science, establishing a dust collection
system, OSHA regulations, and facility
All of that packed into four 12-hour
days (and one six-hour) sounds like
a lot – and it was. But it was also fun.
And incredibly rewarding. Both the
table and the desk were shipped to us
after the camp, so we even got to keep
the items we built.
My fellow students were mostly
salesmen from the supply side of the
industry. Two were from Canada’s
Doucet Machineries, two were from
Scarlett, and six were from Festool.
Italy’s Italpresse, Komo Machine, SCM,
Brown Wood Inc., and Dras Cases were
After spending 50 hours together, many of us became close, and
promised to reconnect at upcoming
tradeshows like IWF. I even earned a
nickname - ‘Wasabi Bobby’ – after I
accepted a $20 dare to eat an entire
forkful of the Japanese horseradish.
A Strong Background
The WMIA, PSU, Hague, and PSU
professor Charlie Phillips are all
responsible for bringing the Camp
into fruition. Hague and Phillips have
been recognized for their efforts, most
notably with the winning of the 2015
WMIA Wooden Globe Award for Educator of the Year.
“Winning the WMIA Educator of
the Year Award was quite an honor in
so many ways,” said Hague. “The fact
that we were nominated by an attendee
of the very first WMIA Boot Camp
made it especially special. For someone to leave camp and feel so strongly
The camp is a 50/50 mix of class and lab time, usually beginning with a lecture before
moving into the PSU wood lab.
Over the week, myself and 15 students built a small table and cabinet at PSU’s 250,000-sq-ft
Hard work pays off: The mahogany coffee table with a diamond-matched veener top I built at
the weeklong camp.