Van Nuys High School Machine Tool Academy

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Metal Shop    This is where we learn about the qualities of metal and the fundamentals of how metal processes work.   In the classroom projects are made that teach the student  these various qualities:

bendmetal.jpg (8408 bytes)   Discovering the nature of Metals

Metal students learn to do bench work.  That is they learn how to use a table vise and handtools to work on metal.  They will learn the proper and safe use of sawing, filing, sanding.  They will also learn special techniques for bending and shaping.  

     In this photo Geovani is bending a piece of metal that will be part of a little plant stand welding project.  After bending it and testing for squareness he will use the oxy-acetylene welder to weld the legs to the tile holder that he is making now.

Malleability of Metal

   Students learn that metal is malleable.  That is with the applied pressure of hammer blows metal atoms can be pushed around to change the shape of the work.   These students are hammering small oval aluminum shapes into little soap bowls.   After they hammer the general shape out they will sand and buff the part to make a nice smooth shiny product.  

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ramming.jpg (6728 bytes) Foundry Work

       For thousands of years, humans have know about the technique of making a shape in the sand and pouring hot metal into it to make what we call today a "casting".  Making "green sand" castings is an ancient art that is fun and rewarding to the student because of the beautiful replica they can easily create of some symbol important to them.  They learn about the need for careful workmanship, discipline and how to saw, file, sand and buff. 

Academic Work

    It is important to also read about what we are doing.  We can find out about many other processes and interesting applications that we don't do in the lab part of the shop.  In this shop a computer lab allows students to do their work on computers so that they also develop the important computer literacy needed for toadies world.   The computers also allow for use of brain exercising applications such as "The Even More Incredible Machine".  This application is a problem solving game that requires students to use given tools to solve given problems.  They are allowed to move components around to try and find a solution.  Higher level reasoning skills must be employed to solve the problems. 

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