Welcome to the Woodshop
Last Thursday was the official beginning of my woodworking adventures. I was excited to develop new skills, but slightly apprehensive as I’ve hardly used a hammer, let alone power tools. The thought of independently operating a table saw was somewhat overwhelming.
I arrived at Canadore College’s trades campus armed with my tool bag and safety gear, unsure of what to expect. The class is offered in both fall and winter semesters, and is open to anyone. This means that both beginners (like myself) or experienced woodworkers are welcome to participate. Despite the knowledge that there was a strong likelihood there would be other novices, I was worried that my inexperience would leave me with a sizeable learning curve.
Learn by Doing
I had anticipated the first class to be more theory than practical. Boy, was I wrong. The instructor, Adam Difilippo, had other plans for us. We were presented with blueprints for a tealight holder, and we were getting started immediately.
In the 3 hours of my first class, I successfully (and safely) operated 4 power tools (chop saw, table saw, jointer planer, and thickness planer). I had learned the names of the tools’ components, and how to use tools/accessories in conjunction with the power tools (such as a speed square and a push stick). I had begun to build something by myself for the very first time.
Next week, we are finishing up our tealight holders. Additionally, we have been asked to come up with an idea for an independent project of our choosing. The build can be as small or as a large as we like. Adam will walk us through the entire process, teaching us the necessary steps to complete each of our individual goals. I haven’t yet decided what I would like to build, but I have a few ideas: a dining room table, a dresser, perhaps some shelving. What do you think I should build?
I entered this class as an apprehensive novice. Although I know that 3 hours of class did not change my rookie-status, I left the class feeling significantly more knowledgeable and capable than before. I can’t wait to see how much my confidence and skills develop in the next 13 weeks.
I’m heading to class again tonight. I can’t wait to share more of my experiences with you!