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Carving a new way of woodworking at Kildare


The art of woodworking has been reimagined at the girls-only Kildare College, with skateboards, chess sets and ukuleles being produced and not a table or bookcase in sight.

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With only one per cent of Australia’s carpentry workforce being female, Kildare took the bold step last year of offering a revamped Materials Solutions component of the Stage 2 Design, Digital Technologies and Engineering subject.

Students were asked to design and create their own woodworking project, based on their interests and passions.

Expert guidance was provided by a representative from the Northern Turners Association, who demonstrated different techniques for using chisels and other tools to complete more intricate work. Students also learned how to use heavier machinery such as wood turning machines and routers.

Passionate skateboarder Shayla used her newly acquired skills to make her own skateboard. She created a template and prototype board to ensure the correct weight and balance, experimenting with different resins and materials to produce her own grip. Shayla then learnt about pyrography to transfer her artwork onto the timber.

Sara chose to make a chess set using huon pine and western myall woods. She used a wood turning machine to create each piece by hand, presenting the completed set in a beautifully crafted timber box.

Olivia, who created a concert ukulele, received a SACE Merit Award for the subject.

Kildare College principal Tina Neate said the response to the course from students was exceptional. “It opens up another pathway into engineering for the students to pursue a STEM career if they choose. We are delighted to be able to offer this subject to our students.”



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