George Vondriska

George's First Metalwork Projects

George Vondriska
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Duration:   3  mins

Thanks for moms!!!! It’s great that moms hold on to the things we made as kids, just in case….. While at my mom’s house recently I came across some metal work projects I had made in junior high and high school. It was really fun to look them over.

The lesson out of this

It was, of course, a lot of fun to see things I had made a REALLY long time ago. But what really came home to me was a lesson I learned when I was getting my teaching degree. Many of the professors at my university pounded on the idea of teaching conceptually. What does that mean? It’s not unlike the expression about giving a man a fish, or teaching a man to fish.

Sheet metal and fabric

The lantern I found is a great example of the benefit of conceptual teaching. I had a Home Economics class in junior high and made a pair of pants as part of the class. A few years later was laying out and cutting sheet metal for the lantern; a process nearly identical to making the pants (though I didn’t solder the pants).

And so I try…

As my own teaching style developed I tried hard to keep this idea in mind, and I think I still apply it to my teaching and video presentations. It’s not about THIS project. It’s about the big picture.

Does this fit into your woodworking?

So, what do you do with this? My advice is that, as you learn new things, try to keep the big picture of your woodworking in mind, more so than the finite picture of the particular project you’re working on. I think that approach will serve you well.

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One Response to “George's First Metalwork Projects”

  1. ryan yeaglin

    George, I still remember my shop classes in high school as well. I still have the lamp I made in metal shop. horrible looking I choose to weld the legs rather than braze them on. Now as a full time fabricator/welder my skill set is much higher. My wood shop teacher was a old hard nose, our first project was to make a 12" ruler to use for our projects. Sadly after my freshman year those two classes got condensed into materials tech which was a watered down version of wood shop being mandated to use a cnc router on every project.

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