucky if 25% graduated in 4 years. And they left those kids with no training for life. All their skills were taking tests to get into college.

After I sold my business in Illinois I moved to Arizona, where I became a rep, selling all the items I had purchased over my life. Wood, laminate etc. I would also work with the AWI Architectural Woodworking Institute, our trade association. They have programs for schools to teach woodworking, including programs for graduating kids. It was one of my joys to work with these schools here in Az.

Since I have retired I continued my love of woodworking. I have a shop in my garage and always have a project going on. This past weekend it was finishing up my two granddaughters closets. New Dressers, hamper shelving etc. As I was working I was thinking why no kids ever stopped by, I would love to mentor one. We live in a family neighborhood but you rarely see kids outside anymore, even when the weather is perfect like now, in the 80's. They all stay in playing video games etc. I'm concerned for our future. I know how difficult it is for shops to hire people today, even tho they do pay well. It's not something kids are even told about. And, administrators have an attitude that anyone not in Tech is somehow less of a person.

I was never one to hand my kids (3 girls 2 boys) money. But I always had ways they could earn it, coming to the shop with me. Maybe just sweeping but they had to work. My youngest son struggled with school, He was a good student but had school phobia. He worked for my for one summer during HS, after about two weeks he said you know Dad...I learned more about math here than I have in my whole life at school. All of a sudden 1/4" had meaning, it wasn't just a theory. Today he is in tech making BIG bucks, but, his love is woodworking. He is still in ILL but I went back and spent a couple weeks with him last year, making furniture and files for his office at home. It was a great time for both of us. He said I wished you still had your shop, that he would love to be doing that rather than his high tech crap. I laughed and said, but you make money, I made a living.

To answer the original question, I don't know. I would love to teach and even thought about contacting a boy scout or cub scout troop about helping them with some projects. I'm always making something and enjoy it thoroughly, probably more than when I had to do it for a living. Now I do it because I love it.

If anyone has any ideas about getting kids interested I would love to hear them. Kids just don't associate with others anymore, they rather text than talk. They aren't outside playing or riding their bikes. It's very disheartening to me..

Sorry for my rambling, but this subject has been on my mind a lot lately. Thanks
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post #20 of 66 (permalink) Old 03-01-2016, 10:48 PM
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I've just read every word of every post in this thread. And I must say that I'm truly impressed.

Take your mind back to 1958 if you will, I'm a young kid (15) in grade 11 at King Edward High School in Vancouver. We had a really nice woodworking shop there with good workbenches and good tools. I was in heaven.

Also belonged to the local Kiview Boys Club not far from the school, and they too had a much more moderate woodworking shop in the basement. I naturally gravitated there after school several days a week and was often working alone in that wood shop.

After I had been with the Boys Club for about six months, one of the counsellors asked me if I would mind teaching the other kids woodworking. To say I was stunned would be a real understatement, seeing as I was one of the youngest kids there. He finally convinced me that I had demonstrated to him that I had a pretty good knowledge of the subject (for a kid that is) and I started doing a weekly class.

At first I thought the older kids would make fun of me, but the opposite was true. I think it must have been that very British accent that I had back then that had something to do with it. Along with the fact that my grand dad started me on some simple wood working at the ripe old age of six.

The schools in England all had wood working classes and they were mandatory. So by the time I was 15 I had actually learned a few useful things.

Fast forward to the 1980's, now married with two sons. Both my boys showed interest in woodworking and have since gone on to become top flight carpenters and woodworkers in general. Fortunately, they are also both excellent in the math department.

During my many years as a carpenter, I always seemed to be the lucky guy who got the most inexperienced apprentices assigned. At first I thought this was a loss, but soon learned that it was better to start with an inexperienced apprentice rather than one who already knew it all. It was much easier to teach someone who was ready to learn rather than the other way around, if you know what I mean.

So the question remains who will teach the kids? Well, we probably all do at every opportunity. I have a grandson who absolutely loves visiting. Why? Because he says that Gramps lets him do stuff that his dad doesn't. The little guy absolutely loves to do things with wood. Every time he visits we get at least one project done and we take pictures of the finished item so he can send them off to his dad before he even goes back home.

In case you think that woodworking - or construction of whatever stripe won't be around for much longer - I say it will. All you have to do is to look at the proliferation of DIY type shows on TV. Or the thousands or even millions of youtube videos on any aspect of the subject you care to name. I'm not saying that these videos are all good, far from it. Too many are quite awful.

Look at all the incredible tools that the average homeowner has available at relatively little cost these days. This is not to say that everyone knows how to use them, but they can learn.

The big box stores will sell you any tool you like at cheap prices. Sure you will pay more for the good stuff, but that's true of anything you get into.

Every kid isn't going to be a woodworker. Not to worry, we need doctors and dentists and grocers and barbers and you name it...so we all can't be woodworkers. But all the time there are kids around, and decent tools are available, and wood is still being cut from trees, at least a good portion of the youngsters of today will learn woodworking.

It may well be that many high schools today do not have wood working classes, but there are trade schools that do. They teach all the trades, not just wood working.

I could go on ad infinitum, but I'm sure you get the idea. So I will sign off for now and wait with interest to read all the posts that follow, and thank you to all who have posted earlier.
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