The Walls. - To prevent injury to the walls they should be lined with wood, or at all events with a tolerably high Avains-cotting. The doors and the window-frames should be painted, but the walls need only be varnished.
Warming. - Where there is no central system of heating, the best way to heat the slojd-room in winter is by two large stoves. The temperature ought not to be higher than from 54° to 57° F. The glue should be melted on a small stove heated by gas or oil.
Artificial light. - As work is done in the slojd room on winter afternoons, arrangements must be made for artificial light. This light, whether furnished by gas or by electricity, must always come from above, in order that no shadows may be cast on the work.
The Position of the Body during Work.
If slojd is to contribute towards physical development- a point on which most people are now tolerably unanimous- methodical and effectual arrangements must be made to this end.
It can easily be demonstrated that of all kinds of slojd, slojd-carpentry in conjunction with gymnastics is the best adapted for physical training, but it is equally clear that this can only be the case, provided that the positions assumed and the motions prescribed are well-selected. As regards this we have to find the happy medium. On the one hand it cannot be denied that many of the so-called " instinctive " positions assumed by artisans and "slojders" have reference more to what is advantageous for the work than for the worker. On the other hand it must be granted that though slojd ought to be considered as "applied gymnastics," this principle should not be carried out so pedantically that the idea of work is lost sight of. Slojd is essentially ivork, and not merely gymnastic exercises with tools as apparatus; and all that we are justified in aiming at is, that when we have a choice between positions and movements favourable to physical development and those which are unfavourable, we must adopt the former. We may rest assured that, in the long run, not only the worker but the work will gain thereby.
Harmonious or all-round physical development is materially advanced when the muscles of both sides are equally exercised during work. This is a fundamental rule in gymnastics. It is equally binding in slojd whenever it is capable of application. The objection we sometimes hear that the left hand has not the same strength and steadiness as the right, depends on a confusion between cause and effect, because this inferiority in most cases is caused by the fact that at an early age the left hand in the matter of exercise is neglected for the right. It is, moreover, easy to enumerate a great number of operations in which both hands execute almost the same work. As examples may be given: sowing seed, kneading dough, weaving, hewing wood, driving, rowing, playing on the piano, etc. In slojd-carpentry the saw, the plane, the centre-bit, and the file may, in particular, be directed alternately by the right and by the left hand, and the change should be made by all the pupils together, at the command of the teacher, about every half hour. On the other hand, the use of the axe or the knife by the left hand is not to be recommended until great experience in the use of the left has been gained, on account of the greater danger of injury should the tool accidentally slip aside.
Slojd and gymnastics should go hand in hand.
Slojd is work, not merely gymnastic exercises.
Uniform exercise of the muscles of both sides.
The following general rules may be given for the positions and movements in educational slojd-carpentry.
Position of the chest. - The chest encloses the important vital organs, the heart and the lungs, the former of which regulates the circulation of the blood, and the latter the process of respiration. That these may freely and without hindrance perform their functions, the space in which they move must not be diminished. It must rather be enlarged. We must therefore endeavour to prevent any narrowing of the chest, and attention should always be directed to keeping the shoulders well back during work, in order that the chest may be expanded. Inspiration and expiration should take place quietly, without any effort whatever.
The head should be held as erect as possible, to avoid unnecessary loss of muscular power, to permit greater freedom of circulation, and to preserve the eyesight from injury during work. When the head is bent forwards the veins in some situations are compressed, in others extended; in both cases their calibre is diminished. In connection with the effect the position of the head may have upon the circulation, the importance of loose clothing should be noticed. Tightly fitting- collars and neckties should be above all avoided. To preserve the sight, work should not be held nearer the eye than about 12 in.: for this reason it is very advantageous in educational slojd to use exclusively benches whose construction permits of their being raised to different heights. Thus the work may always be held at the proper distance from the eye, while the position of the head is, from the hygienic point of view, most advantageous.
Positions and movements during work.
The feet should be so placed as to afford the best and firmest support during work. In the execution of every exercise a certain mechanical resistance has to be overcome. For this purpose muscular strength, and in certain circumstances the weight of the body, must be called into play. This resistance must be regarded as force opposing the worker in a certain direction, and he must allow his body to assume the state of equilibrium most favourable in relation to the direction of the force. This is done as regards the feet, when the line of most resistance is in front of the worker, by placing the one foot in front of the other in such a position that a line drawn from the foremost foot in the direction of its length, would meet the heel of the other at right angles; and when the resistance is from the side, by placing the feet apart sideways. A bad habit of frequent occurrence, especially in planing, is to turn the toes in. This ought to be avoided as much as possible, because it interferes with the natural action of the knee joint.