Reply by rustfever

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Posted on Getting kids into the shop - How do you do it? What are some easy projects for them?

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759 posts in 3484 days

#1 posted 02-04-2014 09:36 PM

I started three grandsons in the wood shop at nine. I learned how to instruct, caution, train, caution and praise, praise, praise.
By the time they had a few hours of the use of a tool, I found I no longer needed to be a ‘Hovering Granddad’ but to be always close at hand and always alert.

After a few successful projects, my job as a mentor and protector took a bit of a new meaning. I was able to relax, but still was ever so alert and still close at hand.

The way to handle these youngster is simple. Impress safety, teach safety, discuss accidents, re-emphasize safety, teach more safety. Only after you can see they are safety oriented, can you relax a bit and teach a skiil. One task, one tool, hundreds of ‘Attaboys’ and perpetual praise are required.

Once they recognize ‘Yes-I-Can’, it is an absolute pleasure having them in the shop.

I started each making pens on the mini lathe. Later challenges included turning bowls and baseball batts; bread boards and chess boards; steam bending; scroll and band saw work.

Even the 18 year old has not been allowed to use the table saw or the larger band saws, large belt sanders, joiner, and shaper. However, he has demonstrated an ease with tools, but also a very healthy respect for those tools. As he returns to the shop in the future, I will begin training him on some of the larger, more aggressive tools.

Projects these kids like are Nail in the board; pens & pencils; Marshmallow shooter; baseball bats; most any sport related item that can be made of wood.

-- Rustfever, Central California

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