Our first project at the school was to make a pair of wooden vice blocks. The aim was to teach us the basic skills of filing and sawing, working with a relatively easy material in wood, and get us used to following an engineering drawing.
We started with a rectangular piece of wood that we first had to make flat and parallel. The next challenge was to saw and file a specified angle on each end as shown in the drawing. Once this was complete we had to file a step on one end to a certain depth and width. We then focused on the opposite end, a v-shaped groove had to be filed, again to measurements dictated by the drawing. The whole block was then finished using sandpaper to give a clean and crisp finish.
Once the first one was completed, we had to repeat the whole process again but on a smaller scale and with two v-shaped grooves at one end this time. I completed the larger block with relative ease but a few small errors on the smaller version resulted in me completing one to the required standard at the third attempt!
Before coming to the school the last time I had done anything like this was back in secondary school design & technology class some 6 years ago! I was pretty much starting with no skills at all so I was pleased to have completed both blocks and learnt the basics of sawing and particularly filing. With the confidence of completing our first project, I was really looking forward to the next one. Although at this point, working on anything watch related seemed a long way off!