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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was surfing the net for some easy woods projects and I stumbled across this forum. Just registered, first post.
I teach a high school woods class and I am looking for a beginning wood project for my freshman class. What I need is something the kids would really like/want to build. I have done stools,magazine racks,clock kits, cd holders,and a few others. I'M in a rut, need your help, think like a 15yo.
gary
 

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15 year old boys want 15 year old girls. Okay, truth be told, they want any girl....

That being impractical, what about cutting/serving boards? They're easy to make, open to tons of creativity, cheap to make, require the learning of several skillsets and are very useful.

Wooden utensils are another project that teaches several skills while not being a huge drain on wood resources.
 

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I remember making my chess table when I was about 12 or 13 in shop...

Rough idea - http://www.thebestchesstables.com/catalog/nostalgic-chess-checkers-backgammon-game-table-p-154.html

I'd show pics of the actual table, but my parents are still using it as an end table/game table in the family room. Though, we added a glass top to protect the wood from glasses (end table use). A variation which might be better for 15yr olds would be maybe calling it a "card playing table"? Something to that effect I guess.


If thats too complicated... a lazy susan, a planter, coffee table, foot stool, picture frame... dunno, running out of ideas so far.
 

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This might be a stretch, but it's been the subject of a recent thread... how about a basic electric guitar? It's possible to purchase a premade neck, simple electronics, and all the hardware, so the students basically need to cutout a body, rout the chambers, and finish it. Get some templates made and it should go quickly. The total cost should fall under $100 total if you shop wisely...an amount many would be willing to pay themselves if that's more than the school would sponsor. It's also possible to get some parts donated to reduce cost.

Speakers would be another attractive project that many students would be willing to put some cash towards....maybe a basic 6" or 8" two-way. Both very cool projects that involve more than just wwing....food for thought.

On a simpler and probably more realistic note...keepsake boxes can be taylored for both sexes, and are handy. How about a simple hall table or a lamp? Shadow boxes make nice gifts.

Edit:
I just checked Ebay for kits and there are several complete kits in the $100 range (many styles)...some for $90 shipped for everything including the neck, body, and hardware. The fact that they exist at that price bodes well for getting kits minus the body at a reasonable price....even if you have to buy the whole kit and sell the body. A great prop to help 15 yr old boys get their girls! (or vice versa)
 

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How 'bout a head board for their beds??? Wide panels and mortise and tenons...cubby holes,dovetails if wanted. Rabbets....miters...the list is covered really.
 

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When I was in the scouts we all made a birdhouse. It was a topic of conversation for years with my friends...long after we were no longer scouts. "What's living in yours?" etc. 20 years after my parents sold that house and I wouldn't be surprised if something's living in it now.
 

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Hockey sticks? You could laminate and use forms to make the curve. A layer of fiberglass and you're ready to go. Maybe run a Teflon or plastic strip along the base. That would be cheap.
 

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Gary,

Here is an easy project that won't cost a lot of money in materials. Visit your local bowling alley and ask if they have any used bowling pins to sell. They usually go for around $1 each. Chuck them up in the wood lathe and first turn off the plastic cover with a gouge. One you get the plastic off you will have a layer of broken up wood to clean off and then you can turn it into something like a vase or a chisel mallet. Whatever you make looks great because the core of a bowling pin is made up of laminated maple. Use your first one as a sacrifical test to see how small in diameter you can go. Some pins have hollow spots in the middle. It takes a little up front work but you end up with something nice for only $1.
 

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With all the electronic gadgets kids have today, may I suggest a media storage/charging station. I saw one in a mag and thought to myself "why would anyone want one of those". I sure I'm showing my age, but you said to think like a 15 year old. Just a box with compartments. You can drill holes in the back so that charging cables can charge their cell phone, I-pod, gameboy. Got to get started on my homework... my 3 month project is due tomorrow and I not sure what subject I'm going to do yet. "still thinking like a 15 year old". good luck!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Lots of great Ideas, Thanks a lot everyone. Your right about the girls, I get 8 to 10 min to teach em' something in between mental trips to neverland. I'm sketching out some ideas. I'll let you all know how it's going.
 

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2x4 plans(planters,chairs,tables,etc)

I have hooked up with a company that builds rafters.I'm hauling all there cutoffs away which consist of 1ft to 4ft 2x4's.I'm burning the short stuff,but would love to find plans to use the other pieces.I just retired and am bored.MIKE
 

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Gary,

Here is an easy project that won't cost a lot of money in materials. Visit your local bowling alley and ask if they have any used bowling pins to sell. They usually go for around $1 each. Chuck them up in the wood lathe and first turn off the plastic cover with a gouge. One you get the plastic off you will have a layer of broken up wood to clean off and then you can turn it into something like a vase or a chisel mallet. Whatever you make looks great because the core of a bowling pin is made up of laminated maple. Use your first one as a sacrifical test to see how small in diameter you can go. Some pins have hollow spots in the middle. It takes a little up front work but you end up with something nice for only $1.

Hey ken I was reading your post and was wondering if you knew how often bowling allies would actually have pins that they would sell for a 1$, thanks.
 

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Build a box to pack up their things in.....I had an old RCA cabinet. It had my first everything in it, including the dried remains of my first frog. We all have boxes full of stuff we never use, may as well make the first one a good one:thumbsup: boy do I miss wood shop. Not the shop, the messing with the instuctors....I mean learning, sir.:laughing: slid our shop instructors VW in the front entry, so it blocked the exit doors, the school called a towing company to dollie it out. Man that was funny.:laughing:
 

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Hey ken I was reading your post and was wondering if you knew how often bowling allies would actually have pins that they would sell for a 1$, thanks.
Just call some local alleys and ask if they have any for sale. I used to buy them to use for pistol target practice. If they don't have any, they can probably tell you about when they will be changing some out.

Bill M.
 
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