It’s the time of year when we make resolutions, so why not resolve to be safe? Your workshop has tools that are inherently dangerous and you often use them when working alone. That puts you at risk of serious injury, unless you take matters in hand and put safety first.
High school students used to learn vocational skills right along with reading, writing and arithmetic. Shop class was ubiquitous and included creating objects in wood or metal, small engine repair, automobile maintenance and drafting. Nowadays it’s usually known as Industrial Arts and it exposes middle and high school students to subjects ranging from fabrication to auto/home repair, manufacturing technology and machine safety.
Do you know a Dad who makes things with his hands? Father’s Day presents an excellent opportunity to share some quality time and learn more about what interests him. Whether he is garage tinkerer or a master craftsman with a complete workshop, here are some questions you might ask him to help connect with his interests.
It’s pretty difficult to work with wood that isn’t square. Not to mention the fact that your finished project is unlikely to turn out well. From selecting wood to making the final cuts you need to take care to be square. Being off by a degree when building a deck will never be noticed but on a table or a jewelry box it will leave a huge and very noticeable gap. And square cuts let your pieces fit together better.
Spring is a time of renewal, so why not spend a little time renewing your workshop? I realize a clever person can always think of something better to do than clean, but eventually you really need to do it. And there’s much more you can do to make your shop productive and work-ready.
Years ago I worked for a large, multi-national manufacturing firm with over 60,000 employees. As an operations manager in one of the divisions, I was held responsible for safety so I took it seriously. But it never really hit home until a safety meeting in the late 90’s.
When it comes to handmade artwork, whether you are buying or selling, it can be very difficult to determine the right price. The value of a handmade piece is not the same as its cost. The materials used may have an effect on the price, but you also have to consider the value added by the artist and many other variables.