Great Woodshops: Craftsmanship Done Safely

Kelly Mehler’s school refuses to sacrifice proper guarding when teaching proper woodworking.
By Megan Fitzpatrick
Pages: 84-87

From the June 2006 issue #155
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Woodworking teacher Kelly Mehler got his start in the schooling business in an unusual way. His first teaching job was to instruct patients at a rehabilitation center in woodworking basics using simple machinery. While working there, he took classes in the wood technology program at the Ohio College of Applied Science, which helped cement his interest in the craft.

“I looked all over Cincinnati for someone to apprentice under,” said Mehler, “but there was no one.” Thus, in 1976 he and his wife, Teri, packed up and moved south to Berea, Ky., where Mehler began his pursuit of a degree in industrial arts at Berea College with the intention of teaching in a vocational school and making custom furniture during the summer. Instead of completing the program, he headed out on his own to make custom furniture, and he put the teaching on hold for a while.

From the June 2006 issue #155
Buy this issue now