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Thread: Your High School shop from the 70's.

  1. #1

    Your High School shop from the 70's.

    Did you take shop class in the 70's in either Junior High or High School? If so what to do you recall about the shop?

    The reason I ask is as I complete my shop I'm taking the time to make it look as close as I can to what a shop from that era would have looked like, it's an homage to the first place I experienced wood working. 40 years later I'm finally realizing the dream of my own shop.

    Where I'm at this far.

    Shop is 20 x 30 with 10 walls. Upper 6' of the walls are white, the lower 4' are an light industrial green. Door and window trim, baseboards and floor are a darker green. Craigslist and ebay purchases of vintage items include: School wall clock, surface mounted speaker box, school bell, exit sign, wall mount first aid kit (to hide garage door opener and dc remote storage). The instructors dest is a steel vintage tanker style desk accessorized with vintage lamp, pencil sharpener, phone etc. The closet housing my ClearVue 1800 will be made to look like a bank of lockers. A bulletin board will feature the hot lunch menu of the week as well as other flyers etc.

    So let your memory take you back. what do you recall about your shop? What notices or instructional/warning posters did you shop teacher hang? What kind of stuff did you see on the bulletin board? Did you shop instructor mark the floor with caution stripes to designate certain areas? Were there lockers? A tool crib? Any memories will help, photos even better. Unfortunately my yearbooks did not give much attention to the shop and google searches don't yield much.

    Thanks in advance,

    Stuart

  2. #2
    I remember an old style Water Fountain, Garage door, Eye and hand wash sink and a 4' x 8 or 10' black board... Then there was the seperate room with windows looking into the shop that was the actual classroom.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Gan View Post
    I remember an old style Water Fountain, Garage door, Eye and hand wash sink and a 4' x 8 or 10' black board... Then there was the seperate room with windows looking into the shop that was the actual classroom.
    Good suggestions. I'd love to install a vintage sink. One issue is giving up wall space for the sink, beyond that is my shop is 120 feet away from the house so just getting electrical was $$$, pluming was a luxury I couldn't swing. I may do a hand washing sink taking water from my sprinkler system and draining the grey water to the yard. I think I can squeeze in a black board somewhere. Thanks.
    Last edited by Stuart Welsh; 08-05-2014 at 11:51 PM.

  4. #4
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    I was in High School in the '60s, but I doubt it had changed much by the '70s. I never walked through the door, or even remember ever looking in the room. 3 months after graduating college, I decided I didn't want to be an employee, and have been using tools that were in that shop ever since.

  5. #5
    In the lathe there there should be a cylinder with less than artful not quite equidistant grooves. Was gonna be a lamp....
    but never got finished. Clearly the most popular lathe project!

  6. #6
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    I graduated in 1980, but took shop class 77-78 in 10th grade. I remember the 24" planer that I decided to use to take 1/4" off, in one pass, of a 20" wide white oak glued up panel. Shook the whole friggen building. "Coach" came over and shut her down and asked me what I was thinking. I told him I thought I would make it flat. He just walked away.

    I remember a loft area where the boards were kept. I remember lockable rooms for each class period to keep their projects. Painted cinder block construction. I remember large square tables (desks) where all 4 sides had a face vise. Chairs were really stools. I remember the "tool room", which had a dutch door. Concrete floors. A mongo dust collection system. Very loud.

    Total lack of safety guards on machines.

  7. #7
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    I had shop classes in the mid 60's. Our shop had acoustical cork tile ceilings. There were large square workbench tables with woodworking vises at at least 2 corners. They had 2" thick maple tops and lockers under the tables for your books and purses. Yes we had a couple of girls in our classes.

    The most memorable event was one of the guys was trying to rip board on a Delta cabinet saw and couldn't get the blade to cut. He left the saw running and walked over to get the teacher. Just as the two of them returned to the saw the instructor hit the switch to turn off the saw, the blade came off the arbor dropped down into the bottom of the saw and then ran across the floor, climbed the wall and stuck in the cork ceiling. The guy had used the dado throat plate and had not put on the blade retaining nut. The instructor stopped all work, gave us all a long safety lecture and then hung a sign on the blade hanging from the cork that said this is what happens when you don't follow proper procedures. That blade stayed there for the entire year. We moved at the end of the school year so I don't know if it stayed there longer than that.
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  8. #8
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    Have a teacher standing by with only 3 fingers on one hand?
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    Sounds like a neat project for your shop. I am fortunate to have one of the maple tables from a high school shop that shut down (got it for $250 with 2 vises still on it). I rank it as one of the best tools in my shop. Large surface area and heavy enough I can pound on it without it bouncing around.

  10. #10
    I remember several large butcher block work tables. These were about 4" thick and 6' square with a woodworking vise on each corner. Storage cabinets were underneath as the bases. Each one could accommodate 4 students with moderate size projects.

    When I was in ninth grade, I really didn't like my shop teacher. He left his teaching manual on one of those tables and left the shop for fifteen minutes. I opened it to a random page and used a three pound hammer to drive a 60D nail through it into the table. I thought everyone was going to lose it when he returned and tried to pick up that book, but everyone kept mum and I never got in trouble for it.

    After my next stunt, though, I wasn't so lucky. While he was in his office with the door closed, I tack welded the hinges. He had to call one of the maintenance guys and they had to grind the tacks off. He was not happy ......

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Lee Schierer View Post
    ...The most memorable event was one of the guys was trying to rip board on a Delta cabinet saw and couldn't get the blade to cut. He left the saw running and walked over to get the teacher. Just as the two of them returned to the saw the instructor hit the switch to turn off the saw, the blade came off the arbor dropped down into the bottom of the saw and then ran across the floor, climbed the wall and stuck in the cork ceiling. The guy had used the dado throat plate and had not put on the blade retaining nut. The instructor stopped all work, gave us all a long safety lecture and then hung a sign on the blade hanging from the cork that said this is what happens when you don't follow proper procedures. That blade stayed there for the entire year. We moved at the end of the school year so I don't know if it stayed there longer than that.
    What a sight that must have been! I'm so tempted to mount a blade in the ceiling and claim I experienced the same thing in my school!

  12. #12
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    Earlt 80's but similar (and I don't think any of the equipment was all that new).

    A PM90 lathe (I think? it might have been a 45, but I know I turned one platter that would have been well on the large size for a 45 and don't remember having clearance issues) in the corner under a tall window covered in wire mesh (presumably to repel projectiles).

    A large combo disk and oscillating spindle sander (I think I remember it because you could see the whole guts of how it worked) - I'm guessing it was probably either a Wysong & Miles or an Oliver (slight odds on the Oliver but I really don't remember for sure).

    +1 on the large square benches.

    Man I can't even remember what the room really looked like anymore.

  13. #13
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    I had wood shop class in two different Minneapolis schools in 1973-74 (7th grade) and then 1975-76 (9th grade). The two schools were built in different neighborhoods and clearly at different times, which showed in the architecture and furnishings. One school was inner-city, built in 1931--with steel mesh covering dark stained sash windows. The other school was on the fringes of the suburbs and much more modern, built in 1958 as a multi-story building with rows of casement windows. The common points of both shops, as I can recall (memory is a little fuzzy), is that none of the equipment--table saw, router table, band saw--had safety guards, and the floors were tiled linoleum--green in the older one, and white in the newer. Both had fluorescent lighting, though the older school had protective cages. Chairs, desks, blackboard, etc., were in a dedicated classroom space in both, though their styles were both reflective of the age of the school. I also took basic carpentry and sheet metal fabrication courses at a vocational school, but that facility was much more modern and industrial than what you're probably trying to recreate.
    Last edited by Mike Ontko; 08-07-2014 at 10:13 AM.

  14. #14
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    I took shop in 6th & 7th in the mid 70s. Don't remember much except the room was huge and dark, and the projects were boring, and I was no good at any of it. I didn't really learn much about tools until college. I learned most of my basic woodworking in grad school and from watching Norm.
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  15. #15
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    Took woodshop in the late 1950s. Thing that stuck in my mind most was the teacher talking to us about table saw safety. He gathered us all around the table saw, turned it on and threw a board into the blade. It shot back at a high rate of speed and stuck in the wall. Since that time I have always respected table saws. Don't think a teacher could get away with that today.
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