Teaching

It’s probably an axiom that when times get tight, people want to do more for themselves. There is lot of this going around right now.

The Internet is flooded with blog posts about how to make your own laundry soap or how to blend a hair conditioner using vinegar. The motivations for doing it yourself are widely varied. It might be that we suddenly become aware that products we use every day may not be healthful and, if fact, might be harmful. Or we might just feel like being more autonomous. Or, it might be simply that we feel the need to save some money.

That brings us to the point because, while some things might be a simple no brainer, woodworking projects require skills and knowledge. And each of us, as makers, are repositories for these skills and knowledge. That makes every one of us a potential teacher. We function as such when we hire a new employee. Even if we get lucky enough to find someone who already has a good skill set, we still need to teach them how things are done in our shops.

At various times, I have taught classes and the level of interest is always stronger when money is tight. Then I see lots of guys who would otherwise be calling me to make their coffee table suddenly wanting to make it themselves. I have always encouraged this because I have always felt that people should know how to make things and not think that everything should be store bought. Teaching others our trade can be rewarding in many ways and frustrating as well.

D.D.

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