Woodworking 101: Fun with Cedar!

One of the best parts about being in the galleries with visitors is getting to know our ‘regulars’ – and we have several! There are many families who we can always count on seeing every month. It is fun to see how fast kids grow, and even to watch families as they grow! One program we have that I truly enjoy is Meaningful Moments, our monthly Access Program for individuals with early stage dementia and their family members or caregivers.

John and Sue in the galleries.

Jackie and I had the privilege over the last year to see several of the same couples here each month for the program. Several of the participants grew attached to Jackie and were so sad that her internship had to end. To celebrate our fun year, and to teach us a new skill, one of our favorite couples invited Jackie and me to spend the day at their home. John and Sue Rath attend Meaningful Moments every month and we have gotten to know them. While Sue is the artist in the family, we did come to learn that John is quite the wood carver; one month he brought us each a surprise – a handmade pencil holder that he made using his lathe.

This is what the wood looks like before John transforms it.

Thoroughly impressed with John’s woodworking skills, Jackie and I were very excited when John offerred to teach us all about woodcarving. We both learned how to properly use a lathe. We got to pick our own piece of cedar, cut it, and scrape the bark off until the piece of wood was smooth.

Jackie is ready for woodcarving action!

John made sure that we were properly equipped for safety – Jackie chose a full face mask, while I opted for the more daring safety goggles.

John taught us how to use a gouge chisel to remove all of the bark.

 After our cedar blocks were smooth, John taught us how to use a small gouge chisel to carve a base for the box.

Sue looks on as I show off my de-barked piece of wood.

We also carved out the lid from our pieces of cedar. After Jackie and I each made knobs for our lids, John helped us cut the lid off and showed us how to use a drill tool to hollow out the inside of the box.

Jackie and I learned how to use a sanding strip to make the cedar smooth.

We continued to sand the wood and then had to carve away from the inside rim of the box until the lids fit perfectly!

Our finished products!

It was a fun day of learning, cedar chips, laughter, lunch, and ice cream! We are so thankful for learning a new skill and had a great day spending time with John and Sue.

Posted by: Amanda


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Filed under Access, Art Projects, Just for Fun

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