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In a school district where everyone’s focused on test scores and taxes, Pantagraph.com’s reporting that the purchase of a simple wood lathe with $160 in grant money was all it took to turn students on to the value of woodworking skills.  From the article:

The so-called “midi-lathe” has templates and small pieces of pre-purchased wood that are worked to produce high-end pens and pencils.

As board members watched the process, Larson told how he hopes the class can grow into more than a woodworking exercise for students.

‘What it’s enabled us to do is to introduce applications that are for the real world,’ said Larson. ‘We can also use this as an opportunity for a small business, where we can show how a corporation works; mass production and so forth.’

Neat stuff.  An uncle of mine used to do the same thing — making a decent buck off of it, turning pre-cut blanks and gold-plated pen hardware into quite saleable pens.  The set pictured above came from him years ago.

What’s really cool about this is that it all started with a small grant to the local school.  Be sure and remember that when you get the brand new tool you always wanted and need to get rid of the old one.

Woodworking Exercise Making Something Out of Nothing [Pantagraph.com]


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