Although woodworking is both a vocational skill and an art, no innate talent is necessary to become a skilled and successful woodworker – just patience and perseverance! On their first day at KMI, our youth learn general shop safety (goggles, dust mask, ear protection, proper clothing, etc.). For each tool, we review purpose, safety and proper operation. This approach in conjunction with their projects helps develop skills and a respect for the environment in which we work. Our full-fledged shop includes all of the basic hand tools, table saw, drill press, bandsaw, slide-compound miter saw, hand- and table-routers, lathe, planer, jointer, laser engraver, and dust collection/filtration systems. These tools, with our dedicated staff and volunteers, allow the KMI youth to design and build the projects they can imagine.
A professional artist works with our youth in our KMI art room. Traditional finishing skills, hand-painted furniture techniques, faux-finishing, and related art skills are taught. Artwork helps to further enable our youth to positively channel their creative energy.
Utilizing our youth entrepreneurship model, KMI kids have the option to sell items they make in the woodworking shop and art room. Typical items include handcrafted pens, bottle stoppers, salt and pepper grinders, storage boxes, stools, laser-engraved items, custom signs, and funky one-of-a-kind items. On every sale our kids make, they earn 100% of the profits!