NOTE: Due to the ongoing public health emergency and restrictions, all In-House classes have been suspended until further notice. 

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Schoolhouse Adventures with Andrew & Jas

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Schoolhouse Facilities Coordinator Andrew Riiska and Shop Assistant Jasmanie Gonzales have been working diligently to make our schoolhouse a better and safer work environment for all. From removing old machines and adding new woodworking machines that were gifts to the Eliot School, to shifting the layout and painting the space, Andrew and Jas are making sure that when our doors open, we are ready for some good creativity for all.
Join the journey towards reworking the schoolhouse with Andrew’s blog post, coming out every Friday. Read his first blog post below: 

Schoolhouse Adventures with Andrew & Jas

The Eliot School community united in a natural and beautiful way to improve the schoolhouse and shop. Our neighbors and friends brought their suggestions, energy and time in a major push towards our goal. Everything, including fundraising, grants, loans and wonderful donations, amazingly came together at just the right time to allow us to use the very unfortunate closure of the schoohouse, due to the pandemic, to find space to work on improvements. Looking back at all that came together for this moment was nothing short of a miracle. Jas and I are fully cognizant that this time and space for improvement is very rare at the school and so we have taken the opportunity very seriously. Both are honored to be a part of these changes and hope that the combined efforts will help the Eliot School to continue “to inspire lifelong learning in craftpersonship and creativity for all” long into the future. –– Facilities Coordinator Andrew Riiska.

A generous gift from a neighbor has allowed us to hire our Facilities crew full-time to work on our schoolhouse this fall. Here, Shop Assistant Jasmanie Gonzalez re-lays our crooked basement floor, part of major improvements to our basement classroom. Keep an eye out for more videos of schoolhouse improvements, coming soon. If you would like to contribute financially to this effort, please contact Executive Director Abigail Norman.



Posted September 16, 2020

With our InHouse closed, Jas and I have had opportunity to work on the School house space with no interruptions. We are eagerly awaiting the arrival of our new Felder 20" Planer/Jointer combination machine for our wood shop. The fundamentals of most woodworking projects begin with twisting and moving rough sawn wood that dry after being harvested and straightening for fine furniture. This process requires two machines. The Jointer which is the straightener, which flattens one side of the wood. It works like a deli slicer taking a little bit of uneven cheese off with each pass over the blade until you get a nice full slice of cheese.                                                                

Once you have one side flattened, the jointer is used to copy the recently flattened side onto the opposite side of the board.  This is also where you can mill—the process of making a piece of lumber flat and square—your board to a specific thickness, once it is flat on both sides. This machine is often referred to as a thickness planer.                                            
As you can see above, space is very tight in our Wood Shop.  At the moment, we have an 8-inch Powermatic Jointer and a 12-inch Grizzly Jointer upstairs in the Wood Shop. We also have a 20-inch Grizzly planer located in the basement. This means to start any project in the shop a student must retrieve their wood from the cubbies in the basement, walk it upstairs to join it, then take it back down stairs to the basement to plane it. Think about it, a lot of up and down in an old building, with low ceilings, while holding wood. Not to mention the sound the planner makes, which means that no other class can occur in the basement while Woodworking Open Shop class is running because the planer is very loud.  
A few of the dilemmas on my mind as Facilities Coordinator of the Eliot School. Join me next Friday for the rest of this adventure, as I figure out how to best fit the machines in the schoolhouse, and much more.