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Friday at Brad's Bench May 16th

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You Want Me To Help You Make a What?

If you have kids in school, you're well aware of the fact that you'll be pressed into service to help make art projects countless times. For me, it's always fun because it's a chance to hang around with my kids and problem-solve in the tangible world; something that I can actually help with, unlike algebra, physics et. al. It's not that I don't like those subjects, I just like to be able to see something and put my hands on it. Well, the art project for this week was the best to date. I've made boards from trees many times but this is actually the first time I've been asked to do the reverse - make a tree from a board.

My daughter and I started with a log. I taught her how to split it, then rive out pieces using a froe and club. We didn't get too fussy making flat boards because we wanted to reflect the natural shape of a tree. After riving the parts, I had her shape them to her liking using a drawknife at the shaving horse. She actually took to it quickly. To my delight, I also taught my daughter to use a jointer, bansaw, spindle sander as well as lots of hot glue. No art project is complete without hot glue. I think she preferred the power tools. Now she's adding the finishing touches by carving with a Dremel. All in all, a satisfying experience for both of us. Here's the beginning of our creation: