Welcome to the Big Ideas home for New Ulm, Minnesota!

Click the links to find out more information about the trades and the calendar.

Big Ideas, Inc. Carpentry: Level 0 Introductory Orientation and Safety Class

“Level 0” because no prior knowledge or experience necessary!! Safety and tool recognition are essential to success in carpentry. Participants ages 13 – 113 interested in upcoming carpentry classes must first pass our safety test to ensure competency and awareness in the wood shop. This safety test will be issued at the end of class and must be passed at 100% before any student can enroll in higher level carpentry classes.

See right side of this page for study materials.

Register early as a max of 15 students can test at each Orientation.

Fee: Free


Big Ideas, Inc. Carpentry: Level 1
Upon successful completion of our Level 0 Orientation and Safety class, participants enter Carpentry Level 1. In this course, participants will construct a Flip Top Console Table or similar project, this class reinforces concepts taught in Level 0: safety rules, proper use of most power machines, and proper use of power hand tools. Students will also gain understanding of the proper selection and use of fasteners for different woods and materials. Identification of the stains and finishes for both interior and exterior projects will also be taught. Students will have a completed project to take home at the end of this class.

Fee: $40 Class price includes instructor fee and materials


Big Ideas, Inc. Carpentry: Level 2
Upon successful completion of Level 1 carpentry or with instructor permission, students will engage in more difficult projects such as a bench or chair. Safety rules and concerns will be reinforced, all power tools will be utilized, and a more complex project will be completed. Students will take project home at the end of this class.

Fee: $80 Class price includes instructor fee and materials


Big Ideas, Inc. Carpentry: Level 3 and higher
Carpentry class projects are designed to continue to reinforce safe practices & increase skillset. Projects such as park shelters, information kiosks, & a tiny house for homeless housing are being considered and donated to the community. Students who wish to complete a project for personal use may do so by paying additional materials fee.

Fee: $120 Class price includes instructor fee

Registration

To register online for Carpentry Classes, click here.

Or download the registration form

  • Contact BigIdeas@BigIdeasUSA.org or call 1.866.992.4443 for more information.
  • For safety of all participants, doors are locked at 6:35. No late admittance.
  • Participants must be 13 or older; No minimum class size!
  • Scholarships are available.

Carpentry classes are taught at the New Ulm High School, 1600 Oak Street, New Ulm, MN in the Wood Shop. Please enter through Door #10 on the side of the building. Scholarship forms available on request.

Study Guides

Study Guide Intro

Band Saw

Circular Saw table-Table Saw – 2 Page

Drill Press

Jig Saw

Jointer

Radial Arm Saw

Vertical Sander

Student Info

Big Ideas – Introduction to Plumbing: Working with Copper Pipe

Did you know that the word plumbing derives from the Latin for lead, plumbum? It’s true, the first effective pipes used in the Roman era were lead pipes. Plumbing uses pipes, valves, fixtures, tanks and other apparatuses to convey fluids. Would you like to learn more? This class will teach you the basics of working with copper pipe, the difference in materials used in plumbing, and the tools and processes necessary for successful outcomes! Participants will be able to take the completed copper projects home with them at the end of this one-night course. Instructor fee and materials are included in the cost. For more information please go to www.BigIdeasUSA.org, find us on Facebook, or call 866-992-4443.

Fee: $20 Location:  New Ulm Public High School shop #134 (door #10)

Available Class Dates:  to be determined

 

 

 

Big Ideas – Introduction to Plumbing: PVC, PEX, & Iron Pipe

Did you know that over $100,000 was spent on a study to determine how most people put their toilet paper on the holder – flap in front or from behind?? The winner – three out of four people prefer the flap in front!!  This 2-night hands-on class will give you the basics to work with a variety of pipes: an introduction to the various materials (PVC, Iron & Copper) and their use, the difference in process and technique in working with each, and the tools necessary for success. Instructor fee and materials are included in the cost. Participants will take home a PVC Key Holder or similar project upon completion of this class. For more information please go to www.BigIdeasUSA.org, find us on Facebook, or call 866-992-4443.

Fee: $50 Location:  New Ulm Public High School shop #134 (door #10)

Registration

To register online for Classes, click here.

Or download the registration form

Big Ideas, Inc. Sewing: Level 1 Introduction to Machine Sewing

Sewing: Level 1 requires no prior knowledge of, nor experience in, machine sewing!  If you are interested in basic sewing skills like threading a machine, pinning material for stitching, and making straight seams, this is your class!!  From the start, our wonderfully patient instructor Val Besser will lead you through the parts of a sewing machine, how to thread it, and how to stitch. She will then teach you how to lay out, cut, and pin your cloth. Finally, you will take home the pillow case that you make!  Materials are provided and included in our fee.

Fee: $15   Class price includes instructor fee

 

Big Ideas, Inc. Sewing: Level 2 – Reading & Using Patterns
Sewing: Level 2 requires successful completion of Sewing: Level 1 or instructor’s permission. In our one night class, you will learn to read and lay out a pattern, pin your pattern and fabric, and practice your skill in stitching as you make a pair of lounge/pajama pants!  Material kit and pattern are included in our fee.

Fee: $20   Class price includes instructor fee and materials
Big Ideas, Inc. Sewing: Level 3 – Sleeves & Buttonholes

Sewing: Level 3 requires successful completion of Sewing: Level 2 or instructor’s permission.  In this two-night class, you will practice pattern reading, pinning, and straight-line stitches and add both sleeve setting and button-hole making skills.  All materials and pattern are included in class fee.
Big Ideas, Inc. Sewing: Level 4 –  Hand & Machine Alterations

Sewing: Level 4 requires successful completion of Sewing: Level 3 or instructor’s permission.  In these unique classes, you will learn to make both hand and machine alterations on clothing provided by the instructor. Each night’s class will cover a specific topic including hemming, waistbands, and bodice alterations.  More than just the “how-to”, instruction will include consideration of fabric content, degree of alteration needed, and other factors necessary to make a high-quality change.  For alteration of personal clothing, please ask our instructor about a Level 5 class.

Class price includes instructor fee and materials

Registration

To register online for Classes, click here.

Or download the registration form

For safety and security leather boots (no mesh shoes), pants, and a 100 % cotton, long sleeve shirt must be worn to all welding classes. Be aware that clothing can become damaged or fade due to the heat from welding.

Big Ideas, Inc. Welding: SMAW (Arc/Stick welding) 8 contact hours
From safety concepts to completion of your own steel project, this class provides you with the fundamentals of arc/stick welding.  Safety protocols, introduction to welding shop and machines, and proper use of an Arc or stick welder are taught. Students also learn basic machine setup, welding skills, and metal prep. Because we have five welding machines, this class is limited to five students so each student can learn individually.
Fee: $60  Class price includes instructor fee and materials

 

Big Ideas, Inc. Welding: GMAW (MIG/Wire Feed) 6 contact hours

Only an interest in learning a new skill is needed to enroll in our GMAW class: no prior welding experience is necessary!  In this class, students will be led through welding shop overview, learn safety protocols, and learn basic welding concepts. Machine setup and successful use of the MIG welder are taught with lots of hands-on practice.

Fee: $80     Class price includes instructor fee and materials

 


Big Ideas, Inc. Welding: GTAW (TIG) 8 contact hours

Like our other welding classes, no prior welding experience is necessary to enroll!  Just bring your enthusiasm and desire to learn! Safety protocol, shop procedures, and welding fundamentals are practiced.  These classes are designed to continue to reinforce safe practices & increase skillset.  Machine setup and basic welding technique will be provided. Students will have the opportunity to create metal art projects or may work on metal repair projects with instructor approval

Fee: $80     Class price includes instructor fee

 


Big Ideas, Inc. Welding for the Hobbyist

Clay Emler has lived in Fairmont all of his life working in Manufacturing for over 22 years. Over those years holding different positions as a metal fabricator, machinist and welder to name a few. I coached high school football for Granada and Fairmont for 9 years. I like spending my free time with family, making projects, fishing and playing cards. I really like to see people succeed and I want to watch my community grow.

Always wanted to learn to weld? Here’s your chance! This introductory level class will get you started with the most popular type of welding for the hobbyist- MIG welding. Also known as wire feed welding, this process is commonly used in general hobby and repair welding applications. In this 4 session class you will learn welding safety, shop tool safety, wire types and sizes, proper equipment set-up and the right way to perform a weld bead. This is a make and take class with all participants building a project piece to take home. You will also be able to bring in our own materials to create a project. You will have access to a full shop of tools to help design and make your projects. For safety, please wear leather boots, long sleeve ( darker color) 100% cotton shirt and lof!g pants or jeans without holes in them.

Class limited: 15, so register now and join the fun!

Fee: $91 plus $25 materials fee.

Class dates: October 9, 16, 23 & 30

Class times: 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM

All Welding equipment is provided for each participant.

Registration

To register online for Classes, click here.

Or download the registration form

Welding classes are taught at:
New Ulm High School
1600 Oak Street
New Ulm, MN
in the Welding Shop. Please enter through Door #10 on the back of the building. Scholarship forms available on request.

  • Contact BigIdeas@BigIdeasUSA.org or call 1.866.992.4443 for more information.
  • For safety of all participants, doors are locked at 6:35. No late admittance.
  • Participants must be 13 or older; No minimum class size!
  • Scholarships are available.