The Making of a checker board is really a beginning woodworking project taught to kids in wood shop classes around the age of 15. Oh, hang on, what wood shop classes? There are very few nowadays due to budget cuts or liability or whatever reason. What a shame. Not all kids are University bound nor should they be. There is a Proverb that says something like, “Raise up a child in the way they should go.” I used to think the parents were the ones who determined the best course for their kids, but I’ve been enlightened. The Proverb says, “…the way THEY should go.” not the way we think they should go. Ya Ya you want your kid to do something considered a part of the intelligentsia like those in the current big banking industry. Who do you think designed and fabricated the desk and office they work in? And where will the next designers and builders come from? I think it might be time to reinstate the old wood and metal shop classes.
In this video of the Game On series I show how the checker board is laminated to a core material. The backgammon board is laminated to the other side of the same core. As I mentioned, a checker board is a beginning wood shop project so portions of the video take me back to “wood shop 101” or age 15. Wow that was a long time ago, as I will soon be 54.

So, where have all the wood shops gone? As a result of the ever fading Industrial Arts classes, as they once were, I believe there will be some developmental stuff that just won’t happen. Kids won’t learn a lot of stuff. Making a wooden chess board (or something similar) and the problems that are solved in the process, is just a tiny precursor to the bigger issues in life.

Now I’ll get off of my soap box (which is made of wood incidentally) and refer to a couple of articles that give some hope that the wisdom of the ages is still relevant. The Economist recently wrote an excellent article on this. Check out “Wisdom of the Hands” blog and finally another great article from the New York Times entitled “Kindergarten Shop Class” which I found very inspirational.

So there you have it! This is Dan Rieple. Believe it!

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