Project for my 11yr old son?

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Blog entry by ocwoodworker posted 04-06-2011 06:30 AM 1336 reads 0 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Any good ideas on a first project for a boy? Knowing me, I’ll probably ask him to do something beyond his skill level.

Thanx in advance.


-- I'd like to believe Murphy's Law haunts my woodshop, because if it's Karma it would mean I had something to do with it. - K.R.

16 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


117160 posts in 3631 days

#1 posted 04-06-2011 06:40 AM

Depends on his experience. If it’s his first project start with something easy like a bird house or rubber band gun.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 4153 days

#2 posted 04-06-2011 09:04 AM

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3388 days

#3 posted 04-06-2011 12:40 PM

There are many ways to get kids started in woodworking, so just about any project they can tackle with a little help to learn how to use the tools safely/correctly and guidance for a decent result is good.

Personally, I got my grandkids started with the scrollsaw. They took to it like ducks to water and they were thrilled with their results and keep making new things each Christmas season when they have time off school.

I think kids appreciate a quick result more than adults, and you can make quite a wide range of different types of products on the scrollsaw. This tool is also a great addition to any woodworking shop, so making the investment pays off in more than one way.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View rustfever's profile


753 posts in 3364 days

#4 posted 04-06-2011 01:31 PM

My 9 year old grandson took to the lathe. His first results were surprisingly good. His next trip into the wood shop, I set him up making pens. Not just good but Great!

These kids are like sponges. They want to learn, they want to do. Just give them a little encouragement and you will be amazed.

-- Rustfever, Central California

View JoeyG's profile


1275 posts in 2679 days

#5 posted 04-06-2011 02:04 PM

My 9 year old daughter is helping me make a couple of palm boxes that are “Andy Style”. Thanks Andy. It is a very simple design. I do the cutting and she helps me move everything around. I hope to have her move on to doing a project by herself, but first she has to learn to use the tools and shop safety. Keep it simple, push safety, and have fun. Even my 4 year old daughter helps. For her cutting a board and gluing it back together amazing.

Good luck

-- JoeyG ~~~

View ken_c's profile


323 posts in 3216 days

#6 posted 04-06-2011 05:17 PM

scroll saw cutting board for grandma – you cut the blanks, have him do the gluing, scroll saw work, sanding and finishing…

View JJohnston's profile


1622 posts in 3345 days

#7 posted 04-06-2011 05:31 PM

Here’s some stilts:
Click for details

-- "A man may conduct himself well in both adversity and good fortune, but if you want to test his character, give him power." - Abraham Lincoln

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3169 days

#8 posted 04-06-2011 05:39 PM

one of the first cuold bee a tool tote


View David Craig's profile

David Craig

2137 posts in 3163 days

#9 posted 04-06-2011 07:09 PM

I second the tool tote. For my sons, I used mostly hand tools (backsaw and miterbox, eggbeater drill, hammer, nails glue). One thing I have learned to keep them from getting bored requires letting go enough to let them do the bulk of the work. They got quickly bored with anything requiring them to be my helper. Good to be constructive but neither overly praising or critical. Provide the guidance to give the idea and then let him get to work.

Good luck and hope it goes well.


-- There is little that is simple when it comes to making a simple box.

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3169 days

#10 posted 04-06-2011 09:56 PM

take a look at this brainbox :-) justjoel let his sonĀ“s classmates make at his sons birthdayparty

if you just are prepared your son can build something that is way more complicated than you think

good luck

View Bertha's profile


13529 posts in 2747 days

#11 posted 04-06-2011 09:58 PM

I second Dennis’s idea of a tool tote. I would kill to still have a tool tote that I built with my pop. You could use the scrollsaw, a drill, all the basic stuff. He could even get exposed to finishing.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View dbhost's profile


5736 posts in 3286 days

#12 posted 04-06-2011 10:53 PM

A few projects spring to mind, and mind you I was lazy and didn’t read ANY of the answers above so these were probably already listed…

#1. Step Stool #2. Bird House. #3. Stilts #4. Coat Hook Rack.

And it goes up from there…

-- Please like and subscribe to my YouTube Channel

View Grandpa's profile


3260 posts in 2729 days

#13 posted 04-07-2011 07:02 PM

I have 4 grandson and a couple of granddaughters. They all like to go to the shop ao I have to watch for safety issues. I started with safety glasses. We always wear safety glasses or a face shield and we always wear shoes. The girls like to try to sneak in barefoot. I started then and my boys at church with bird houses. I worked on them more than the boys but they have to take those little steps to move forward. I also spoke to the cub scouts about tools. I carried my tools in a tote to start my talk. I let them (only 5 boys) stand at the desk and touch the hand tools I had brought. They like to touch. We talked about the tools and then we built a tote from a kit I had made. I had the parts cut and predrilled. they put it together. They loved it and took it home with them. Their favorite tool was a hand brace. they wanted to drill holes in something. My grandson that was there remembered about the different sizes of phillips screw drivers, coping saw and what they cut, hack saws and what they cut….they just take in in. they love hands on. My older boys are learning on the lathe. I started them on the scroll saw too. We also had some shingles (used cedar) that I use to start fires in the fireplace. They take those and cut them to length….on the band saw. They had to learn to use the tape measure and do a little math the way we did that project but they love it. Just stick with them and keep their fingers out of things. I always tell them that if they put a finger inside that circle on the bandsaw (throat plate) they are in trouble. Fingers don’t belong in there. My grandson was watching a friend (adult) cut out a pinewood derby car on the bandsaw. This man put his finger in the circle and my grandson called him down on the matter. They remember much better than we remember.

View Lockwatcher's profile


89 posts in 2746 days

#14 posted 04-08-2011 03:43 AM

Here’s a fun idea…helped some Scouts build these a few years back…

This is a Marshmellow Catapult – it will fire a marshmellow clear across the room

These are very easy to build (and we built them out of scrap lumber!). The dowel rod is in a slightly loose hole at the top, with a plastic tube slid over the dowel rod to avoid breakage…

Hope this helps!

Ken C.

-- Lockwatcher, Ohio,

View Grandpa's profile


3260 posts in 2729 days

#15 posted 04-08-2011 05:57 PM

Good project then take them camping. Marshmellows are best when left someplace besides Grandmas living room wall LOL

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