That's my boy!

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Blog entry by OhioMatt posted 08-05-2011 06:24 PM 1698 reads 0 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

For my first activity on this site, I thought I would show off my best work. This is my 5 yeard old son with a Craftsman 16” scroll saw we found on Craigslist for $50. We have been working together in the woodshop/garage for a while with hand tools and I was concerned to let him use any power tools even with my supervision. I found this saw and did some deep thinking about what the chances of injury could be. After perrmission was given by my wife, I asked him if he wanted to go 50/50 on the money. He ran to his room and handed me his velcro wallet effortlessly. After a few tries together, following the line(s) seemed to be within his grasp. He understands one rule, no sawing without mom or dad. About a month ago, he began taking orders for birdhouses from family members to raise some spending money for our Montana vacation in August. I was so proud that I couldn’t stop smiling for a week.

-- Matt from Ohio

12 comments so far

View BreakingBoardom's profile


615 posts in 2504 days

#1 posted 08-05-2011 06:31 PM

Nice story. He seems to be enjoying himself. And way to use child labor to finance your vacation. lol.

-- Matt -

View lew's profile


11266 posts in 3178 days

#2 posted 08-05-2011 07:24 PM

OK, I’m going to be an SOB but as a person who has to wearing hearing aids PLEASE get him a set of ear protectors and some safety glasses.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5839 posts in 3008 days

#3 posted 08-05-2011 07:44 PM

take it easy with him these things can make big cuts.I personally think he’s to young for machinery with blades sorry my 2 cents Alistair ps I wish him well as a father of three sons myself I also see him as a beautiful young soul and that picture brings back happy memories to me and my wife . Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View tooldad's profile


660 posts in 3137 days

#4 posted 08-05-2011 08:02 PM

I teach Industrial Arts. I have been letting my son use the band saw since he was 5 under my supervision. He can even turn a pen for the most part on the lathe. He knows to use safety glasses and keeps his clothes rolled up and tucked in.

Now that he is 7, I am confident with his safety on the band saw. However he still has to have me double check his setup and he has to draw all the relief cuts. And of course I have to be in the shop with him. It is all about safe exposure.

To each parent his own, because they know their child best. It is simply how well can they follow directions and understand the consequences. My son unfortunately has seen me get stitches one time, he wanted to watch the doctor. Ever since he has said, “dad be careful”. Finally, I feel more confident with my son on the lathe and band saw than some of my 14 year old freshman students.

View toolchaser's profile


4 posts in 1909 days

#5 posted 08-05-2011 09:59 PM

This seems absolutely harmless- he’s being carefully supervised.
My dad started me with power tools when I was younger age myself. I’m still young and still get a little knick every once in a while (nothing a bandaid can’t fix)- but his hands are very much away from the blade- apart from appropriate eyewear- he’s smiling AND already a part owner on a (what seems to be) good condition scroll saw! Seeing as he’s already making birdhouses- he’s going to be a pro in no time. Thanks for the post. :)

-- chase ||

View woody57's profile


647 posts in 2850 days

#6 posted 08-05-2011 10:06 PM

All I can see is that heavy coat. Here in the south we’re having record heat waves. I mean its in the 90’s before lunch everyday. Can I come for a visit. I’ll supervise the little guy all day.

-- Emmett, from Georgia

View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

1509 posts in 3547 days

#7 posted 08-06-2011 12:25 AM

Awesome! I’m with Lew on the eye protection (and, on some tools, the hearing protection). I’ve also found that when I start the kids on the safety stuff early they’re then really good at catching me when I try to make a cut without the ear muffs on.

I’ve also found that a 5 year old can use a drill press, especially if you’ve got a table that lets pieces be easily clamped to the surface. And a little older, but I’m getting a lot of use out of my low-end milling machine with kids. Lets them do all sorts of router-ish cuts with a quiet machine that isn’t going to get out of their control.

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California,

View tooldad's profile


660 posts in 3137 days

#8 posted 08-06-2011 01:02 AM

I still can remember the day when I asked for a volunteer in my first hour class and my son raised his hand. All the 9th graders’ jaws dropped when I picked him to use the band saw. His school is on same campus and starts 1 hour after mine, so he would sit and watch the demos right along with the “big kids” as he called them.

View DocK16's profile


1178 posts in 3509 days

#9 posted 08-06-2011 01:26 AM

Can I order a birdhouse

-- Common sense is so rare anymore when you do see it, it looks like pure genius.

View DLCW's profile


530 posts in 2077 days

#10 posted 08-06-2011 03:59 AM

I’ve got a question – where is it cool enough in the country right now to wear a coat? It’s approaching 95 here and I know that it’s really hot everywhere. :-)

I have been bringing my kids in to the shop helping me and showing them how to SAFELY operate power tools for years. Personally I think it’s one of the best vocational educations they can get, learning how to not be afraid of doing things for themselves and having the confidence to do it without incident.

-- Don, Diamond Lake Custom Woodworks - - "If you make something idiot proof, all they do is make a better idiot"

View therookie's profile


887 posts in 2250 days

#11 posted 08-06-2011 04:06 AM

I have been exposed to woodworking my whole life and I got to start using a scroll saw at 7 because we were moving a lot but I have been using a milling machine in my dads shop for 11 years so since I was five and he has taught me well now that I am looking back to then…


View OhioMatt's profile


11 posts in 1910 days

#12 posted 08-06-2011 02:52 PM

Thanks for all the positive feed back. Just a few quick notes to clear up some questions. The picture is from May, which explains the coat. Ear protection is not needed since a sewing machine is louder that this saw. The glasses he wears hang on the wall next to mine, but were off for the picture. The hold down clamp on this saw is roughly a 3” round foot. Every time he turns on the saw, my mouth automaticly says, “remember, no fingers within the circle.” And lastly he might seem young but this kid has spent many hours watching his dad and Norm Abraham practice safety.

-- Matt from Ohio

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