When Philpott began teaching the class in 2006, the shop contained a ban saw and a drill press. With his continued management, the shop now boasts over $20,000 worth of machines, including various lathes, sanders, saws, and finishing materials.
The latest addition to the woodshop’s array of machines is a computerized numeric control (CNC) engraving machine, which allows the students to manipulate an image or text using the machine’s software, and then set parameters that guide a drill bit to cut or engrave the image in wood.
Sophomore Hannah Phelps said, “Using your imagination, you can really make about anything in this class.” Her classmate Devaney Bright agreed. As they both watched the CNC machine cut shapes of the continents out of a piece of cherry wood, Bright described projects she has made for her mom and her current inlaid map project. “I like learning how to use tools that I wouldn’t have gotten a chance to otherwise,” she added. Both she and Phelps are planning on taking welding class from Mr. Philpott next semester.
“I want the students to feel comfortable in a shop setting, use different machines, and work with their hands,” he said. Campion—and Dan Philpott—value hands-on education that provides students with skills they can use now and in the future. Philpott hopes students will walk away with the skills and confidence to tackle future projects and household fixes themselves.