- By following a specific set of instructions, and meeting high production standards, students will be forced to improve accuracy with respect to print-reading, measurement, machine set-up, and assembly.
- Students will also develop an appreciation of the importance of using jigs and fixtures in the manufacturing process.
- Students will also develop skills in problem solving, organization, and teamwork.
- Let the students build the project without jigs first. This really helps them understand the usefulness of taking the extra time to make a jig.
- Take the time to make easy-to-use jigs. This is important for SAFETY, and for longevity. A poorly designed jig will be misunderstood and misused by students. Trust me, nothing is fool proof. Someone in your class will find a way to ruin your best creation.
- Use a log-sheet of some sort. The students need a way to track their progress.
- Have a good storage system in place for project work, and stress the importance of not wasting materials. I evaluate groups on their quality control, and efficiency. Because of this, you will find that groups will try to hide their mistakes, and grab some more lumber, or even other group's completed work.
- Stress the importance of problem-solving. To try and detract from the possibilities of the above mentioned step, I remind students that I'm equally impressed by their ability to problem-solve and document their mistakes and fixes. For example: Some groups might cut an arm piece too short. Could it be saved and used for a leg?
- I have yet to create assembly jigs. I have found that despite my best efforts, there are very few groups that will produce accurate enough pieces to make assembly jigs worthwhile. Even a sixteenth of inch difference at the table saw, will cause problems when it comes to assembly.