Reply by Dallas

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Posted on Kids

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3599 posts in 2634 days

#1 posted 10-10-2011 08:54 PM

Interesting responses….. from let a kid learn to pound his/her finger to everything is safety first, to lots of stuff in between.

My dad had his shop set up powered by a 330 Ford industrial engine, with power shafts in the ceiling and leather belts connecting the tools…

You know the ones, table saw, morticer, band saw, moulder, drill press, etc. Everything we have today, except this was stuff handed down from my grandfather to my dad. All of it was originally powered by a water wheel on the Boise river and later by a steam engine and later by a huff and puff engine that would run on about anything… until dad got the shop and a friend installed a Ford motor to run stuff.

My first job in the shop was straightening nails. It doesn’t sound exciting, but that was the start. At the time dad was a fireman and had a side business of salvaging houses. Most of the houses he salvaged had hand made nails, (Yes, Even in southern Oregon in the 1950’s), those nails now days would sell for their weight in Silver, but at that time it was just “make-work” to keep a little boy occupied.
My second job was to learn to do set up…. Set up a fresh drink, set up a new target for your bean bag gun, set up the saw to make a 21/32” cut, set up the drill press for a 13/64” bit and set the table for a 22 1/2° angle, set this up, set up that.

Third job was to use a saw. First a hand saw, then a back saw, then a hand rip, now set them up for sharpening.

I think I was about 4 or 5 when I started, and by the time dad sold the house and the shop I was about 7 or 8.

Maybe the way I learned wasn’t the best way, but it put impressions into my mind for almost 60 years.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed every minute of it and look back with happiness and pride.

It wasn’t all drudge work, there was also play time. For instance, a friend had a set of Lincoln logs and I REALLY wanted some. Dad told me we were poor people and couldn’t afford to buy kindling at those prices. Then he went to work and showed me how to build my own set and after that helped me build some. To this day I still build with home made logs to make miniature log cabins and even mansions.

My point here is, no matter what dad did, he may not have had the teaching gene to teach me how to do something the right and proper way, but he did teach me the love of the smell of the wood and the pride in craftsmanship that I wish I could emulate to this day.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

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