Canyon - A makers mind

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Forum topic by stumpbuster posted 06-25-2015 10:44 PM 448 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2 posts in 855 days

06-25-2015 10:44 PM

This is seven year old Canyon. I met Canyon at our local Senior Center. Canyon has the mind of a maker he likes to make all kind of things. At one of our Senior Center BS sessions ( old duffers and BS go hand in hand and yes there is a lot of BS at the SC) Canyon expressed interest in making a balloon jet powered truck. That’s when I opened my big mouth and said we could make one and that is the beginning of our woodworking adventure. But in all fairness I have enjoyed our little build sessions as much or more than him.

I am not sure how a 1st grader comes up with the concept of recycling and repurposing materials. But he insisted that the projects are made from used materials. So we are using an old curb find particle board desk for materials.

At our first build session he brought the plans ( a drawing) and we built a balloon powered truck. He had a little trouble finishing the project all he wanted to do is test. But hay the kid is 7 years old and I might of helped a little with the testing (it was fun.). As you may have noticed being 7 he is a little short to reach the top of the bench ect. So for his second project he designed a step stool to stand on.

One of Canyons interests is midevel gaming so for his third project he designed a trebuchet . The design had to be modified to make it easer to build. After the Trebuchet build was far enough along to test I had so much fun testing he had to remind me it was his Trebuchet. His grandmother was watching the build now every time she sees me I get a little jab about playing with the Trebuchet.
Canyon is an avid Lego builder. As you can imagine a 7 year old sometimes misses a Lego or two when picking up. So after stepping on a Lego with bare feet for the umpteenth time the next project (at grandmothers suggestion) is a lego table with drawers. I have to admit the design is more mine than his.

The pictures show the result.

I have tried to make the woodworking experience as pleasant and rewarding as possible. I have kept the build sessions at 2 hours or less with a break for refreshments, or to drain off excess energy (his not mine). Future generations need individuals that can actually make things.

-- I create opportunities for design change and modification, not mistakes.

3 replies so far

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 2733 days

#1 posted 06-25-2015 10:52 PM

that is great…!
Hopefully little Canyon will have enough fun working and learning from you and his interests will continue into his life. I was somewhere around 7 or 8 when my Dad, Uncle and Grandfather built pirogues in the garage and got me involved and let me learn as they worked. That definitely got me started and there is no stopping now.
It’s never too young to start having fun learning…

View JonShank's profile


8 posts in 1028 days

#2 posted 06-26-2015 12:05 AM

That’s awesome! Sounds like a win/win for everyone involved and a chance to get a kid from out behind his cellphone/video game/computer/tv is golden. Keep working with him if you can.


View Ghidrah's profile


667 posts in 646 days

#3 posted 06-26-2015 05:13 PM

My oldest daughter had an 8th grade science teacher that was always coming up with after school projects for her classes.
Over a yr. my daughter and I worked on a self powered car, a wind powered boat, a catapult, a water clock and in my daughter’s case her choice of one of the 7 wonders was the Tomb of Mausolus at Halicarnassus. I didn’t know what it was let alone how to spell it, so I went to the Library for some books and hopefully pictures.

Her rational for it over any of the other 6 was no one else picked it, to make matters worse she elected to keep it to herself till a week before it was due. When I told her it was too big and complicated for the remaining time left, it turned out it would be my fault she would fail the project and lower her grade percentage. To me, the majority of the ?possible? structures looked like a wedding cake so we agreed to use the spirit of the look. Pine blocks, 1/4” ply, dowels and a lego horse for the top.

-- I meant to do that!

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