Author Topic: Feisty Female Festool Friday Club….Feedback Needed!  (Read 10306 times)

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Offline Girlsintheshop

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Feisty Female Festool Friday Club….Feedback Needed!
« on: September 22, 2016, 10:43 PM »

I’m glad to see that my “Topic” caught your attention and hope that I can obtain useful suggestions, ideas, and feedback from woodworkers that have a “fancy” for Festools like I do!

I’ve found that there are MANY females that are amateur DIY’ers or DIY wannabes like myself.  I’m frequently asked to teach others how to get started woodworking.  I’ve toyed with the idea of starting a weekly (all female) woodworking club.  I’ve had many requests to do so, but a few things are holding me back.  This is where I’m hoping fellow Foggers can help!

Has anyone ever started, taught, or attended such a group; besides a shop class in school?  I’m a member of a woodworking club, but it’s not really for newbies wanting to learn the basics.

A bit about me: I’m new to FOG, but have been woodworking for the past eight years or so.  Woodworking is my passion, but not how I earn a living.  I’m “really” a high school Guidance Counselor in Northwest Indiana, just south of Chicago.  Someday, I hope to just stay in my shop and “play” all day!

Here are my initial thoughts on the group: 

Most of the women are from NW Indiana, Chicago, and suburbs.  Most are middle class suburban moms who send lots of time on Pinterest and want to make everything they see.  Most of their husbands likely own a cordless drill, hammer and a few screwdrivers; a tape measure and circular saw may be pushing it.  I’m totally describing myself before my tool addiction! 

I’d likely limit the group to five.  We’d complete one project start to finish.  Then I’d run a second group of five newbies on the same project.  If all goes well, I’d run another semi-advanced group from a combination of the two groups. 

I’d have each lady, bring her own basic toolbox (hammer, screwdrivers, tape measure, cordless drill, drill bits, etc.) to encourage them to start their own collection.  I’d provide the other materials and tools.

I’d hire one of our shop teachers from my high school to come teach the first class on shop safety.  The only charges for the club would be to cover materials and the cost of the shop teacher.

Over the next several weeks we would work on a small project start to finish.  Each lady would make their own as we work together.  We’d start with how to read a plan, basic measuring, how to use various tools, then cutting, joining, problem solving, and work our way to actually finishing the project. 

The main points that I like to show other women, is that with the right tools and safety precautions, they can build just about anything!  Festool makes it really easy for a new DIY’er to look and work like an “old pro”.  It doesn’t take a fully stocked, huge workshop to do so. 

A few of my concern about the group are:

I’m not overly excited about others touching my tools…I don’t even let the hubs do so!  The hubs is worried about the liability of a bunch of women working with power tools in the garage. 

Thanks for reading my long post!  Please offer suggestions as to how to make this work or tell me if I’m crazy and should forget the idea! 

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Offline TSO Products

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Re: Feisty Female Festool Friday Club….Feedback Needed!
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2016, 10:58 PM »
Carrie,
a very commendable initiative.
If I can make perhaps one little suggestion:
define the "End In Mind" for yourself. If your efforts are wildly successful, what will that look like? - it's really worth writing this down. It can be your "compass" to re-orient yourself by as you go forward. You come to  DECISION POINT, JUST ASK YOURSELF "how will choice A or Choice B help me achieve my aim?
It is more effective than you might imagine in keeping you on course.
Go Get'em!
Hans
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Home of the GRS-16 and GRS-16 PE Guide Rail Squares -  the MTR-18 Triangle and Work Holding solutions

Offline bkharman

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Re: Feisty Female Festool Friday Club….Feedback Needed!
« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2016, 11:11 PM »
Welcome Carrie and thanks for posting!  I agree with Hans on the noble approach... that is the education in you!

I would be careful with the Pinterest ideas... while some are useful and nice to look at, there are a TON of avenues and lots of squirrels on them. Herding cats comes to mind!

I would maybe pic a monthly task or project to concentrate on (think Home Depot kids club kind of thing) so you and whomever helps can concentrate on an end task as Hans stated.

Prepare to be tired, frustrated, proud and ready to quit at times. Teaching anything generally covers all of these and then some!  Keep us posted on the progress.

Cheers. Bryan.


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People, I just want to say, you know, can we all get along? Can we get along?

Offline neilc

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Re: Feisty Female Festool Friday Club….Feedback Needed!
« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2016, 11:33 PM »
Sounds like fun, Carrie.

If you are worried about liability, it's easy to draw up a one page 'release form' that they would sign that could include your obligations, their obligations, required safety procedures, etc.  Check out www.rocketlawyer.com for examples of release forms.

As for others using your tools, just define the bounds - safety techniques, understanding how they work, techniques, etc.  With supervision, the risk of damage should be minimized.  You could also set ground rules - safety, shop cleanup, dust collection, etc.

You've done some nice projects in your website link, so I think you are well on your way.  An interesting way to get ideas going would be to share pinterest links among your members and walk through how different pieces are made - a white board in the shop is a great way to explain to new woodworkers how to deconstruct how a piece is built.  Have them share links and look for shared interests that might let you all build similar projects, as one approach.

I've personally always liked woodsmith magazine for really well-documented projects with plans and materials lists.  Their online index is something you can subscribe to and access all their back issues.  woodsmithlibrary.com and Plansnow.com are good resources. 

You suggested drawing from a pretty broad area - Northwest Indiana, Chicago, suburbs, and that might be a challenge given traffic, work schedules, etc, so think through how far you want to reach potential interested parties, how much time per session, other commitments they might have, etc.   It's tough to work on a project and then have members miss a meeting or two and then you have to work to catch them up with the rest of the group if you end up doing group builds over a few sessions.  If there are woodworking stores in your area, they might be willing to do a shout out in their emails or even notices at their store.

Kids toys, bookends, picture frames, bookcases, simple tables, and other projects are not too daunting and could be built in a relatively short period of time.  I think it's key to help the team see progress on small projects that they can take home and share after a couple of sessions rather than deciding to build a chest of drawers!

If you haven't, you might want to check out Marc Adams School of Woodworking south of Indy.  Wonderful school and program that you might want to enroll in yourself.  They do a great job and have an amazing faculty from all over the country.  They do weekend and week-long classes, and even that might be a worthwhile group adventure for you and some friends during the course of a year.

There's always heading down to Festool in Lebanon for one of their classes as well to give you other ideas and techniques.  Check out festooltraining.com for classes and to sign up for email alerts. 

Good luck and please share your progress.  Great to have you on FOG!

neil



Offline Holmz

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Re: Feisty Female Festool Friday Club….Feedback Needed!
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2016, 04:35 AM »
...

Well my hat if off to you.

As mentioned I think some traveling of the teacher to different areas would be easier in the long run.

Sending you a PM.

Offline bobfog

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Re: Feisty Female Festool Friday Club….Feedback Needed!
« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2016, 06:27 AM »
A few thoughts, just me thinking aloud, from what you've wrote.

I've tried to teach a few women (friends, family, etc) in the past to do a few quick jobs around the home and found it extremely frustrating, they just didn't seem to understand the basic physics of holding a tool or the result that was trying to be achieved. For example screwing/unscrewing with a cordless screwdriver just seemed to baffle them completely, they couldn't get that you had to apply pressure even when unscrewing, or that keeping the drill appropriately orientated to direction the screw has been sunk was core to cleanly removing it. I think this was frustrating because my primary aim in the moment wasn't to teach them, but to get them to aid me in speeding up a particular task, but involving them actually slowed me down. What I'm saying is, just don't underestimate that some women may have never, ever, have picked up a power tool, so the initial basic safety/induction might take longer than you think, as there's absolutely no muscle memory, a bit like teaching someone to play pool/handle a pool cue for the first time.

Secondly, if you sold it as a social inclusion/social enterprise type venture, could you not convince the school you work at to allow you to use their facilities during the evenings or weekends?

Finally, as for Festool, don't get hung up on using them on a long-term ongoing basis if the venture takes off. Apart from the Domino joiners and the very niche Conturo, there are cheaper alternatives for almost every tool in the Festool line up that, whilst not coming in Systainers or having Plug-it cords, perform their core functions just as well (and in some cases better) than Festool.

Best of luck!
« Last Edit: September 23, 2016, 06:30 AM by bobfog »

Offline Purdog

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Re: Feisty Female Festool Friday Club….Feedback Needed!
« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2016, 11:03 AM »
@bobfog, I don't think the first part of your response could be anymore insulting toward women!  I've seen many women that ARE capable of holing a screwdriver, holding a hammer, or anything else a man is capable of. Vivian Beer from "Ellen's Design Challenge" is a perfect example of a woman that as you say "understands the basic physics" of using tools. My mother and aunts grew up in their fathers machine shop and worked on his machines during the summers in high school. Maybe the ladies you had tried to teach a few repair jobs to in the past didn't get it, but to imply that WOMEN aren't capable of understanding how to use tools is just insane. Cmon man, get out of the dark ages and wake up!!

Think of someone trying to learn how to play the piano for the first time, it's very basic in the all you have to do is push down the little white & black keys, but to make it sound good, they have to be done at the right time. For some, like myself, it would be like a chimpanzee banging his hands on them and nothing but noise comes out!!

@Girlsintheshop, I'm sure you will find some enthusiastic ladies that will want to join the woodworking/handygirls club. You will work out the details as it evolves to be the best fit for all that want to participate. Hopefully evolve better then a particular participant's ideas in this club  [eek].

Offline SRSemenza

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Re: Feisty Female Festool Friday Club….Feedback Needed!
« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2016, 11:08 AM »
I would say that the same basic principles of learning to use tools apply across the board, from my experience of teaching people. Some people get it right away and some don't. Some learn it quickly, some learn slowly, and some don't.  I have found naturals in both camps and all thumbs in both camps. And all ages too BTW.

Lets avoid generalizing groups.

Seth
« Last Edit: September 23, 2016, 11:12 AM by SRSemenza »

Offline bobfog

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Re: Feisty Female Festool Friday Club….Feedback Needed!
« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2016, 11:15 AM »
@bobfog, I don't think the first part of your response could be anymore insulting toward women!  I've seen many women that ARE capable of holing a screwdriver, holding a hammer, or anything else a man is capable of. Vivian Beer from "Ellen's Design Challenge" is a perfect example of a woman that as you say "understands the basic physics" of using tools. My mother and aunts grew up in their fathers machine shop and worked on his machines during the summers in high school. Maybe the ladies you had tried to teach a few repair jobs to in the past didn't get it, but to imply that WOMEN aren't capable of understanding how to use tools is just insane. Cmon man, get out of the dark ages and wake up!!

Think of someone trying to learn how to play the piano for the first time, it's very basic in the all you have to do is push down the little white & black keys, but to make it sound good, they have to be done at the right time. For some, like myself, it would be like a chimpanzee banging his hands on them and nothing but noise comes out!!

@Girlsintheshop, I'm sure you will find some enthusiastic ladies that will want to join the woodworking/handygirls club. You will work out the details as it evolves to be the best fit for all that want to participate. Hopefully evolve better then a particular participant's ideas in this club  [eek].

Either you're just looking to pick a fight, or you haven't read my post properly, but the key points you seem to have missed are "some women" and "some women may have never, ever, have picked up a power tool, so the initial basic safety/induction might take longer than you think, as there's absolutely no muscle memory"

I'm as much for feminism as anyone, I even let my wife out of the kitchen (if she's finished all the tasks I demand of her, of course). My advice was purely practical and valid, shame you just looked for the sensationalised headline in the post as opposed to the full content.

Offline SRSemenza

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Re: Feisty Female Festool Friday Club….Feedback Needed!
« Reply #9 on: September 23, 2016, 11:20 AM »
I get that you used the word "some" but I think the point is  that some men may have never picked up a tool either.

It should be ..... some people.

How about this doesn't go any further.

Seth

Offline bobfog

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Re: Feisty Female Festool Friday Club….Feedback Needed!
« Reply #10 on: September 23, 2016, 11:20 AM »

Of course Seth, my point was simply that through the choices males make in school, the interests they pursue when growing up and traditional gender roles which statistically still apply even in 2016, there's a higher chance females in a sample of say 100 people will be less likely to have the same level of basic knowledge of tools, woodwork, DIY as a sample of 100 males.

I wasn't saying women can't use tools or with education/practice  they can't be just a skilled as any man, simply that in terms of education and their starting knowledge/ base line experience, will statistically be likely to be lower than if you were teaching males. 

Offline SRSemenza

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Re: Feisty Female Festool Friday Club….Feedback Needed!
« Reply #11 on: September 23, 2016, 11:25 AM »
Yup I see. Maybe that just didn't come across so well in the first post.

Seth

Offline mkasdin

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Re: Feisty Female Festool Friday Club….Feedback Needed!
« Reply #12 on: September 23, 2016, 11:25 AM »
It doesn't matter if they are men or women, it's just going to take a lot of patience, time and aggravation.  Before you teach a group of five you might want to teach a single person for a day. I would be inclined to not teach live but record it as a YouTube channel. Look at "see Jane drill" but instead of just talking do a project. I was enrolled in a YMCA woodworking class when I was very young everything was done by hand, but the instructor had made some of the cuts first with the table saw. Kids learn much faster than adults. It's frustrating at best to teach a novice.

Offline bobfog

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Re: Feisty Female Festool Friday Club….Feedback Needed!
« Reply #13 on: September 23, 2016, 11:30 AM »
Yup I see. Maybe that just didn't come across so well in the first post.

Seth

Noted.

Offline SRSemenza

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Re: Feisty Female Festool Friday Club….Feedback Needed!
« Reply #14 on: September 23, 2016, 11:33 AM »
Yeah, that's probably a good idea to teach one person for the first time. Maybe even do that twice. It will help dial in the teaching method and also bring up the common problems and questions at a rate that is easy to handle. Probably will make it easier to field the issues quickly when teaching a larger group.

That might also help create a couple people that can talk to others that are interested ...." yes, it is a cool thing to do , you should try it. I'm going next week."

Seth

Offline Girlsintheshop

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Re: Feisty Female Festool Friday Club….Feedback Needed!
« Reply #15 on: September 23, 2016, 11:35 AM »
Thanks for the suggestions!  Wow, where to start...

Hans, I totally agree.  I need to set some short term and long term goals.  Do I dare include my "pipe dreams" of helping other women to design & create full-time in my long term goals?  The main purpose of the group would be to introduce other women to the basics of woodworking.  To have other women that could "play" in the shop with me or in their own.  Please understand that when I say "play" in the shop, I take safety very seriously and great respect for those that do this for a living!  I refer to my time in the shop at "playing", because I absolutely love it!  To me researching, designing, constructing, and finishing a project is utter bliss!

I'm not looking for women interested in woodworking!  They've already found me and I've been putting them off for the past couple of years.  I'm constantly asked to help other women get started.  When I mentioned NW Indiana, Chicago and the suburbs, that's where I already have contacts requesting classes.

Bobfog,
I know your frustration in trying to teach someone so they could assist you in the shop.  This is what happens every darn time I try to get my husband to help me with a project!  It takes longer, I have to do it over, and he ends up frustrated. Just a few short years ago, I thought that I couldn't hold a screwdriver, because that's what I was told as a young girl.  I've shocked myself by not only learning how to use tools, but by also learning how to design and create beautiful furniture.  I admit that there have been times, when I felt like a "girl" in my male friends woodshop. That's the wonderful thing about women teaching other women how to woodwork.  Women don't have to feel "silly" when learning how to use a tool or a new skill.

I'm not stuck on a particular brand of tools.  I am totally into tools, jigs, and accessories (I call them my toys) that make designing and creating/constructing easier and more enjoyable.  I'm usually working alone or with my daughters.  For me, several Festool products fit the bill!  For several years, I've wanted the big SawStop Professional Cabinet Saw, but I don't have the room in my garage, my husband saw what it costs, and it's really overkill for a hobbiest.  So, I talked the hubs into letting me purchase the Festool TS 75 Track Saw for Christmas.  Granted, he never actually knew what it costs....or the dust extractor....or the MFT/3 Multi-task Table, that all came together (wink, wink)!  Thank goodness all the Systainers look alike, so he hasn't noticed the Planer, both Dominoes, or the Rotex 90!  The track saw allows me to break down sheet goods and other materials that I can't cut on my Hitachi chop saw.  I've used my multiple Kreg Jigs for years, but the two Domino joiners make it even easier and better quality. 

Offline Girlsintheshop

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Re: Feisty Female Festool Friday Club….Feedback Needed!
« Reply #16 on: September 23, 2016, 11:52 AM »
Ah, more posts will I was responding to the first few. 

Bobfog, I wasn't offend.  I get it, it goes both ways. 

I have brought a few other ladies into the shop and got them started on basic woodworking.  I was a teacher on the south side of Chicago for 10 years and I'm still involved with teaching, since I'm a high school guidance counselor.  So, instructing isn't new to me.

As for Pinterest, it's a great place to get ideas.  I personally love ana-white.com for plans and great tutorials.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2016, 11:58 AM by Girlsintheshop »

Offline Purdog

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Re: Feisty Female Festool Friday Club….Feedback Needed!
« Reply #17 on: September 23, 2016, 12:09 PM »
@bobfog
I did read your post correctly.  Still reads as a stereotype. The foundation of gender roles you refer to start at home not when one gets to grade or high school. I for one, never had the availability of a shop class while in school at any level through high school. My love of woodworking, or DIY in general, was instilled in my watching my mother while growing up.  She tackled a lot of the repair projects we had at home herself and taught me how to use a drill, hammer, and screwdriver.

Just when Seth helped you pull your foot out of your mouth. You went ahead and put it back in. I would love to see where you pulled the stat on your poll of 100 people..... Seems like it was another generalized fact you made up.

Online Cheese

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Re: Feisty Female Festool Friday Club….Feedback Needed!
« Reply #18 on: September 23, 2016, 12:19 PM »
Bobfog,
I know your frustration in trying to teach someone so they could assist you in the shop.  This is what happens every darn time I try to get my husband to help me with a project!  It takes longer, I have to do it over, and he ends up frustrated.

Very funny...  [thumbs up] [thumbs up]
« Last Edit: September 23, 2016, 12:24 PM by Cheese »

Offline Paul G

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Re: Feisty Female Festool Friday Club….Feedback Needed!
« Reply #19 on: September 23, 2016, 12:37 PM »

A few of my concern about the group are:

I’m not overly excited about others touching my tools…I don’t even let the hubs do so!  The hubs is worried about the liability of a bunch of women working with power tools in the garage. 

That made me have a good laugh this morning, thanks for that.  [big grin] It appears there's no gender bias when it comes to not wanting anyone to mess with our tools.

I agree with the safety concerns voiced previously, nothing to do with gender per se but just plain old inexperience. My dad is kinda clueless around power tools and it scares me, he was a desk jockey most of his life and just lacks experience and does things that are plain wrong and dangerous, and of course doesn't want to hear the correction from 'the boy'.

The other thing that comes to mind is strength. My wife is petite and simply lacks the strength for things I take for granted. Certainly not true of all ladies, but something to think about when dealing with some hand power tools. I take for granted lifting my skill saw to cut lumber and have control of it, she simply can't lift it with one hand which makes using it pretty dangerous. Same with some things like belt sanders, framing nailers, and larger drill drivers. I don't think twice about lugging the things around but it's not so easy for her. The torque on my drill driver could possibly cause her serious harm when using some of the larger drill bits.

Also most tools are built for man hands, and right handed men at that which puts here at a serious disadvantage being a southpaw with small hands.

I wish you well with your efforts.
+1

Offline bobfog

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Re: Feisty Female Festool Friday Club….Feedback Needed!
« Reply #20 on: September 23, 2016, 12:45 PM »
@bobfog
I did read your post correctly.  Still reads as a stereotype. The foundation of gender roles you refer to start at home not when one gets to grade or high school. I for one, never had the availability of a shop class while in school at any level through high school. My love of woodworking, or DIY in general, was instilled in my watching my mother while growing up.  She tackled a lot of the repair projects we had at home herself and taught me how to use a drill, hammer, and screwdriver.

Just when Seth helped you pull your foot out of your mouth. You went ahead and put it back in. I would love to see where you pulled the stat on your poll of 100 people..... Seems like it was another generalized fact you made up.

I didn't present it as a fact, it's just my personal observation based on women I know (very intelligent women I might add, an entrepreneur, a historian, a psychologist, a nurse, a lecturer/teacher, a doctor and a journalist) vs the male friends/family I know as a comparison.

But, anyway, Seth asked not to go down this line so out of respect for his request, this will be my last reply on the subject, feel free to think of me sitting here with my foot in my mouth.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2016, 12:48 PM by bobfog »

Offline Girlsintheshop

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Re: Feisty Female Festool Friday Club….Feedback Needed!
« Reply #21 on: September 23, 2016, 01:04 PM »
Paul G.,

I totally agree about strength.  There are definitely some tools that are easier for me to use than others.  Every time, I would use the Craftsman table saw to break down sheet goods, I'd risk tipping it over!  This is where the Festool Track Saw and MFT/3 Multitask Table have assisted in making it manageable for me as a woman, usually working alone.  I usually do a lot of research on a particular tool, to see it weight and hopefully find reviews from other women.  My Ridgid Grinder is a beast, and I tried to get my husband to do the sidewalk task for me, because it was to much for me.  For safety's sake you have to know your limits, know when to ask for help, or when to just stop and bring in a professional. 

Offline Paul G

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Re: Feisty Female Festool Friday Club….Feedback Needed!
« Reply #22 on: September 23, 2016, 01:22 PM »
For safety's sake you have to know your limits, know when to ask for help, or when to just stop and bring in a professional.

Yes indeed. And your efforts will help expand those limits one project at a time, which is no different than for anyone else.
+1

Offline JZ Bowmannz

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Re: Feisty Female Festool Friday Club….Feedback Needed!
« Reply #23 on: September 23, 2016, 01:23 PM »
........... feel free to think of me sitting here with my foot in my mouth.

 [eek] [big grin] You just made my day! Thanks.

Offline RKA

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Re: Feisty Female Festool Friday Club….Feedback Needed!
« Reply #24 on: September 23, 2016, 01:29 PM »
As a counterpoint to Paul's post, maybe there is a better way?  Using brute strength to accomplish a task is one way, but often times there are alternatives.  Maybe they take more time or planning, but in the end it can be safer and more enjoyable.  This becomes a teaching moment.

To the examples Paul mentioned:
Maybe a skil saw isn't a good fit in a particular situation.  Discuss what makes it difficult or dangerous.  Explain how a track saw or miter saw is easier to manage.  Some clamps can give you the stability and control you need. 

Drilling larger holes can be made safer using the clutch and extra handle we all tossed aside when we opened our new drills. 

Maybe (gasp) hand tools can be substituted when a power tool becomes unwieldy?  That framing nailer is fast, but if you only need to sink 4 nails, a hammer is a lot lighter and might be safer.  Since this is all in the context of building furniture and not houses, maybe another form of joinery would be more suitable anyway?  Again, it's about teaching them that there is always more than one way and if something proves difficult, go back and rethink what you're doing. 

I think the point in education is empowerment and removing the barriers (whether real or in our own minds) so we can further our knowledge (and skills). 

Getting back to the original post, I'm thinking about my wife in particular.  There are two barriers (three if you count me, but I'm assuming you've solved that by not inviting the husbands).  First, she's not comfortable around the tools that would be used.  Before she got too deep into any project, I think she would need a little time using some "core tools".  Think about what those would be and come up with projects or just exercises that would build a level of safety, competence and confidence.  In doing that you also squash the fear factor.  Second is around process.  Take a look at some common household items and break down the various pieces, how they would be assembled and built and in what order (heck, even breaking down a piece of ikea furniture could be a great simple visualization exercise).  Talk about gang cutting common parts so you're not relying on a tape measure for accuracy.  Turn them loose to make mistakes and use those to illustrate alternative approaches (and how to recover from those mistakes). 

I think those two barriers covers your basic class.  The advanced class could be a suitable project of their choosing based on their needs or wants.  I think that would be more fun all around.  Maybe in that class you can start to touch on finishing skills (sanding, paint, stain, whatever). 
-Raj

Offline Girlsintheshop

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Re: Feisty Female Festool Friday Club….Feedback Needed!
« Reply #25 on: September 23, 2016, 01:49 PM »
I love and appreciate the feedback, various views, encouragement, suggestions, etc.  Keep them coming!

Offline SRSemenza

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Re: Feisty Female Festool Friday Club….Feedback Needed!
« Reply #26 on: September 23, 2016, 02:01 PM »
@Girlsintheshop   I think this is  a good topic. It will be nice to see this all come together and watch the results unfold.

Seth

Offline Scott Burt

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Re: Feisty Female Festool Friday Club….Feedback Needed!
« Reply #27 on: September 23, 2016, 02:38 PM »
I think its a great idea. Just creating a safe opportunity for novice enthusiasts to learn some tool basics and take on a simple project can be a great confidence builder. That is usually what people lack when starting out...confidence, which comes through experience. So, I would recommend setting people up for success, such that it is challenging but just about impossible to fail.

I am a pro paint contractor by trade and (at the risk of reverse discrimination) would have to say that many of our very best painters over the years have been female. We have observed a strong attention to detail and (for lack of a better term) 'give a crap factor' for detailed work amongst this demographic.

As others have said, I would recommend starting small and locally. We host training workshops in our facilities and it can be a logistical challenge to bring in a group of people from multiple states.

Definitely have to emphasize the importance of safety when working with inexperienced folks.

Good luck to you if you pursue this idea.

Offline charley1968

  • Posts: 488
Re: Feisty Female Festool Friday Club….Feedback Needed!
« Reply #28 on: September 23, 2016, 03:05 PM »
Hi!
If i was to start a woodworking class ,i'd start with hand tools. I think working with handtools gives one far more time to contemplate the next step in the workflow, how to arrange the wood for a given task etc. Just more complacency. Plus it doesn't need a release form; you can talk while you're working. And it'll be easier on your wallet, too.
In Germany, a carpenters apprenticeship starts with handwork and it's tested a year or so into your apprenticeship.
Best regards: A.
Just for today..

Offline teocaf

  • Posts: 598
Re: Feisty Female Festool Friday Club….Feedback Needed!
« Reply #29 on: September 23, 2016, 03:07 PM »
I think 5 is a very good number for a starting class.  It's not a long wait for each one to get their turn at a tool and they can remind each other what you just said instead of you talking yourself hoarse.
I get what you mean about letting others have a go with your precious tools--always a difficulty, but with such a small group, it will be easy to supervise. 
But it's going to really suck for some of your students when they go home and try to do something on their own after taking your class.  I'm imagining the following scenario where your student goes and tries to "beg, borrow or steal" a saw and finally manages to score a Skil saw from someone.  She's going to look at it and say:  where's the other parts?    Umm, what other parts?  You know the track it runs on and the dust extractor and the good blade and the table with the hole thingies...   The scene ends with her tracking down a festool dealer and seeing the prices for all the items she saw in your shop and she either faints or better yet, she starts thinking:  Let's see now, I wonder what a second mortgage on my first-born would bring, and I wonder how many ways I can dress up Spam, and no one is really going to miss that silverware that great great grandma schlepped in her corset from Lithuania...