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Woodworker starts community program in N.Y.

George DeVito, owner of George V. DeVito Master Carpenter, a full-service woodworking company in Medford, N.Y., started a community cabinetmaking program for local high school students in September.

Class is in session at DeVito's shop in Medford, N.Y.

DeVito is working with members of the Medford Robotics Team 329 at Patchogue-Medford High School, who will build a 10’ x 10’ cabinet to store and transport their controls for national competitions.

“Basically, this all started because my son was on the team and last year I helped out. I saw what they were doing. They were working out of folding tables and using plastic shelves and they need something like we’re going to build,” says DeVito.

“The kids are very talented. They won a regional qualifier in Baltimore last year. They get the robots to do things like shoot a Frisbee and hit a goal then pick it up. They get about six weeks to build the robots.”

DeVito reached out to the school board with his idea about how teaching the fundamentals of woodworking will help with their robots.

“I want to introduce the high school students to the woodworking industry and see if they have an interest. School districts seem to frown upon shop class; they’re cutting back a lot. So I’m trying to spark some interest to show them that woodworking is more than it used to be. There’s a great amount of technology you get to use like AutoCad [software] and programing a CNC machine. I’m trying to teach them about problem solving, engineering skills and teamwork.”

Designed as a pilot program, the classes are being offered for free. DeVito says that if program generates enough interest, he will likely continue it next year.

Contact: George V. DeVito Master Carpenter, 1139 Station Road, Medford, NY 11763. Tel: 631-286-5080.

This article originally appeared in the November 2013 issue.

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