JoeNovack

Most Important Lessons???

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Rule #1 - Always know what the hand that doesn't have the tool in it is doing and where it is.

Rule #2 - Don't be embarrased by using personal protection equipment. i.e. safety glasses, ear plugs or muffs, resperators, etc...

Rule #3 - Don't rush.

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rules

1. safety

2. patience

3. start small

if you talking about a basic lesson plan

1. overlapping to strengthen (example joints)

2. let tool do the work for you by knowing its capabilities (example a saw will work hard with the motion and not by pushing on it.)

3. knowing the material example where lumber comes from and how the wood can be affected

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The most important lesson that I learned from my dad is having the correct tool for the job will allow you to do that job safer and more efficient.

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(Shop) rule number one: Looking odd in glasses is better than not being able to see. Safety glasses (and blade guards) are there for a reason.

(Shop) rule number two: trying a technique for the first time is fine. Trying it without the appropriate tools is not. while the experienced can skip a step or two because they know how the tool works, or what they are supposed to be doing with it, if you don't know what is supposed to happen, don't take shortcuts.

Rule number 3: Don't cheat. It's not any fun if you don't do it the way you're supposed to.

(This is a different set of rules than my driving rules, but Rule 3 is the same in most of what I do.)

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My first lesson is always how to sharpen a pencil.

I then like to teach students some basic sharpening techniques emphasizing hand control rather than using jigs.

Beyond that, take your time and play safe.

Lastly impressing upon them that fixing mistakes takes more time than avoiding them but that making mistakes is part of learning.

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I would say

1-That you will hurt yourself, you can only avoid/eliminate/reduce risks that you are aware of, thinking that you will not get hurt will only cause you to take unnecessary risks.

2-That you will make mistakes, a lot of them, if you take the time to think through what your about to do and look for all the places where you could mess up you will be able to avoid most if not all of them. Every time you make a mistake stop and figure out what you did wrong and how you could of prevented it, there is nothing wrong with making mistakes they are part of the learning curve, but making the same mistake over and over is not acceptable.

3-Ask for help, don't assume that you have to know everything or have to do everything by yourself.

bonus- Complex tasks become simpler the more you break them done into there base components, take things one step at a time.

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bonus- Complex tasks become simpler the more you break them done into there base components, take things one step at a time.

This got me thinking... A friend of mine, in the computer technology fields, once told me a tale about a computer programming class he had. He was slightly forewarned, so he planned ahead a bit, but the instructor came in one day before a long weekend and told everybody they only had one assignment over the weekend. That assignment was to write a set of instructions on how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

That following school day, the instructor came in with a couple dozen jars of peanut butter, same numbers of jelly, "armloads of bread," plastic silverware aplenty, and lots of paper towels. This was the first realization most of the students had that this was not as simple as they thought.

Some of the instructions were as simple as "put peanut butter on bread, put bread on top and smush," which resulted in the instructor taking one loaf of bread and setting it down, setting a jar of peanut butter (unopened) on top, and taking another loaf of bread and putting it on top, and smushing it together.

That conversation has stayed with me, and I think about it everytime I'm about to break something down into steps. Even if it's ridiculously simple, I still try to break it down this way.

(I still end up spilling peanut butter on the floor, though. I'm not perfect.)

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Probably best if this thread had been separated into two subcategories: Top three skills and top three safety maxims.

Some of the biggest non-safety-related lessons for me have been:

- Creeping up on a finished dimension. Keep a work piece at a ballpark size for as long as possible and don't cut it to it's final dimension until necessary.

- Cut similar sizes in batches. Vastly more accurate and you spend less time changing tool settings.

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Rule 1 - Safety is paramount - wear the gear or don't go in the shop

Rule 2 - Know how to maintain your equipment, and do so regularly

Rule 3 - Have patience and take your time - it is a hobby afterall

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