Saturday, October 24, 2009

Taking A Look At The Woodshop

This is a quick tour of the camp woodshop where I've been helping kids turn their ideas into a working wooden reality since 1995. With about 50 students each week I estimate that I have around 2,000 kids pass through the shop each year. Holy Cow!

Our camp sits snug deep in the Blue Ridge mountains of North Carolina on 900 acres of beautiful land where the air is clean and the wildlife is abundant. I believe that this great natural environment where the kids wake up to the sounds of squirrels, crows, and a variety of churping birds that the perfect foundation is laid for the best in their creative abilities. Woodshop is a favorite class that is only rarely missed and it is a time to relax and come up with a working plan to turn their ideas into a successful final project.

Perhaps in a future video I will showcase some of the projects that have been created inside our doors. Just about anything that you can imagine has been made here. Simple projects such as boxes of every kind, walking sticks, nameplates,and birdhouses. Some students have spent several months working on more complex projects ranging from multi-compartment boxes to full sized dog houses. I might also mention that we also have a very strong woodcarving program and students can earn their Boy Scout woodcarving merit badge.

Our shop is 32' X 16' and I designed it with two double-doors on each end for easy entry and exit of larger projects and sometimes just to let that mountain sunshine in. I can safely supervise 5 students at a time and find that our shop, although on the small side, is adequate for this group size. This size shop would also make an excellent shop for the home hobbyist and I personally couldn't imagine needing more.

As mentioned I set up this shop and the tools to meet the needs of kids between the ages of 10 and 16 years old. Large stationary power tools that the kids are allowed to use after proper training include scroll saws, drill press, mini-lathe, and a belt/disc sander. On occasion and under strict supervision mature students can be trained on the bandsaw, table saw, thickness planer, and the jointer. Safety is never-ever compromised and we continue to have an excellent safety record going on 15 years now.


  1. Dave

    I think you need to be following a blog called "Wisdom of the Hands" written by a woodworker and teacher in Arkansas. You can find it at I read it regularly and I don't even teach.


  2. Blogs are so informative where we get lots of information on any topic. Nice job keep it up!!

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