Mr. Fuller’s Woodshop Class

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Woodshop class photos by Mrs. Bard.

Mr. Fuller (standing in back on right side) working with students in his 9th-grade Woodshop class.

My two favorite classes at Rectory this year are Physics and Woodshop, and they actually complement each other. Woodshop is my last class every day, and I really look forward to getting to that class. In Woodshop, I feel relaxed and I enjoy working with my hands because it helps get my mind off of academics, which is a good “brain break.” My Woodshop teacher is Mr. Fuller who also teaches seventh-grade Earth Science. Mr. Fuller is a lot of fun, and he really knows his stuff when it comes to woodworking. He has made lots of furniture for the Rectory campus, including the librarian’s desk, Mrs. Hart’s new office furniture, a photo case on the wall in the elementary school hallway, and a table and bench in the Admissions area. His woodworking skills are nothing short of “genius,” so I wanted to ask him how he got started with woodworking and how he became so good at it. 

Mr. Fuller made this desk for Rectory’s librarian, Mrs. Tiebout.

 

This is the bench Mr. Fuller made that sits outside the Hettinger Library.

 

The DiRectory: What or who inspired you to start woodworking, Mr. Fuller?

Mr. Fuller: I grew up in a woodshop as my father ran a cabinetmaking business for over 50 years; so “free time” as a kid meant working there and helping out.

The DiRectory: How old were you when you first started to do woodworking?

Mr. Fuller: I probably started real woodworking around the age of ten. I’ve had my own business for about six years now.

The DiRectory: In addition to the work you’ve done for Rectory, what are some other woodworking projects you’ve completed over the years?

Mr. Fuller: On my own, I’ve made several tables, end tables, AV cabinets, and restorations of a few card catalogs.

The DiRectory: Which woodworking project are you most proud of and why?

Mr. Fuller: I’m most proud of my current kitchen table. It’s made from lumber that my grandfather harvested and milled well before I was born and that had been forgotten about. I turned it into a piece that will stay with me forever.

The DiRectory: When did you start teaching the woodshop class at Rectory?

Mr. Fuller: We started the program three years ago, after an almost 20-year hiatus.

The DiRectory: What skills does a person need to have to be good at woodworking?

Mr. Fuller: PATIENCE!!!! It also helps to have an understanding of basic math and geometry, as well as a creative eye. 

The DiRectory: What do you like most about teaching students how to make “things” with wood?

Mr. Fuller: It’s great to see students make something that they are proud of and show an interest in.

The DiRectory: What are some of the projects that Rectory students have created?

Mr. Fuller: Students in 8th-grade Woodshop have made some basic items that were preplanned, but ninth-graders are allowed to pick their own projects. For example, one year everyone made a Bluetooth speaker, and last year’s class started a 12-foot boat. We’ve also made a table and bench that sit by the Admissions Office, and this year’s students have just started individual projects.

The DiRectory: Thank you for taking the time to talk to us about your woodworking experiences, Mr. Fuller. And thank you for being such a great Woodshop teacher! I’ve really learned a lot from your class — not just the woodworking aspects, but I’ve also learned patience and how to unleash my creativity! 

 

 

Note from Reporter, Jimmy G.: My classmate, Peter, and I just finished making a bench that’s currently in the Admissions lobby near Mr. Williams’ office. I’m taking Mr. Fuller’s Woodshop Class for a second term this winter, and I’ll finish making the hockey stick rack that I started in the fall, which will come in handy at home. That’s what I like about learning how to create with wood; not only do you feel a sense of satisfaction when you finish a project, but you can actually use the items in your everyday life, too. Having Woodshop as my last class, just before sports, is a good transition from the academic day. It relaxes me and calms my mind, which gives me more energy for sports. Taking Mr. Fuller’s Woodshop Class has been one of the best experiences I’ve had at Rectory. Mr. Fuller’s expertise is definitely worth sharing with students, and I can’t thank him enough for what he’s taught me.

Jimmy and his classmate Peter made this bench in Mr. Fuller’s Woodshop class. It is now in the sitting area between the Admissions Office and the Headmaster’s Office.