Intro to Intro to Woodworking

Published March 24, 2021

Yesterday I had my 2nd in-person class this semester. We met a nice man in Techspark and he showed us the woodshop. The walls were covered in covered plywood shelves and things. We saw a few demo projects that we'd be doing during the course, like a folding stool, push stick, and crate.

Our first assignment was to make a little banana stand/hammock thing. We went over 4 machines — the band saw, belt and disk sander, oscillating spindle sander, and drill press. I had never seen a spindle sander before, but it was a really cool machine. It's really good for sanding down interior curves, which neither the belt nor disk sander can reach.

I ended up using the bandsaw a lot. The cut turn radius is quite good, and I learned about using relief cuts to make the cuts even tighter. The bandsaw is also good for widening slots, and I widened my stand's base a bit too much. Ended up having to glue it in place, using some wood filler to make the seams nicer looking.

Photo of my banana stand, hookless and bananaless

Photo of my banana stand, hookless and bananaless

Finally, I used a hand sander which had a velcro pad of sandpaper that was a little off center to smooth the rough wooden surface. It looks quite weird when it moves, wagon-wheeling before your eyes.

It's amazing how much scrap wood they have in there. The shop goes through a lot just for demonstrations, and then thick plates are just free for anyone to use in the refuse pile. Good news for me! I'm not sure what to make next — it would be cool to recreate a lamp of mine, or a new wooden spoon. So many possibilities!

woodworking cmu