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Tips & Tricks: Children & Youth in the Workshop

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Forum topic by MsDebbieP posted 1047 days ago 1300 views 0 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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MsDebbieP

18615 posts in 2759 days


1047 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: children tips tricks

What are some tips to remember when inviting children & youth into your workshop, whether it is just to look, watch, or build something.

(also add links to helpful blogs etc that are related to the topic)
 

Gateway to all Tips & Tricks Topics
 

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)


17 replies so far

View pmayer's profile

pmayer

565 posts in 1663 days


#1 posted 1047 days ago

I got my kids started by inviting them out to the shop when I was building items for them. I show them the step that I am working on, let them help a little, then let them go. They got introduced to woodworking in 10 minute spurts. Then, when they were ready, I set them up at the scroll saw, cutting out Christmas ornaments, their initials, etc. They would stick with this longer; maybe 20 – 30 minutes. My son likes to try any skill based activity in the shop that he can get the hang of within 10 – 15 minutes. Cutting to a line, hand planing, pounding nails, basic carving, etc. have all been fun activities for him.

-- PaulMayer, http://www.vernswoodgoods.com

View patron's profile

patron

12956 posts in 1939 days


#2 posted 1047 days ago

when i have children in the shop
or a party going on

i unplug the tools
(children like to push buttons)
and cover them with
plywood or cardboard
so their drinks don’t leave rust spots

if we are going to make something

safety first
and eagle eye oversight
if they are going to actually use them

for young ones
i cut any parts
and do the technical stuff
let them assemble and sand and finish

goggles masks and clean working conditions

oh and don’t give them a gallon of paint
a little can or jar of it
makes any clean-up easier
if it gets spilled

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View CalgaryGeoff's profile

CalgaryGeoff

936 posts in 1080 days


#3 posted 1047 days ago

I have implemented some zero tolerance rules for kids to follow in my work shop. They are welcome as long as they are followed.

RULE 1 – NO PLAYING WHATSOEVER!!

This came about after an incident. Shop was closed, power off, just passing through. One kid throws a spit ball at the other he ducks and smashed his mouth into the corner of the jointer. Bang teeth smashed mouth bleeding and crying. Thankfully no teeth fell out.

RULE 2 – FULL SAFETY GEAR MUST BE WORN!!

I have two sets of “guest gear” for guests. Faceshield or goggles, hearing protection ear plugs or muff, face mask and shop jackets.

RULE 3 – HAVE FUN

Kids must be involved in projects. Measure, cut, think. No standing around with hands in your pockets.

These are three rules I use.

-- If you believe you can or can not do a thing, you are correct.

View CalgaryGeoff's profile

CalgaryGeoff

936 posts in 1080 days


#4 posted 1047 days ago

I have implemented some zero tolerance rules for kids to follow in my work shop. They are welcome as long as they are followed.

RULE 1 – NO PLAYING WHATSOEVER!!

This came about after an incident. Shop was closed, power off, just passing through. One kid throws a spit ball at the other he ducks and smashed his mouth into the corner of the jointer. Bang teeth smashed mouth bleeding and crying. Thankfully no teeth fell out.

RULE 2 – FULL SAFETY GEAR MUST BE WORN!!

I have two sets of “guest gear” for guests. Faceshield or goggles, hearing protection ear plugs or muff, face mask and shop jackets.

RULE 3 – HAVE FUN

Kids must be involved in projects. Measure, cut, think. No standing around with hands in your pockets.

These are three rules I use.

-- If you believe you can or can not do a thing, you are correct.

View Roger's profile

Roger

14114 posts in 1402 days


#5 posted 1047 days ago

1. Teach them to RESPECT THE EQUIPMENT
2. Safety Glasses – ALWAYS
3. Hearing protection if you are going to run any equipment
4. Dust Mask/s as needed.
5. Teach to work safely —my $.02

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Kentuk55@bellsouth.net

View Carl Fisher's profile

Carl Fisher

53 posts in 1073 days


#6 posted 1047 days ago

It depends on the age. Both of my boys have started working with me in the shop from time to time. They are 8 and 10 and both know how to turn (pens for now) on the lathe, drill blanks and some basic hand tool skills. My 10 year old was learning how to hand plane yesterday which was cool to watch.

As mentioned above, #1 is Safety Equipment and respect for the tools. I consider both of these equally important so I can’t personally split them between a #1 and #2 rating.

If you teach them the right way the first time, they will have a skill for the rest of their lives.

-- Carl Fisher, Fort Mill, South Carolina --

View Murdock's profile

Murdock

107 posts in 1082 days


#7 posted 1047 days ago

I have a set of child size hearing protection and safety glasses for my daughter. I purchased the safety glasses locally, but the hearing protection I purchased is a Peltor product: http://www.envirosafetyproducts.com/peltor-kid-earmuffs.html

It is important that the safety gear fits, adult sized glasses and ear muffs will fall off many kids and if they don’t sit tightly enough the protection level isn’t as good.

Besides that, very specific rules, as other posters have mentioned children can do some unexpected things.

-- "Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new." - Albert Einstein

View woodzy's profile

woodzy

413 posts in 1277 days


#8 posted 1038 days ago

My girls are always in my shop.
Mostly we build little toys and birdhouses.
I stick to hand tools only when they are around, Unless I absolutly have to use a power tool.
Which is rare.

They like the look and the way a brace is used, saws excite them.
Hammers are their real passion though . I’m always on the look out for a missing hammer.

They always make me promise to teach them to use the bandsaw, it has their attention.

I make sure all the machines are unplugged, and any safety switches are removed.
I have 2 sets of kids eye, ear and face protection.
My little guy will need a set in a couple more years. (He’s only 5 months old)

-- Anthony

View Brett's profile

Brett

881 posts in 1357 days


#9 posted 1037 days ago

Some tips that I have are:

Watch them like a hawk.

Clean an area for them to work.

Give them a variety of wood and tools that are free for them to use.

Unplug unnecessary tools that will not be needed.

safety glasses are a must.

Define basic rules like, don’t touch these, stay in this area, be careful with this…. etc.

Remind them not to touch, flip, or turn anything that has already been defined as off limits.

HAVE FUN!

-- Hand Crafted by Brett Peterson John 3:16 http://www.TheCrookedNail.blogspot.com

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2163 posts in 1448 days


#10 posted 1037 days ago

Richard Starr’s book on woodworking for kids is very good. Any book on that subject is going to give you good images that will, in your prep time, lead you to ideas for safety.

I Googled woodworking kids and found several sites, so there’s no shortage of guidance. I would mine those resources, pick a project, plan carefully, and make the safety rules part of the journey to completion.

A kid with a brace and bit and a low vise can have a lot of fun just making holes.

+1 to Paul for his idea of 10 minute spurts. Brilliant.

Kindly,

Lee

-- "...in his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

View fussy's profile

fussy

980 posts in 1649 days


#11 posted 1037 days ago

Everything offered here is good and worth implementing. I use most of these ideas when my 4 years old grandson is in the shop. If he gets forgetful, I just threaten to nail one foot to the floor so he can run only in a circle. So for it seems to have worked.

Steve

-- Steve in KY. 44 years so far with my lovely bride. Think I'll keep her.

View redryder's profile

redryder

2102 posts in 1700 days


#12 posted 1037 days ago

My grand kids know the number one rule is to stay away from the expensive wood over in the corner. You know, the oak, walnut, paduk, zebra wood, cherry etc. If you touch the wood over in the corner, someone is going to get hurt…..........

-- mike...............

View Tootles's profile

Tootles

681 posts in 1100 days


#13 posted 1037 days ago

Number 1 rule is: no shoes, no entry.

Other than that, my experience is that it really only works if either you or the kids are working at any time, not both. When the kids are working, it is better that you do not try anything significant so that you can keep an eye on them. If you absolutely have to get some work done, well they are welcome to sit quietly and watch, but that’s hard for the little ones so it is better to invite them to do something else for a while with the promise to work with them later. Just keep your peomises though.

-- I may have lost my marbles, but I still have my love of woodworking

View Richard's profile

Richard

785 posts in 1288 days


#14 posted 1036 days ago

Don’t let them out of you sight for a second, or you might not like the next sound you hear. Other than that it is way cool to teach them and watch the way they try to do it just like you. So make sure you do it right and safe.

View everettvh's profile

everettvh

12 posts in 1687 days


#15 posted 1010 days ago

One thing I did with my kids when they were younger and more impulsive/unpredictable was to give them a stool to sit on and something simple to hold in their hands when I was making a cut or any doing any other activity potentially dangerous to observers. When the stool couldn’t be placed at a good vantage point, I had them stand and use both hands to hold up the wall during the cut.

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