On Saturday, day one, I had all the students make the same tool from rectangular stock. The tool has a full half circle profile when viewed from the short sized with vertical sides when viewed along the long side. This was a tool that everyone during the worskhop for the Squash Blossom & Vine Cuff. The students chose this tool and I knew that they could finish this shape easily on the first day which would then give them the skills to make 1 or more the second day.
We discussed tool steel, files, annealing, hardening, tempering, quenching in oil or water, making templates, sanding, polishing and most importantly SHOP SAFETY.
Almost everyone finished their tool by 3pm on the first day and so we then sat down with my vintage tools and each student chose a tool and had to tell us why they chose it. I wanted to use this exercise as a way to make them think about WHY and WHEN to make a custom tool vs. a general use tool. Since we had time, I had them anneal the tool stock they would need for this new tool and thus have it ready at the start of day two. Several students chose smaller tools and even my custom micro tear drop tool I had made for the Squash Blossom cuff; other chose medium and larger sized pushers (for repousse).
Sunday morning arrived early (930 am) and hot and humid and by lunch time most were well on their way to finishing their second tool. By late afternoon most of their first tools of the day were done and several had started a second if not third tool. As 5pm approached, all of us were hot, dirty and tired but the students all had a great sense of accomplishment and empowerment at their new found skills and completed tool.
As usual, here are lots of pictures of the students and work.