Shop Class Projects

Edison Junior High School - Hammond, Indiana

Things we made in school that our mothers and fathers saved throughout the years.

Gordon Funk was the man behind the Shop Class at Edison School in Hammond, Indiana. 
He presented us with a variety of things to make and manufacture based upon "What would your mother like to have?" 
Knowing that, he was confident that we would all do the very best job if we were making it for our Mother!

We had various areas of projects:  wood, plastic, metal and more wood.  We had a "Tool Bin" where we had to check out tools and return them when we were done. We watched movies on using the right tools for the right job. We hammered, we sawed, we filed, we planed wood. We learn how to measure, apply our arithmetic from other classes, how to use fractions on a tape measure. But from all of this, we developed confidence in ourselves. We learned how to solve problems, clean up our work area,  be responsible for the tools we borrowed, improve upon our failures, use power equipment, and appreciate the work of others.

Our work was so good, our craftsmanship so refined, that our Mothers saved these Edison Shop projects for years... Here is a collection of some of those Edison Shop projects under the supervision and keen eye of Mr. Gordon Funk, our shop teacher.


  Do you know what it is?
(Answer below...)

My mother loved this! And she used it often. Length is about 36 inches, made of pine. I got a "B". My mother died in 2009 and when we were cleaning out her basement, I found it on a shelf, always within her reach.

  Richard Barnes  
     Wooden Door Stop   John Nicksic  
    "the only shop project i may still have is that jewelry box. i do remember 2 other projects. we made. One was a clothesline storer. the best way to describe it was it had the shape of a rectangle with opposing handles on opposite  ends--I painted mine red.  ha ha. the other one was a flower vase. the base was a circular piece of Plexiglas 1/4" x 4".the main part was an 1/8" x 11/4"  piece of bar steel bent in the shape of an upside down question mark. may be that needs another ha ha there's a musical symbol that better describes it but i forgot what it's called. 2 holes were drilled through the bent steel & a test tube was inserted. no one had their choice of colors on this project. the metal part was painted a dull dull black a couple of levels below matte. the interesting thing about the paint was that we made it ourselves. it consisted of broken up 78 rpm records & i believe paint thinner. you have probably figured out that shop was my favorite class." -John Nicksic, Edison '55      
    Metal Leg Lamp

We had to cut the metal, pound the ends into "spoons", drill and bend the metal, then wire the lamp cord into the lamp base. This was my pride and joy, rescued from my mother's estate. It was still being used after more than 50 years, in her guest room.


  Richard Barnes  

One of our first wood projects: a napkin holder for our family table.

This item was made by John Dann but is exactly like the one our family used.

  John Dann  
  Plastic:  A plastic letter opener. We had to cut the strip of plastic, outline the image, saw and file the image down. In this "fancier - extra credit" job, John Dann ('57)  went for the twisted handle... Nice work!   John Dann  
  Wood - Cutting Board

by John Dann. This required finding suitable wood, measure and cut, gluing the pieces together, drilling the hole, sanding the corners round and the surface smooth. (1957)

  John Dann  

  John Dann
Richard Barnes

John Dann '57

         Richard Barnes '55


Answer: The wooden tool is used with wringer washing machines to fish your clothes out and move them around.
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