Author Topic: Good hand tool tests for an apprentice.  (Read 6645 times)

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Offline Lemwise

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Good hand tool tests for an apprentice.
« on: December 10, 2016, 05:15 PM »
So we have a new apprentice at work but sadly the school she goes to doesn't spend a whole lot of time teaching her the hand tool basics. We've already thought of some things to teach her how to use hand tools such as planing a long and wide board of pine and make it completely flat and straight. Another thing we're going to teach her is making a mortice and tenon joint by hand with tight tolerances. Dovetails and mitres will of course also be a part of the course. If anyone has some nice out of the box suggestions I'd love to hear them.

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Offline Holmz

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Re: Good hand tool tests for an apprentice.
« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2016, 05:51 PM »
Stock prep: flat, square, straight

Joining: Dovetail, tenon

Smoothing/finishing: plane, scraper
« Last Edit: December 10, 2016, 05:54 PM by Holmz »

Offline bobfog

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Re: Good hand tool tests for an apprentice.
« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2016, 06:03 PM »
How much of her work will actually involve the tests you're proposing on a day-to-day basis?

Unless that's going to be her bread and butter, I'd get her learning the things that are going to be of most use, like using machine and power tools first and do the hand tool stuff as ongoing skill development.

I think it's an outdated cliche that you have to learn to use hand tools before power tools, if they're not going to actually be relevant to the work their going to be doing.

Offline Holmz

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Re: Good hand tool tests for an apprentice.
« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2016, 06:07 PM »
On the other hand when the Kapex breaks, one does not have to go home if they know how to use a hand saw.;)
And if the vacuum stops, one could get by with a plane. ;)

Offline Chris Wong

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Re: Good hand tool tests for an apprentice.
« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2016, 06:21 PM »
Have her reproduce the Gotshall block.
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Offline Tim Raleigh

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Re: Good hand tool tests for an apprentice.
« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2016, 06:28 PM »
Chinese puzzle project is great for teaching accurate marking and precise chisel work. Great preparation for cutting dovetails. Gottshall block is also a good hand tool exercise.
Tim

Offline Lemwise

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Re: Good hand tool tests for an apprentice.
« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2016, 06:32 PM »
How much of her work will actually involve the tests you're proposing on a day-to-day basis?
She won't be using her hand tool skills on a day to day basis but she will need them as a shipwright. We also feel it's important she learns this stuff because it helps you understand how wood behaves when you work it, how to set up a hand plane and which plane and blade to use for a certain kind of work. Something like planing a long and wide board flat and straight also helps to develop an good eye as you often have to sight down the board as you plane it. Another thing it does is develop your ability to detect how flat it is by hand. Dovetails, mitres and mortice and tenons is a good way to teach patience and precision. And as Holmz pointed out, she will need these skills for when she doesn't have access to power tools. Basic hand tool skills are the still the starting point for a good shipwright.

Of course we will also teach her how to use power tools and machines. She's an apprentice and doesn't yet have to produce like my colleagues and I do so we can take it slow and teach her the proper ways of doing things.

Edit: Never heard of the Gotshall block but I like it. Chinese puzzles is also a good one.
« Last Edit: December 10, 2016, 06:35 PM by Lemwise »

Offline Paul G

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Re: Good hand tool tests for an apprentice.
« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2016, 06:59 PM »
A precise cube would be a great challenge.
+1

Offline Lemwise

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Re: Good hand tool tests for an apprentice.
« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2016, 07:47 PM »
Another good suggestion :)

Offline HarveyWildes

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Re: Good hand tool tests for an apprentice.
« Reply #9 on: December 10, 2016, 08:43 PM »
Tuning hand tools and sharpening.

Offline rizzoa13

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Re: Good hand tool tests for an apprentice.
« Reply #10 on: December 11, 2016, 05:56 AM »
I second the sharpening and tuning. Give her a mind for caring for her equipment and it'll translate into pride of ownership for her tools/work down the road.

Offline Lemwise

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Re: Good hand tool tests for an apprentice.
« Reply #11 on: December 11, 2016, 06:30 AM »
Tuning and sharpening goes without saying. It's part of the skill set of every good shipwright.

Offline Bert Vanderveen

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Re: Good hand tool tests for an apprentice.
« Reply #12 on: December 11, 2016, 12:16 PM »
You know that in Japan apprentices had to sweep the floor, fix tea, run errands, etc. for TWO years before they were allowed to touch any tools? Learning by watching! (And corporal punishment, too — apprentices were beaten a lot by their masters.)
Cheers, Bert Vanderveen

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Offline Lemwise

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Re: Good hand tool tests for an apprentice.
« Reply #13 on: December 11, 2016, 01:16 PM »
But we're not in Japan. She's with us to learn the trade of a shipwright, not to sweep floors or run errands.

Offline Holmz

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Re: Good hand tool tests for an apprentice.
« Reply #14 on: December 11, 2016, 08:12 PM »
You know that in Japan apprentices had to sweep the floor, fix tea, run errands, etc. for TWO years before they were allowed to touch any tools? Learning by watching! (And corporal punishment, too — apprentices were beaten a lot by their masters.)

There is also a japanese saying of, "one should beat theif kids daily, you may not know why but they will".
This is also somewhat out of vogue these days if the goal is to develop skills rather than discipline.

Offline sigmatango

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Re: Good hand tool tests for an apprentice.
« Reply #15 on: December 11, 2016, 08:54 PM »
I'd say the first step is learning to maintain and sharpen tools.
Following that, the proper uses of chisels and saws, and then hinge gains.
A lot of hinge gains... 

Offline Paul G

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Re: Good hand tool tests for an apprentice.
« Reply #16 on: December 11, 2016, 11:20 PM »
Lemwise, I'd be curious to know what path you choose for this.
+1

Offline teocaf

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Re: Good hand tool tests for an apprentice.
« Reply #17 on: December 12, 2016, 07:08 AM »
I'm seeing this as more of a listening test for the teachers.  I can just imagine a bunch of crusty old guys elbowing each other trying to impress the young lady with their knowledge under the guise of teaching. 
I would suggest restraint; make it known at the outset that you're available for help anytime and then step back and answer her questions as they come up in a succinct focused approach.  I'm sure she has her own agenda of what she wants to learn, and it would be counterproductive to overwhelm her with numerous assignments and exercises just because you think she ought to know them.

Offline derekcohen

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Re: Good hand tool tests for an apprentice.
« Reply #18 on: December 12, 2016, 07:55 AM »
So we have a new apprentice at work but sadly the school she goes to doesn't spend a whole lot of time teaching her the hand tool basics. We've already thought of some things to teach her how to use hand tools such as planing a long and wide board of pine and make it completely flat and straight. Another thing we're going to teach her is making a mortice and tenon joint by hand with tight tolerances. Dovetails and mitres will of course also be a part of the course. If anyone has some nice out of the box suggestions I'd love to hear them.

Good craftsmen and craftswomen should be comfortable with both power and hand tools. There is a place for both. So this educational direction of yours is one I support. Suggestions?

Marking with knife and gauges
Grinding a hollow and sharpening chisels and plane blades
Four squaring a board
Pare with chisels
Chopping and drilling/chiselling a mortice
Sawing a tenon
Fitting the mortice and tenon
Sawing and chiselling housings/dados
Upkeep of saws
Rebating with a plane, saw and chisel
Use of a router plane

That should keep all busy for a while! :)

Regards from Perth

Derek

Offline Lemwise

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Re: Good hand tool tests for an apprentice.
« Reply #19 on: December 12, 2016, 01:17 PM »
I'm seeing this as more of a listening test for the teachers.  I can just imagine a bunch of crusty old guys elbowing each other trying to impress the young lady with their knowledge under the guise of teaching. 
I would suggest restraint; make it known at the outset that you're available for help anytime and then step back and answer her questions as they come up in a succinct focused approach.  I'm sure she has her own agenda of what she wants to learn, and it would be counterproductive to overwhelm her with numerous assignments and exercises just because you think she ought to know them.
First of all, we're not a bunch of crusty old guys and the last thing that's on our minds is to impress some wet behind the ears 19 year old girl. We know what our skills are and we don't have to impress anyone. If anything, she has to impress us.

Secondly, we know what she has to learn and the skills she must have if she wants to be a good shipwright. My employer told her right from the start she's welcome to do her apprenticeship with us but it's our way or the highway. She might not like every assignment she's given but she has to trust that we know what we're doing and that we're working towards a larger goal. When we're done with her she will be the best shipwright she can be. I will even say that when we're done with her she will run circles around all of you.

Offline clark_fork

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Re: Good hand tool tests for an apprentice.
« Reply #20 on: December 12, 2016, 01:22 PM »
As a kid in high school, I worked at Graves Boat Yard, Marblehead, Massachusetts. That is where the last wood 12 meter (Easterner) was built. I watched world class boat builders in action. So all that is the basis for my opinion/advice.

My advice is simple. Take an old dingy,  row boat, or small sail boat, preferably planked.  Rebuild it with hand tools only. Bring it up to sellable condition with your apprentice participating in the proceeds. The basis of boat building is handling curves. That can only be taught by five sensing the experience and working to keep the water from leaking into the finished product. Don't forget the vocabulary of boat building: scarf, chine, scupper, etc. By working on an actual boat, these will fall into place. I would also add that drawing is an important part of learning to use hand tools.

Steven Coyey famously said, "Begin with the end in mind." By working on an actual boat, there is an end to the learning process that will make for meaningful learning.

I worked next to a skilled shipwright. He chewed and I had to learn quickly to stay clear. That was my first learning event. Hopefully you will spare your apprentice that learning feature.
Clark Fork

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Offline Lemwise

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Re: Good hand tool tests for an apprentice.
« Reply #21 on: December 12, 2016, 02:09 PM »
My advice is simple. Take an old dingy,  row boat, or small sail boat, preferably planked.
She's not there yet. First we have to make her comfortable with hand tools.

Offline ART at WORK

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Re: Good hand tool tests for an apprentice.
« Reply #22 on: December 12, 2016, 07:55 PM »
I have spent years learning how to use a Hand saw and now at 54 I am slowly getting the hang of cutting straight and true and not weaing myself out in the process. I wish someone had taught me better earlier. But I think its something you get from trying. In Germany they taught us to use a bow saw. A lovely tool. Though when the Japanise pull saws came on the market, it was suddenly a whole new pleasuse to cut dovetails etc. As others have mentioed sharpening of the tools is so important. Also cutting cheep pine or ply wood is a whole different ball game to cutting hard woods. I wish I had cut more hard wood to practice when younger.

And if you can imagin it you can build it. So train the imagination and the love of good design.

As apprentices we used to play guess the length of a tape measure. One would pull out and hold up the tape so we would see the back. We were extreemly accurate in a very short time. Train the eye to see.
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Offline Tim Raleigh

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Re: Good hand tool tests for an apprentice.
« Reply #23 on: December 12, 2016, 08:05 PM »
She's not there yet. First we have to make her comfortable with hand tools.

I am curious, (always about everything) how did you choose her as an apprentice?
Tim

Offline Lemwise

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Re: Good hand tool tests for an apprentice.
« Reply #24 on: December 13, 2016, 12:07 PM »
We chose her as a group but in the end my employer had the final say. She goes to a school were you work 4 days a week at a company and the 5th day your in the school benches for the theoretical side of things. The school contacted my employer to ask if he has a place for a student and that's how it started. It wasn't long until we all saw something in her. The way she matches drawer fronts without anyone having to tell her, or how she makes a full scale drawing when it's too difficult for her to see the end product in her minds eye was the first sign for us that she has what it takes. She's also very precise and she won a prize for a chair she designed. She has a keen eye. But most importantly, she wants to learn everything we have to teach her and she's not afraid to ask us for help.

Offline Holmz

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Re: Good hand tool tests for an apprentice.
« Reply #25 on: December 13, 2016, 04:02 PM »
It is hard to not go forward when one has a good attitude.

Offline Tim Raleigh

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Re: Good hand tool tests for an apprentice.
« Reply #26 on: December 13, 2016, 09:32 PM »
She has a keen eye. But most importantly, she wants to learn everything we have to teach her and she's not afraid to ask us for help.

Cool story, good to hear and I think it's great you guys took her on.
Tim

Offline kcufstoidi

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Re: Good hand tool tests for an apprentice.
« Reply #27 on: December 14, 2016, 06:41 AM »
"Secondly, we know what she has to learn and the skills she must have if she wants to be a good shipwright. My employer told her right from the start she's welcome to do her apprenticeship with us but it's our way or the highway. She might not like every assignment she's given but she has to trust that we know what we're doing and that we're working towards a larger goal. When we're done with her she will be the best shipwright she can be. I will even say that when we're done with her she will run circles around all of you."

I hope you teach her well enough to run circles around you, don't worry about us, you can also leave out teaching the arrogance.

John

Offline Lemwise

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Re: Good hand tool tests for an apprentice.
« Reply #28 on: December 14, 2016, 11:39 AM »
I hope you teach her well enough to run circles around you, don't worry about us, you can also leave out teaching the arrogance.
That's the plan. She belongs to the new generation of shipwrights so she has to carry the torch one we're retired. And we Frisian shipwrights have earned the right to be arrogant because we're the best shipwrights in the world.

She also signed a 2 year contract today and my employer offered to buy her some good tools as a loan so she won't have to use the crappy stuff the school supplied. She can pay back the tools during the next 2 years so she immediately accepted the offer. He ordered her the Quangsheng low angle block plane, 102 and no4, the 8 piece Stanley Sweetheart chisel set, a Starrett square and some other quality stuff. She's a very lucky apprentice to get such nice tools.
« Last Edit: December 14, 2016, 12:25 PM by Lemwise »

Offline chris s

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Re: Good hand tool tests for an apprentice.
« Reply #29 on: December 24, 2016, 07:04 AM »
I question the statement "when you are done with her". This is not boot camp. Sounds like the arrogance level is a tad high.Remember you are teaching her.
 I don't mean to sound disrespectful. However you don't want to turn her off. I am sure the school, altho we might not think so,knows what they are doing. As you said she belongs to the new generation. The operative word there is NEW. Hence they might not do things the way we did, which is not a bad thing.
« Last Edit: December 24, 2016, 07:31 AM by chris s »

Offline chris s

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Re: Good hand tool tests for an apprentice.
« Reply #30 on: December 24, 2016, 07:17 AM »
Could you please elaborate on Frisian Shipwrights. Sounds kind of interesting.

Festool USA does not pre-approve the contents of this website nor endorse the application or use of any Festool product in any way other than in the manner described in the Festool Instruction Manual. To reduce the risk of serious injury and/or damage to your Festool product, always read, understand and follow all warnings and instructions in your Festool product's Instruction Manual. Although Festool strives for accuracy in the website material, the website may contain inaccuracies. Festool makes no representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness or timeliness of the material on this website or about the results to be obtained from using the website. Festool and its affiliates cannot be responsible for improper postings or your reliance on the website's material. Your use of any material contained on this website is entirely at your own risk. The content contained on this site is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice.


Offline Lemwise

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Re: Good hand tool tests for an apprentice.
« Reply #31 on: December 24, 2016, 09:20 AM »
I question the statement "when you are done with her". This is not boot camp.
Do you really think we don't know that? It's not the first time for any of us that we're working with an apprentice.

Could you please elaborate on Frisian Shipwrights. Sounds kind of interesting.
It's a shipwright from the province of Friesland in the north of The Netherlands.
« Last Edit: December 24, 2016, 11:17 AM by Lemwise »

Online Peter Halle

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Re: Good hand tool tests for an apprentice.
« Reply #32 on: December 24, 2016, 09:35 AM »
I for one am glad that there are still apprentice programs in parts of the world that encourage passing on practical knowledge and skills to those willing to work, toil, learn and try!

Well done!

Peter
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Offline Bert Vanderveen

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Re: Good hand tool tests for an apprentice.
« Reply #33 on: December 24, 2016, 12:23 PM »
I question the statement "when you are done with her". This is not boot camp.
Do you really think we don't know that? It's not the first time for any of us that we're working with an apprentice.

Could you please elaborate on Frisian Shipwrights. Sounds kind of interesting.
It's a shipwright from the province of Friesland in the north of The Netherlands.

Although shipwrights from the province of North Holland consider themselves to be (West) Friesians too…

Fact is that in the luxury boat/shop business a few handful of firms in the area together hold a mayor share in the worldwide business, on a par with the Italians.
Cheers, Bert Vanderveen

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Offline Lemwise

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Re: Good hand tool tests for an apprentice.
« Reply #34 on: December 24, 2016, 05:10 PM »
And there's a good reason for this. Dutch yacht builders, together with the Italians, are the best yacht builders in the world. Take Feadship for example, no other company anywhere in the world delivers the quality they do. A good friend of mine and one of the finest shipwrights I know used to work for Royal de Vries in Makkum (one of the Feadship yards) and he and a couple of his fellow shipwrights went to the US some years ago for a re-fit on a yacht that was built at de Vries. This was at Christensen Yachts if I remember correctly, and the shipwrights over there thought they were pretty good but after a few days the saying was: "If it aint Dutch, it aint much."

Offline derekcohen

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Re: Good hand tool tests for an apprentice.
« Reply #35 on: December 24, 2016, 08:26 PM »
 [big grin]

Best wishes for the Festive Season

Regards from Perth

Derek

Offline chris s

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Re: Good hand tool tests for an apprentice.
« Reply #36 on: December 25, 2016, 08:04 AM »
wishing you the best in this holiday season.