• Follow us on Instagram @MWHS.Catalyst
  • Follow us on Twitter @MWHSCatalyst for Breaking News
The Student News Site of Millard West High School

The Catalyst

The Student News Site of Millard West High School

The Catalyst

The Student News Site of Millard West High School

The Catalyst

From sawdust to success

Carpentry classes fix unusable equipment
John Fraser
Carpentry student work together to fix the rusted jointers. “That really hot, humid weather really rusted them out,” carpentry teacher John Fraser said. “We fixed them with a mix of chemicals, elbow grease, and of course the electrolysis.”

Over the summer, not only did the Carpentry classes gain a new teacher, but they also gained new equipment. Unfortunately, also over the summer, the jointers (used to make a flat surface along a board) were damaged and rusted by the humidity build-up. 

The district invested about $1,200 into new equipment for Carpentry and Woodworking classes. They received top-of-the-line equipment, including two new router tables and table saws. The jointers, however, were not replaced; they were damaged. During the summer, humidity had built up in the carpentry rooms, causing rust to build up on the jointers.

This photo shows how the jointers were before the students fixed them. (John Fraser)

“They were really rusted, and the blades were really dull,” sophomore Kenzie Peterson said. “It had jagged edges, and we’d get splinters really easily.”

Four classes helped disassemble and rebuild the jointers: the intermediate and advanced class students were split into groups and were all given different parts to work on re-building, taking apart, re-painting, or cleaning off. Each table would be called up at separate points in the day to help sand and fix the parts. 

“They were unusable,” carpentry teacher John Fraser said. “So, we took them completely apart and set up what’s called an electrolysis bath. We took the larger parts and submerged them in water, then ran electricity through them for the rust to come off.”

To make the electrolysis bath, the class filled up a large container with water and added washing soda. Then, they put a piece of metal into the bath and connected it to a battery to allow electricity to run through the water. After putting a piece of wood over the bath, they tied one of the rusted parts to a string and carefully submerged it in the water. This process allowed the parts to be de-rusted for the students to sand and paint.

This photo shows the condition of the jointers after the students had fixed them. (John Fraser)

“It took maybe a week or two weeks,” sophomore Jess Wartenbee said. “With the rust bath and fixing everything, he would call us over and have us look over the jointer to see what was wrong with it, and then he would give us specific parts to work on.”

The jointers are now up and running again, and the carpentry class looks forward to using them and the newer equipment on future projects.

View Comments (1)
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Ariana Griffin, Staff Reporter
As a senior, this is Ana's second year on the CATalyst staff. She was previously the Online Editor-in-Chief for the CATalyst website and worked with the radio as part of the High School Radio Project. Ana looks forward to writing compelling stories and interviewing new people. Outside of journalism, Ana enjoys drawing, writing, reading and video games. She looks forward to getting to know the rest of the staff and working together with them to produce new and interesting content.

Comments (1)

All The Catalyst Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • J

    John RothNov 8, 2023 at 5:34 pm

    Great article! I want to take this class.