Total Furniture Failure

This post has more swears than usual. Please make a note of it.

In an effort to continue to improve my woodworking skills, I took a woodworking class at the Randall Museum this summer. I knew that I would be familiar with a lot of things we were going over but it has been a while since I'd been in a professional shop and wanted to gain some new skills.
     Unfortunately, the class was a total failure. Our class had ten students in it and we were all trying to do the same operations at once so each operation involved waiting and waiting for the other students to finish. Often, other students asked to go ahead of me, "just real quick". I always said yes even though any woodworker with even the smallest amount of experience will tell you, nothing happens quickly in woodworking. The class was titled "Zen and Sawdust" so I tried to get my zen on by not getting all bent out of shape with people cutting ahead of me. This proved to be a mistake.
     This was also the first time I felt like some of my classmates were sexist.This never happened at the woodworking classes at City College. But at the Randall Museum, there was a moment, standing at the table saw, where two guys stood there and gave me instructions. I was shocked. Number one, the advice they were giving me was unnecessary (which I know because I've been using a table saw for two years. I didn't tell my classmates I had experience because I didn't want to sound boastful but TWO YEARS OF EXPERIENCE). Number two, as this was happening, I thought, "They would never do this if I were a guy." I mean, I don't have proof of this, or anything but it just felt like bullshit to be in a class where we should all assume everyone is at the same level and have some people assume they knew more because of their gender. I hate that shit.
     I'd also like to say that the safety training was extremely lacking. On the last night of class, I was giving two classmates instructions on how to use the table saw. My advice was to stay to the left of the blade and to not move your left hand at all. One of my classmates said, "I don't know. It seems like if it was going to kick-back, it will fling the board off to the left of the blade." I then watched him inch his left hand closer and closer, just begging the saw to take his fingers off. AND THIS WAS THE LAST NIGHT OF CLASS!!! There are now nine people who think they know how to use a table saw who actually have no idea. As a huge safety nerd, I find this completely unacceptable.
     So, fine. It was crowded, mildly sexist and not very safe. And yes, I missed one class. I asked if I could make up the class but was told not to worry about it because it would move faster if I was out of sync with the rest of the class. That turned out to not be the case ("just real quick") and when we got to the next to last class and my teacher said I might not have time to taper my table legs. So, I busted ass to get them ready to be tapered because that was literally the only operation in the class I hadn't done before and I wanted to learn SOMETHING. But the teacher didn't have time to help me so a classmate helped me taper the legs instead. This too proved to be a mistake.
     About halfway through the very last class, I realized that two of my legs were tapered incorrectly so my table wasn't even going to fit together. The teacher said he had some extra legs somewhere, then wandered off to help another classmate taper her legs correctly. I waited around for maybe ten minutes and talked to another classmate whose table was also not working out. Not only did was her table a complete failure because she also had to ask a classmate, rather than the teacher, for help, she had also noticed how bossy the males in the class were. In short, it was a complete waste of time and money. I didn't want a table. I wanted to know how to taper legs correctly. My only thought at that point was, "Fuck. This."  I gathered up my stuff and walked the hell out.
     So, if you're thinking of the Randall Museum for woodworking, perhaps consider City College first. It's free and superior in every way. You may have to be on a waiting list for a while, but it's so worth it. You can take the class four times too! For free! If I hadn't already taken it four times, I would be back there RIGHT NOW! "Furnituremaking and woodworking" is the name of the City College class and it's on the Evans campus. You can find it listed under "Construction"

Here's my $300 piece of shit. I've already started cutting it down into other things.

The Projector Cover

I'm pretty excited with how the cover for The Projector is shaping up. It's also the first time I've successfully screen printed paper, so that's exciting too!


Woodworking Takes Patience

Especially when you don't cut it right in the first place.