New Tricks for Old Shop Dogs

Old Dogs

I know the saying is; "You can't teach an old dog new tricks", but is that really how it works? I am convinced that the 'dog' gets old when he stops learning new tricks. Yes, I am firmly convinced that when I stop learning it will mean I have died.


I have written recently about continuing education for trades people. In the New Year blog I asked about your plans for professional development, and that leads me to the point of this blog: How do you keep your skills current or even expand your knowledge base? There are some high end woodworking schools around the country, but they rarely cater to production environments. I like attending (and presenting!) seminars and lectures at trade shows and know many people who attend several at any show they attend.


So how do you learn a new trick? Do you research online? You can find a LOT of how-to projects on YouTube, some very good, most....well, not so much. Do you subscribe to an educational website like Ask questions or answer them on forum sites like WoodWeb or LinkedIn? (there is a surprising number of trades related groups on LinkedIn) Do you belong to a trade association and attend seminar and classes through them?



I would really enjoy learning how you find good new information to advance your personal education. It can be related to the skills of your trade, or how you learn new software, or even simply expanding your mind by learning new things that have nothing to do with your business. I'll even start by sharing a few experiences of my own.


Glass Blowing

Last fall, I flew to Denver and spent 2 days learning the new Enroute5 CAD/CAM software from SAI. Cost me less than $1,000.00 for the class, my flight, and hotel stay. And on the other side of the coin, my wife and I are about to attend a day-long glass blowing class at a local craftsman's shop. It should be fun and we get to keep the project we make.


So share with us how you keep your mind young through education or training. What was the last class, seminar or training you attended? What is on your schedule to learn this year? Share your thoughts with us by commenting here on this blog, on our Facebook page, or via Twitter.

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