By the time this report is published we will know if the startup of the BW shop was a success including resumption of classes. The schedule for the Woodworking Technology classes was aggressive. With E500 and E511 planned in the first week of opening. Hopefully it went well. Laser classes (E601) following right behind. Students finishing E511 on Oct 21st will want to schedule one-on-one certification training on the RA CNC. Current and soon future certified operators will be seeking certification on the BW CNC.
As a reminder there are three levels of certification for the BW CNC - the horizontal table (traditional 3 axis milling), the vertical table (3 axis milling but, on the ends/edges of boards, and the 5-axis turning center. Those interested will be guided through the process by Paul Porter, Bob Thomas, and myself.
I would like to share one topic we are working on. Should we redesign E500? As recently as three years ago we found it necessary to know students had enough basic Windows experience to succeed in the classes. We wanted to avoid embarrassment for the student and prevent loss of the limited instruction time scheduled for the classes. Now we are seeing mostly computer-savvy students. So how do we ensure basic skills exist, that required software is installed properly, and done in an efficient manner for our instructors? Currently, we feel we need to ask all students to take the half day class, tying up an instructor for only 1/2-day, vs individual screening. I hope our new members can understand the need for us to move cautiously on possible alternatives.
We will continue to look at keeping the class as short as possible, especially for the computer literate. Please stay tuned.