Woodshop Projects for High School Students

Instructor: David Wood

David has taught Honors Physics, AP Physics, IB Physics and general science courses. He has a Masters in Education, and a Bachelors in Physics.

Woodworking skills are rare, but can be a huge boon to students. It's also a class that can be a lot of fun once students start to gain some skills. Here are some ideas for woodshop projects for your high school students.

High School Woodshop Projects

Woodworking is a dying skill these days. People are so used to buying whatever they want ready made, that they've lost the ability to do things for themselves. Giving students the opportunity to try woodworking for themselves can have a big impact on their appreciation for the craft, and their ability to DIY their way through a problem, instead of running to a retailer. However, when starting out, woodworking can be rather daunting. That's why it's important to have good ideas for projects that are achievable, while still being challenging. Here are some possible projects for high school woodshop classes.

Box Projects

The basic idea of building a box is an important skill because there are so many products that are based on a box design. Being able to create the joints appropriate for a particular box, and put together a design of any size, is a useful skill for students to have. Here are some ideas for projects that are based around a simple box design:

  • Trinket box
  • Hope chest
  • Jewelry box
  • Music box
  • Cube candle holder
  • Business card holders
  • Pendulum clock
  • Birdhouse
  • Plant pot
  • Toolbox
  • Toy box
  • Mini Foosball table
  • Dollhouse
  • Mailbox
  • Desk inbox
  • Moneybox

Artistic Projects

Not all woodshop projects have to be functional. There's something to be said for students letting their creative instincts flow. Students can build all kinds of interesting sculptures, from carvings of animals, to abstract shapes meant to represent certain emotions. Obviously, any project has to be challenging enough to be a functional achievement in woodshop, but there are a lot of ways students can be artistic while still challenging themselves. Here are a few ideas:

  • Abstract sculpture
  • Human statue or ornament (in a particular pose)
  • Wall art
  • Garden gnome
  • Miniature building or castle
  • Animal sculptures
  • Wooden sculptures and totems as a homage to native peoples
  • Miniature bridge
  • Miniatures of scenes, or sets, from movies

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