Recommended approach for teaching saya construction

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Mariner

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Hi all - I'm working with a group of local youth (ages 11-18) and they're going through a series of hour-long activities this summer. A few of those activities deal with cooking, budgeting food expenses, and equipment safety. They'll each get a Victorinox chef knife upon completion of that unit before transitioning into a workshop unit.

One idea we had was to have an early project in woodworking where they make a blade guard for their knives. I have a few concerns about this:
  • Safety: they're still kids and do dumb things, so anything that could easily cost them a finger is off the table
  • Timing: we'll have an hour total for the activity including arrival/socializing at the beginning. It's okay if they get mostly finished and need to complete the project at home
  • Supervision: three adults will be available to help 10-15 youth
My best idea at present is to have them do a two-piece construction with soft poplar wood. We'll pre-cut the two pieces and have them chisel out the opening before gluing shut and sanding it smooth. We'll drill a pin hole at the end to keep the knife in place. Any suggestions here from more experienced makers?
 

TB_London

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3 piece would be quicker and easier - especially with only an hour and the need for supervision.
Trace around the knife, cut out with a fretsaw, glue together, drill pin hole - wooden axles for toy making work as ready made pins, then shape and smooth.

With a fair wind would be doable. Chiselling would consume the hour and less likely to lead to success if they haven’t done that sort of thing before.

Pre prepped stock - ripped to width would also save the need for them to do that
 

Mariner

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With a fair wind would be doable. Chiselling would consume the hour and less likely to lead to success if they haven’t done that sort of thing before.

Gotcha, glad you said this as I was clearly underestimating how time consuming it would be. I think I'll have the three pieces cut ahead of time and make the project about the glue-up and sanding.

Any recommendations on how to time the glue + sanding? I assume we'll want the pieces glued before shaping the outside but I don't have anything that cures under an hour.
 

M1k3

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Gotcha, glad you said this as I was clearly underestimating how time consuming it would be. I think I'll have the three pieces cut ahead of time and make the project about the glue-up and sanding.

Any recommendations on how to time the glue + sanding? I assume we'll want the pieces glued before shaping the outside but I don't have anything that cures under an hour.
5 minute epoxy?
 

TB_London

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CA glue and an activator is almost instant, just have to watch that they don’t glue their fingers together.

Not as strong as a proper wood glue but plenty strong enough
 
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