FRANKFORT — The piercing sound of a band saw mixed with the stinging smell of spray paint filled the wood shop class at Frankfort High School on Wednesday morning.
Students were hard at work on their manufacturing project, building 22 wooden tricycles — 12 of which will be sold to help recoup the labor and materials cost and support the program.
"It's a productive way to make use of our time in the shop," junior Aldridge Cicchelli said. "We're doing a multitude of things and have used a whole bunch of machines, from the drill press to the band saw. That was the purpose of this class to teach us how to use all of this. Why not make something we can be proud of?"
Dave Baressi, the skilled trades and woodworking teacher, said the students have 10 of the 22 partially assembled and hope to have them completed and ready to sell after spring break.
"We're wrestling right now with the price," Baressi said. "We have to sell them for $100. We're thinking we'll sell them for $140."
Students, such as Xander Stockdale, take part in the full manufacturing process from conception and design to production, marketing and selling. Stockdale, who is in his second year in the class, said he's learned a lot of skills he'll use later in life, whether as a career or just a hobby.
"The jigs we make in here are really cool to use, and it's really cool to see how you can make that curved wood to sand the edges and make them look really nice," he said. "Every product looks crisp and really professional."
The students formed groups and were assigned certain tasks, including creating blueprints, cutting and forming the boxes and putting a rubber coating on the wheels. Baressi said they have lost some students along the way, one of who was a migrant student that came up with the original idea. Baressi said he hopes to ship her one of the finished products.
"They're working as a team, and that's very important these days," Baressi said. "When you go to work, you work as a team. We all participate in the decision-making process. If there's a problem, we go over it and try to find a solution."
Baressi said these classes are important as the demand for skilled trade workers increases.
"That's the whole thing about this class is the resurgence of that field," Baressi said. "They want to have those skilled workers."