Q: I am high school woodshop teacher. We are currently still remote teaching, which is not ideal for a hands-on class. I have been sending out kits for my students to build, along with the standard safety tests and woodworking knowledge assignments. I have adjusted most our standard types of projects to be very simple and only nailed or glued together. What are your recommendations for projects or activities that are accessible for students to build at home with very limited tools?
A: We’re not really the best people to ask, given that we don’t teach kids. So let me direct you to Yoav Liberman, who does. He’s been blogging for Tools for Working Wood, and he has a number of posts that address this very question, all of which are in “The Build-it Blog” – just keep clicking “last” at the bottom to work backward through the posts. (There are also contributions from others in that blog that are worth a read, but to find only Yoav’s posts, I found that a Google site search is the best way.)
You can read about Yoav in “Across the Board: Yoav Liberman – Furniture Maker, Teacher & Finder of the Good,” a Little Acorns post from Nancy Hiller.
But if I had to recommend some home-based projects for kids, I’d follow Yoav’s lead and lean into carving with a sloyd knife or two – perhaps this peg board project from Jögge Sundqvist’s “Slöjd in Wood.”
I might also look to older “I Can Do That” projects at PopularWoodworking.com – when Chris and I were at PWM, those were all designed for a limited tool kit – mostly inexpensive hand tools from the big box stores.