Friday, November 11, 2016

Off the radar....on the air force base! Happy Veteran's Day!

Have you ever heard of the Red Horse Squadron? 

I had no idea that Red Horse is an acronym for something - but you can read about it here. 

Pretty impressive!

My boy-Friday (Denny) and I 

were lucky enough to be invited to teach a couple of woodworking classes at the local Air Force base here - to none other than.....

the Red Horse squadron!  

Anyone that puts a dozer on the front end of a tank gets my respect! 

Now these guys already are already pros - they do it all, from building schools to fire stations, to cities. But their cabinet making skills needed a little TLC, and that's where we came into the picture. 

We started off with some basic cutting skills on the table saws. By the way, their table saws were massive! Everyone took turns ripping and crosscutting - and we ended up with a ton of wood that was prepped for cutting boards. 

You might think that a cutting board is a simple (i.e... too easy) project, but it actually teaches a ton of skills. Cutting, jointing,  planing, routing, squaring up stock - it's a cleverly design project that gives you an awesome product in the end. BAM.

We gave them a few pointers about composing a cutting board, and then we stepped back and let the magic happen.

 Everyone designed their boards then grabbed some clamps and glued them together. 

 After the glue was dry, we scraped the boards clean and prepared to plane them. 

Their larger planer wasn't working as well as we'd hoped, but these guys had a back up plan - so we pulled out their mobile planer and Denny supervised all the guys. 

After a routing demo, the fellas got their creative juices flowing. 

We even fired the laser engraver up, 

and one soldier's board was decorated with his mom's initials. (A great Christmas present, as he bragged to his buddies!)

Most of these guys said that they were giving their boards away as gifts, and you could feel their pride. 

We upped the game on the next project– working with compound miters. This is a super easy technique, involving just two tweaks to the table saw. 

We ended up making some great lamps, and even better– they had a secret compartment inside of them, to hold their weapon. 

Well, it's not so much of a secret anymore, is it?

There's quite a bit of detail work involved in this project, and some of the guys chose to (again) up their  game. 

One Carolina Panther fan dug up some clipart, and lasered the front of his lamp. 

They had some of their company logos already lasered on some coasters, and a few experimented with using those on their lamps. 

 At the end of our time together, their skills were exponentially better,

 and we met some new buddies.  (Thanks for the beer, guys!)

 I'm putting this post up in honor of Veterans Day - thanks for your service, guys, (You too, Denny!) and.... 

be safe on those tools!

1 comment:

Vegas Lupe said...

Thank you for sharing your teaching experience with the Red Horse squadron, Jamie! I have a huge admiration for those guys. Once upon a time, while cycling at Nellis AFB with a retired Air Force friend, he told me all about that squadron and how they can build a runway and military installations in a matter of weeks. That engineering feat shows how amazing the US Military is.

You and Denny deserve good karmic points for your service in teaching them how to hone their woodworking skills. Good job!