Since September, our class has been taking part in a French/English project with Mr. Castro, our carpentry teacher, and Mrs. Olivier, our English teacher. One of the goals of the project was to make a kitchen trolley combining our carpentry skills with our English skills. Every two weeks (on Thursday from 4pm to 5pm), Mrs. Olivier came to the woodworking workshop. She helped us to practice our English linked to our professional field of carpentry. As for Mr. Castro, he instructed us on the technical points of our kitchen trolley.
Over the course of the weeks that we have been working on this project, we focused on the different steps necessary for building our kitchen trolley. We learnt how to use tools, machines, to measure boards and to work with wood. When we were using tools and machines in the workshop, Mr. Castro would regularly mention safety issues and precautions to us.
I Our Project : Building a Kitchen Trolley
A kitchen trolley is useful in a kitchen. It has four legs, a table-top, a shelf, two drawers and a rack for bottle storage. We were given the choice of either oak or beech. There is a color difference and a density difference between the two. Oak wood is brown and thicker whereas beech wood is a lighter type of wood.
II Tools and Machines
Working on this project, we learnt how to use different tools and machines. We used a saw, a wood chisel, a bench plane and a mallet. Once we got the hang of these machines, we had to cut and to process the various parts of our kitchen trolley. We made use of a band saw, a planer (to flatten and smooth out wood) and a facer (to shape wood) for our planks. In order to remove all the wood bumps we used a sander. Once we had all the boards properly processed, we used an electric drill, screws and some wood-glue to put all the pieces together. Clamps were useful to maintain all the pieces tightly together while the wood-glue dried.
III Following Assembly Instructions
Throughout this process, we developed our skills at following assembly instructions, and also our measurement and mathematical skills. A tape measure and ruler were used to measure out the right lengths of boards.
IV Kitchen Trolley : Five-step Process :
Constructing the kitchen trolley was divided into five parts :
• the shelf.
• the kitchen trolley sides (with the four legs).
• the four bottle rack storage.
• the top : flat surface.
• the two drawers.
V Safety and Hazards in a Workshop
• Always listen carefully to the teacher and follow his instructions.
• Correctly set all machines and know how to use them.
• Know where the emergency stop buttons are positioned on the machines.
• Always maintain a clean workbench and remove shavings and sawdust.
• Always wear safety equipment (protective overalls, safety shoes, protective goggles, earmuffs...).
• Keep hands away from moving parts or rotating blades.
VI Our multidisciplinary Project : Skills Developed
• We learnt to be precise while measuring.
• We learnt that reading plans is not an easy task.
• We learnt about the different types of wood and about machines and tools.
• We learnt how to work together as a team and to help each other when it was needed.
• Thanks to Mrs. Olivier, we learnt the English words related to carpentry.
• We became capable of explaining, in English, our project to Mrs. Olivier, and therewith to develop our English fluency related to our professional project.
• Carpentry is a long process which requires patience, precision and dexterity. It was a personal pleasure to see the final result.
2TMA’s team : Broadening Horizons through Bilingual Vocational Skills.