The Woodworking Centre at Conestoga’s Doon campus was transformed into a product showroom on Thursday, August 14, when second-year students displayed their capstone woodworking projects at Come See What We Saw, an annual exhibition of student works.
Students in the Woodworking Technology co-op diploma program completed design work on the projects in fall 2013, then began the manufacture of their creations in May, after returning from co-op placements in the winter term. The cost for materials was at the discretion of the builder, with the average project ringing in at $200 - $300. Basic veneers and solid woods of cherry, maple, ash and oak were available for purchase on-site, and if there were any non-standard woods the students wanted to incorporate, they had to acquire them on their own.
RAMPA Tec Inc., a German-owned fastener, hardware and tool supplier with a location in Waterloo, sponsors the annual manufacturing exhibit: a first prize finish yields a $250 cash award and entry into the college’s annual Technology Showcase event. The evaluation team considered the quality of workmanship and design and general manufacturing skills exhibited in the finished projects, including functionality, overall alignment of the elements and ease of drawer or assembly movement. Woodworking Centre faculty member Dennis O’Reilly said, “It always impresses me what they put together. (The pieces) are showcase-ready when they come here.”
The projects varied from functional everyday items such as bookcases and desks to special interest pieces such as a tack box and foosball table. One dresser had an intricate veneer inlay of an eagle that required both manufacturing and artistic skill. Attendees at the exhibit were disappointed to learn that the students kept their projects and that the items wouldn’t be available for purchase.
Before announcing the results, O’Reilly acknowledged the assistance of the shop technicians who helped students with the finishing aspects of their pieces. Then to add to the mounting anticipation, O’Reilly announced the winners by starting with John Hayman in third place for his cheval mirror/jewellery box cabinet, second place went to Julian Di Venosa for his Chinese checkers table and first overall was Jordan Gage, who manufactured an acoustic guitar and advances to the 2015 Technology Showcase.
The Woodworking Centre of Ontario is a 50,000 square foot facility at Conestoga that ranks among the world’s top woodworking training centres. Students have access to custom woodworking and production training as well as the latest in Computer Numerical Control (CNC) and drafting technology. For more information, visit the Centre's website.