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May 6, 2008 2:54 PM

Woodworking Centre of Ontario

Conestoga College has offered a unique training program in Woodworking since 1967. It combines training in custom furniture design and manufacturing and training in production manufacturing as well.

Tim Howitt, Matt Freund and Richard Freeman

The Woodworking Technician program is a two year program which prepares the student for working in a variety of disciplines. It is best suited to the person who enjoys the hands on aspect of the industry. Students will be trained on a variety of conventional machines ( table saw, jointer, planer, routers, shapers, sanders etc.) as well as production machines ( moulder, edgebander, beam saw, automatic shapers, facer-planer, rip saws etc.). Students will also receive training in spray finishing, engineering, joinery and materials, along with computerized equipment at an introductory level.

There are four levels of training in this program. In level one, students are assigned two woodworking projects which must be manufactured on an individual basis. In level two students will work as a group and produce a piece of furniture on a production basis. ie: 16 students will manufacture 20 hall tables. In level three students will choose from several pre-designed packages which they will manufacture. In level four students will design and manufacture a project of their choice with some restrictions. Typical projects include: bed frames, dressers, poker tables, guitars, snow board, entertainment units, desks, coffee and end tables. Makita tools have sponsored an award for the best project as chosen by the program faculty. Graduates of this program can be employed as cabinetmakers in kitchen shops, hardwood flooring, stair building, trim installers, furniture manufacturing, product sales and product suppliers.

Josh Nowak

The Woodworking Technology Co-op program is a three year program offering two disciplines to choose from. Woodworking Technology Co-op is geared toward the furniture industry and Woodworking Technology Architectural Co-op program prepares the student to work in areas which requires structural issues such as windows and doors, stairs, built-in cabinets, interior trim etc. There are nine levels of training which includes three paid work terms and six in school sessions. The training in the co-op programs includes advanced training in computer product development and CNC machining practices as well as other engineering disciplines. Students will begin their training learning conventional machines but will progress to advanced technology as the program advances. These students will also be allowed to design and manufacture a project of their own design in the sixth semester. Typical projects produced are musical instruments, entertainment units, bed frames, dressers, living room and dining-room furniture. Makita Tools will also sponsor an award for the best project designed and manufactured in this program. Graduates from this program will be trained to work as supervisors and project managers, CNC programmers, architectural designers, project estimators, machine operators etc.

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