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High School Woodworking Projects

by bwad40
posted 08-21-2017 07:43 PM

18 replies so far

View BlasterStumps's profile


1288 posts in 798 days

#1 posted 08-21-2017 08:29 PM

How about a chisel rack, hammer rack or drill bit organizer? Or, what about a pizza peel, or oven rack tool to pull and push the rack? Candle box, valet tray, tie rack, trivet also come to mind.
Mike in CO

You can tell by my suggestions that I am old, old huh? I could have suggested a stool, rubber band rifle, ash tray and then for sure told my age.

-- "I build for function first, looks second. Most times I never get around to looks." - Mike, western Colorado

View buckbuster31's profile


256 posts in 874 days

#2 posted 08-21-2017 08:52 PM

we made a gun rack in my shop class. simple, yet fun. we are Kentucky boys here, so we all had guns. another easy one would be router bowls like you see for Halloween?

View patcollins's profile


1687 posts in 3224 days

#3 posted 08-21-2017 08:52 PM

My first project in shop in the 80’s was a door stop, second was a cutting board. My shop class was only a 6 week elective that I didn’t even get to pick in the 8th grade. Some students never made it past the door stop. We had to cut it all with a handsaw and chisel out the dado. Hard part was we didn’t even have a miter box it was all hand done.

View Rich's profile (online now)


4391 posts in 948 days

#4 posted 08-21-2017 08:53 PM

You could always browse the projects section of LumberJocks for ideas. If you have any concern about using someone’s ideas, shoot them a message to see if they object.

-- Knowledge is not skill. Knowledge plus ten thousand times is skill. -- Shinichi Suzuki

View John's profile


245 posts in 1940 days

#5 posted 08-21-2017 08:54 PM

Our first project in high school was a basic cutting board. Taught us the basics of milling lumber, and gave us something to give to mom. That was followed up by a simple nightstand. 21 yrs later, mom still has the nightstand!

-- I measured once, cut twice, and its still too short...

View Just_Iain's profile


300 posts in 775 days

#6 posted 08-21-2017 11:15 PM

Mine was a small box with lip to hold the top basically in place. Nicely sized to hold 3 decks of cards with some space to carry over.

Also you could ask if you could use the Joinery Bootcamp offered at:

-- For those about to die, remember your bicycle helmet!

View FirehouseWoodworking's profile


733 posts in 3632 days

#7 posted 08-21-2017 11:27 PM

Mine was a dog profile door stop, and that was in the sixth grade! We used a band saw for the rough profile and then handtools. A plane was used to bevel the stop. My mother still had it when she passed this past March.

Why not consider the traditional project for all new carpenters? A tool box! Simple, open tote. It can be built with power tools or simply hand tools. The joints can be simple butt joints or they can get fancy with dovetails!

It could become a useful project that potentially will last a lifetime and perhaps ignight a life long interest!


-- Dave; Lansing, Kansas

View RDan's profile


100 posts in 2683 days

#8 posted 08-21-2017 11:30 PM

Thinking the kids might like a cell phone or tablet stand. For more advance students move on to one of the speaker bases. It would be a modern twist on these items. Dan

View bwad40's profile


18 posts in 1310 days

#9 posted 08-22-2017 12:30 AM

Thanks everyone for all of the suggestions! I would love to do an unplugged unit for the first part of the year so I could use work one on one with students on equipment, however; high schoolers are very frustrating with hand tools. I would be sharpening tools constantly! I will take all of your suggestions under advisement but if you have anymore, please keep them coming!

View Woodmaster1's profile


1167 posts in 2946 days

#10 posted 08-22-2017 01:30 AM

I use to have them do an all hand tool box with dovetails, something on the lathe, cutting boards (can be very involved a far as design), scroll saw project, then something they design at the end. I used a rotation to different stations so there was only 4 or five at each station. Tool and machine instruction at the beginning and assign the rotation groups and let the fun begin. I taught industrial arts for 40 yrs and had a blast. I use to have a notebook with all the projects but I don’t think it is around anymore.

View gmc's profile


64 posts in 2515 days

#11 posted 08-22-2017 12:31 PM

We made a small jewelry box with a drawer and routed recesses in the top for change and small items. Then we used glue and powered felt to coat the drawer bottom and the cut outs on top. We also made two small table lamps with a ships wheel to turn them on. That was 1970 and I still use them today. Between both projects we used all the major woodworking machines and several joining processes. They remind me today how simple works best. I went on to take metal shop and welding. I spent the next 40 years in the IT industry. A confused kid ;-)

-- Gary, Central Illinois

View tomsteve's profile


934 posts in 1578 days

#12 posted 08-22-2017 02:48 PM

something i would suggest is having different catergories for the students to choose from. something like an outdoor furniture( planters,bird feeders,etc), kitchen ,utensils(cutting boards,wine glass rack,serving trays, knife holders), electronic accessories( ipad/phone stands), table top decorations( candle holders),and games.

View Bill Berklich's profile

Bill Berklich

754 posts in 747 days

#13 posted 08-22-2017 09:22 PM

Lots of really good ideas. Here’s one that plays to the tech frenzy, an iPad / cell holder. Easy to do cheap materials (2×4s will work) choice of hand tools or power tools. Curves are faired with a block plane and you can skip the little extra piece it’s really not needed. Zoom in on the sketch in the background for rough dimensions. Resize for a phone. Btw these are great sellers for fund raisers too.

-- Bill - Rochester MI

View BlasterStumps's profile


1288 posts in 798 days

#14 posted 08-22-2017 10:36 PM

“bwad40” what part of Colorado are you in?
Mike in CO

-- "I build for function first, looks second. Most times I never get around to looks." - Mike, western Colorado

View bobasaurus's profile


3581 posts in 3543 days

#15 posted 08-22-2017 10:51 PM

In my middle school shop class in CO we made a CD case, chess board, and a miniature pool table with marbles from a kit.

Some suggestions for projects they might be interested in: cell phone cases/stands or fidget spinners (just ball bearings in a hole and bandsaw out a profile?).

-- Allen, Colorado (Instagram @bobasaurus_woodworking)

View Andybb's profile


1884 posts in 962 days

#16 posted 08-22-2017 11:29 PM

It’s seen some wear over the years but that’s because it gets used all of the time. 3 or 4 types of joinery, router work etc. This one was the prototype so it wasn’t pretty so I kept it, but moms love them in the kitchen. Have made 4 or 5.

Got it from here. including plans.

-- Andy - Seattle USA

View JCamp's profile


969 posts in 909 days

#17 posted 08-23-2017 12:58 AM

In my shop class we had several options on what to build. If I remember right there was a quilt rack, hope chest and a hang on the wall shelf. When I built the shelf and brought it home and my dad seen it he said “Did you tell the teacher you’ve built better stuff than that in our outbuilding?” I hadn’t told the teacher but he must have seen that I had some knowledge cause I was the only one in class that was allowed to use the powersaws and spindle sander. If I was running a class id throw in a couple versions of easy to build clocks and small boxes. I think gun racks and bow racks would be good projects but some parent may throw a fit that their little snowflake is feeling unsafe….
A real good project would be for them to find some thing that they would like to build and then you teach them to calculate board foot so later in life they will know how and also have a general knowledge of the cost of lumber

-- Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might

View Steve's profile


1214 posts in 941 days

#18 posted 08-25-2017 06:08 PM

i remember making a beer can lamp and a CO2 car. then we got to race the cars afterwards. also remember making a gum ball machine and a few things on the lathe.

those were the days.

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