Notes on Ritchey's Woodwork

Acquired through, my 100-year-old copy of Ritchey's textbook shows it age, including having the bound pages separating from the cover. After reading Richards 1907 Conference Address, I recalled something about what Ritchey -- as a classroom teacher -- says in his 1905 textbook that reveals similar cynicism about the state of the art in the era's woodworking machines.

Put bluntly, it must have been a tough time to be teaching woodworking courses. Students were Perhaps the most dramatic method of demonstrating how formidable

High School Manual Training Course







Instructor in R. T. Crane Manual Training High School





This course, in its entirety, has been in daily use for nearly three years in the Richard T. Crane Manual Training High School, Chicago. The greater part of it has been in use many years longer. It is the result of an experience of nearly fifteen years in high school manual training work.

It was prepared originally to save time spent by a pupil in writing in his shop note book the many helpful points suggested by his instructor. Such facts, and even the demonstrations, ought to be at the pupil's disposal for future reference, since young people cannot grasp fully even very slow and careful explanations and demonstrations involving the use of unfamiliar tools and appliances.

The description of the equipment and prices and supplies was added to become a part of the boy's wider knowledge of his shop, and in the hope that the items may be helpful to other instructors or schools contemplating manual training.

The short studies on trees and wood are supplemented by lectures on wood, given in the assembly hall, and illustrated by two hundred lantern slides, the property of the school. These lectures take up the preservation of forests, the effect of forests on rainfall and climate, on floods and drought, tree planting, lumbering, milling, transporting, seasoning.

from pp. 207-208:

Helpful Suggestions:--

Motors and Machinery

If the manual training room is not too large, and there is no occasion for long shafting, the machines may be driven by directly connected motors, though this method has its disadvantages; the machines do not start so easily or quickly as those having a loose and tight pulley, and in the case of the band saw the instructor must start the electrically driven saw every time, or let it run continuously, as the younger pupils cannot be trusted to do this; while the saw with the old-fashioned tight and loose pulley, with its shifting lever, may be started and stopped by any one at will.

A pony planer or single surfacer is almost a necessity for the use of teachers in getting out material. There is nothing but manual labor for the pupil in planing a one-inch-thick board of hard woodoak or sycamore down to a half-inch or less, especially since the pupil has received many weeks' training in planing true surfaces in carpentry before beginning cabinet work.

The circular saw is of course part of the equipment for the use of teachers only.

The band saw and scroll saws are perfectly safe for the pupils to use, and their educational value as tools beyond question,their simple mechanical construction and the association of the pupil with such simple power-driven machinesthe necessity of curved work in the course in cabinet making and pattern making,and the training in following the marked curved and straight lines with the saw.

Truing devices for grindstones enable the instructor to keep the stones perfectly true and perfectly sharp, thereby aiding the amateurs to keep their plane-bits and chisels in proper condition.

The shaving exhauster not only carries away the shavings, but the fine dust from the planer and the circular and band saws, keeping the air of the room quite pure and free from dust.

The turning shop should have one large motor to drive the main and line shafts, and each lathe have its countershaft with loose and tight pulleys, easily controlled by the pupils.

Several grindstones with truing devices are necessary in this shop.

The convenient tool case at the end of each lathe contains drawers for the use of each pupil, serving to hold his work and his individual tools, also a tool drawer to hold the general tools and the shorter rests and face plates,making each lathe complete in itself,—he pupil finding it unnecessary to leave his lathe to go to the tool room.