Junior high student crafts distinguished end table, credits ability to early grasp of tools
Family ties and a love of tools prompted Garrett Childs, '13, to participate in the woodshop class. He savors the sense of satisfaction felt after creating a piece of furniture by himself.
Skills like being able to read, write and follow directions are not just a prerequisite for English class anymore. Without these skills, the dangers of power tools may have permanent consequences.
Family ties and a love of tools prompted Garrett Childs, '13, to participate in the woodshop class.
?Woodworking is really fun,? Childs said. ?I enjoy it because I get to use sharp tools and make stuff. My stepdad does woodwork, so I have learned from him.?
Childs received power tools at the age of four and lives only three minutes away from school. After seeing the plans for an end table in a magazine, he began constructing one out of poplar wood early in the semester.
?I started making the end table in January and it took me until April," Childs said. "I saw the idea for it in a magazine and it had instructions. The legs were hard to make because there are a lot of cuts and shapes involved and it was hard to keep the end table balanced."
After laboring for four months, Childs completed the end table.
"I felt really good when I finished it," Childs said. "It was a lot of work but it looked really good so it was worth it."
Woodshop teacher Randy Hurley recognized Childs' expertise while he constructed it.
"It was fun to watch somebody who had talent," Hurley said, "and it always feels good to see someone succeed at what they're trying. Everyone has pictures in their minds about what they want to look at, but they usually don't turn out that well. It was exciting to see him come really close to what he wanted."
Every day after school, Childs goes home to his house which is being remolded. His stepfather requests Child?s help in making the woodwork for the remodel.
"Woodshop can help you if you need stuff and don't want to spend a lot of money," Childs said. "Also, you feel good about making it yourself. I like working with all the tools and I love seeing the finished product.?
The end table is now in possession of mother Lisa Raynes who keeps the piece of furniture in her bedroom.
After laboring for four months, Childs completed the poplar end table. His mother keeps the end table in her bedroom as a reminder of her son's skill and work.
?I am proud because for his first woodshop project, it is beautiful," Raynes said, "but mostly I am happy because Garrett found something he is really gifted at. I know he put his all into the end table and it turned out amazing! It is a beautiful piece of furniture made by my son, which makes it priceless.?
Hurley believes Childs?s previous experience complemented his talent and skill.
?He came to class with experience he got at home, so that made a difference,? Hurley said. ?What made his piece so great was a combination of style and the use of materials, including the finish."
In addition to a familiarity with tools, Hurley believes Childs' success stems from an understanding of the directions.
"Part of being good at woodshop is being able to read, understand and follow directions," Hurley said. "Some students are better at that than others, but by the time they leave class, I hope all the students are better.?
Next year, Childs plans to continue in woodshop with the intentions of making more artistic pieces and a chair.
"I want to make a rocking chair," Childs said. "It is more difficult than an end table and I want to challenge myself."
For more information please visit the following:
Sean O'Neal's March 5, 2008, article, Woodshop wakes carpenters
Randy Hurley's e-mail
Lisa Raynes' e-mail