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When Woodywoodchucks go Woodworking

Submitted by Meridith Dales
Middlesex 4-H - Beechwood #2
(Posted July 22, 2013)

4-H Beechwood #2 Woody Woodchucks

Woodworking levels 1&2 Press Report


Since the end of January, we, the Beechwood #2 Woody Woodchucks of 4-H Ontario have been completing the Woodworking projects, level one and two. Our motto is “Learn to do by Doing”, and with our four H’s (head, heart, hands and health), we have learnt a lot.


Our first meeting began on January 24, when we met at the Barlow’s workshop. We spent the night learning about all the different tools we were going to use, and saw some examples of things we could make from wood. Our club is made up of 11 kids, ages 9 to 16. As you can imagine, a lot of us had no experience with woodworking. So the first things we made were simple stools. Mr. Barlow, who does woodworking as a hobby – had already cut out the basic shapes, and we used basic tools to sand, shape and assemble them. It took us two meetings to finish the stools. They looked good, but we thought we could make something fancier. The next week, we started some gumball machines. These took us two meetings as well. This time, the pieces of wood were cut to the right length, but we had to plan out how to assemble, and needed new skills to complete it. A usual project takes six meetings that are about two hours long, but we wanted to continue. So the next week, we started the Woodworking Project Level Two. We decided that since a lot of us live around Parkhill and were getting sick of mosquitos, we decided our final project would be bat houses. This time though, we were given some instructions to start with, instead of pre-cut pieces. We now not only needed to plan and assemble our projects, but we had to cut our pieces to the right length. These bathouses took us eight meetings to finish, but they were worth the extra work. They were well-built and will hopefully give some bats a nice place to live.

Our club had a lot of fun during this project. We learned how to use a wide range of tools - from simple hand tools to potentially dangerous ones - and that if we measure twice and cut once, we can create beautiful and functional things.

A few big thank-you’s go out to Mitchell’s Home Hardware in Parkhill, the Beechwood Quilters Association, and the Parkhill Optimists Club. Woodworking is an expensive hobby, and they covered all the costs of this project. More thanks are given to the Barlow Family, for giving us the space and tools we needed to learn, and to the many parents who helped us assemble and supervised. Without you, our woodworking project would never have happened. Thank you so much.

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