Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Carpenter Shop

Today's picture shows men working in a carpentry shop. The picture was taken in 1939 in Lufkin, Texas. Back when I was in school, we were all taught how to use tools like this radial arm saw. I got really good skills in shop class that I still use today. It would be a rarity today to have a school that still taught carpentry and cabinetry. 


  1. Looks like the carpenter is getting ready to rip a bevel, a tricky procedure on a radial arm saw. At least he is doing the setup with the saw running! Tolerance for fear must have been different then.
    Beautiful, new, shop they're working in & possibly on.

  2. In the early 1930s in a big-city high school, my father took shop class, along with all the regular college-prep classes. The impression he gave me was that this was a basic shop class, required of all the boys (and that no girls were allowed--they all had to take a basic home economics class). There were many other such classes for those who were using them as vocational classes, but this was the only such class he took.Only one piece he made in the class remains in the family. It may have been his final project. It's a "hope chest" that he made for his mother, to whom he was very close. It is made of 1.5 or 2 " stripes of light (oak) and a very dark wood, beautifully made, with the lid in a "log cabin" quilt design, though rectangular instead of square. Fifty years later he had to put an extra layer of plywood under the lid, as it would no longer support much weight. It is still a beautiful piece of workmanship, done when he was about 15. My sister stores linens in it. Everyone knows not to sit on it or put anything heavy on it!

  3. I never made anything as fancy as a hope chest, but in late '50s, in 7th & 8th grade I had "woodshop", :metal shop" & "mechanical drawing". In woodshop (7th grade), we learned about carpenter hand tools & some shop power tools. 7th grade metalshop was also very basic. In 8th grade was a whole year of mechanical drawing. Since no classes like that have been available for years, I have done what I could to teach my sons & grandsons about tool use, etc. Worked well with sons, not so much with grandsons (to interested in their electronic "devices").


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