As a way to finish writing my thesis, I ran away to my parents empty house in Utah. I don’t know anyone here and am pretty much cut off from everyone. Except my older sister and her three kids. As I have been hanging out with them over the past few weeks, all I seem to hear are comments like “I don’t know how…”, “I can’t do that…”, etc. So this last weekend I decided to do something about it.
I’m a big fan of this guy. I don’t know if it is just that I am getting (relatively) older, but I remember pulling out my dad’s real tools since I was 5 or 6 and taking them into the sandbox or the back field or wherever. So at ages 9 and 11, I figured they should start a project that is hard for them.
They both thought of projects they wanted to do: a pencil holder and a nightstand for a doll. Seven hours later we emerged. All I did was cut wood on the table saw. I made the girls find wood from the scrap pile, lay out their project, figure out how they wanted to attach things, how to hold down a workpiece, drill the holes, screw things together, and sand everything. It took 6 hours. And a lot of patience. But as they were getting in the van to go home, I overheard one say “check it out, I MADE THIS!”
I turned my roubo-workbench-in-progress upside down and put it outside for the little one. He spent a lot of the time actually doing stuff. I’m convinced kids even as young as 2-3 can tell what is a real tool. Real tools do something—when you file the edge of the board, shavings come off.
Laying out the project. I was running short on safety glasses, so one looks like a pilot.
Cleaning up. The younger one was awesome. The older one kept disappearing.