Session C: Tool Training

Thanks for joining us for week three of camp. We are excited to welcome back three alumni campers (with Robert and Marly only taking a two day break from camp!) in addition to some new and friendly faces.

You are joining us here for our first morning circle, where we learn each others spirit tools and get to know each other a bit better (it turns out that given the option of an additional limb, a lot of campers would choose to have a drill - which we think would be pretty rad here at Project Ember!) 

After talking about the best ways to be excellent to each other and, of course, stay safe on site, we got down to business - tool training. We have some specific equipment that we intentionally spend time teaching the correct use, health and safety procedures and tips and tricks; namely the miter saw, drills and clamps, as these are the most useful and widely used tools here at camp. However, it became evident pretty early on day one that we would require the expertise of a number of additional tools and equipment, so since we've spent all day learning about and using new tools, we thought we'd share them with you too... 

Clamps (aka your new best friend)

Whilst clamps are a fairly straight forward piece of equipment, we like to spend a bit of time emphasising their most effective use, in order to empower our campers to become more independent. A few clamps can do a much better job than a buddy, a collaborator or even a parent (that's right!) at holding wood securely, so that you can make accurate cuts or strong joints. 


Miter saw

The miter saw is one of our most powerful and useful tools at camp; it allows us to cut our lumber into a variety of sizes and angles, enabling a greater range of shapes and structures to be built and giving campers creative freedom in their designs. As a high-speed power tool, it requires a serious chat about safety and a best practise demonstration from a collaborator (who supervises its use at all times). But as you can see from the pics above, our campers quickly demonstrated competency and have been eager to get to work on it.


Drills and Impact Drivers

Say hello to our most popular and commonly used tools on camp - cordless drills and impact drivers. As you can see from the photos above, just about everybody was using the drills and drivers this afternoon! The vast majority of our builds use screws to join wood in various guises; from structures supporting human weight to decorative facades, bowling ball runs to free-moving carts (and everything else in between), so we need to be able to depend upon the safety and integrity of these joints. Drill training focusses on...



Today saw the ladies absolutely dominating on the jigsaw! The jigsaw does not always make an appearance at camp; it is entirely project dependent (but we've got a feeling we're going to be using it a lot this week!) The jigsaw allows us to cut curves and more intricate shapes, which is particularly useful for projects with strong aesthetic elements (last weeks dinosaurs were created using the jigsaw). 


Power sander

The power sander is another tool that does not always say hello during a week at camp, but it has already made itself indispensable (and it's only day one!) The power sander does what it says on the tin - it is a faster and often more effective way of removing rough sections of lumber and creating a smooth finish. 



Whilst paint is not exactly a tool, it is a useful component in our work and can be essential in communicating the narrative behind our projects. Believe it or not, we also spend time talking through the best practises of paint use, giving campers some tips and tricks to create the most effective designs possible and enabling them to take responsibility to keep their workspace neat and tidy.