A visit from my supervisor/kids in the shop

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Forum topic by SalvageCraft posted 09-17-2011 12:14 AM 1352 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View SalvageCraft's profile


274 posts in 2554 days

09-17-2011 12:14 AM

My supervisor stopped in to check out my work today:

Now, I know better than to use the big tools with a baby in the shop (tablesaw/router/jointer/planer/anything that is real loud or could throw projectiles). I usually bring her in with me when I’m using hand tools or just putting around. She’ll either sit in a stroller or in a frame carrier on my back. She must sense that I like it in there because she always seems calmer. Plus, there’s a lot of stuff to look at! I’m hoping she grows up with fond memories of learning/helping/working in the shop with her dad.

What are your guidelines for children in the shop? At what ages do you teach them to use what tools? I know it must vary based on the individual child’s interest and aptitude, but the topic makes for good conversation :)

-- Jesse --

12 replies so far

View darinS's profile


709 posts in 2895 days

#1 posted 09-17-2011 12:53 AM

I had my son swinging a hammer since he was as old as in my avatar. He’s now 10. He’s up to using the miter saw, on occasion the circular saw, air nailer, and a few other hand tools. Granted, all of this is only when supervised. Not brave enough to let him at things by himself yet.

-- They say many people die because of alcohol. They never realized how many of them are born because of it.

View Dark_Lightning's profile


3165 posts in 3137 days

#2 posted 09-17-2011 04:03 AM

I “let” my sons use the scroll saw to cut out Cub Scout pinewood derby car bodies. Goggles, ear muffs (I also shoot, so these were easy) and I held their hands to “help guide”. What that really means is the cuts took ten times as long as they should have, because I was strongly controlling the motion, with the reaction time to pull back if the blade broke. Scroll saw blades breaking are way less problematic than, say, a band saw. Good times!

-- Random Orbital Nailer

View CharlieM1958's profile


16275 posts in 4246 days

#3 posted 09-17-2011 04:27 AM

She looks like she’s ready to catch your outfeed! :-)

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View CharlieM1958's profile


16275 posts in 4246 days

#4 posted 09-17-2011 04:28 AM

Oh….to answer your question…. My son is 25, and he’s not old enough to be in my shop yet.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View SalvageCraft's profile


274 posts in 2554 days

#5 posted 09-17-2011 04:30 AM

@ Darin – That’s impressive! He’ll be the next “Teenage Woodworker” :)

@ AtomJack – Love it!

@ Charlie – Yep. I train em young!

-- Jesse --

View lilredweldingrod's profile


2496 posts in 3135 days

#6 posted 09-17-2011 05:54 AM

Hey Charlie, I just turned 68, am I old enough yet? lol

Dang! Are you up around the Arctic Circle? The kid is bundled up like it is winter. Bring her out her where the temp in my shops is 82 degrees at the moment and it just turned 9pm. lol

PS You should have at least 10-12, especially when you make such beautiful babies. BEAUTIFY THE WORLD.

View thedude50's profile


3603 posts in 2506 days

#7 posted 09-21-2011 09:31 AM

i often brag that my grandpa taught me to woodwork when i was 6 and that is when i remember it but my mom says i was in the shop when i was an infant grandad used hand tools so there wasn’t allot of power-tools i recall a drill and a jigsaw at age 9 before that it was scrapers hand planes hand saws etc my kids all grew up in the shop and now my grand-kids will i only let them use hand tools i let my son use the router table router and table saw at age 10 he was a talent in wood shop but the teachers didn’t cut him loose it was the same projects as everyone else boring for him in fact this is why he is a mechanic now his lessons at home were more advanced than in school they didn’t teach him a thing what a waste back in jr and high school i was cut loose to do what ever i wanted my teacher respected my skills now they treat kids like morons and that’s what they get in return teach them early and often teach them like they need to know it

-- Please check out my new stores and

View Gregn's profile


1642 posts in 3011 days

#8 posted 09-21-2011 03:14 PM

Looks like your off to a good start already. I remember the fond memories of my daughter growing up in the shop, at least till she took an interest in boys. I look forward to bring up my grandson in the shop.

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

View Bertha's profile


13529 posts in 2721 days

#9 posted 09-21-2011 03:40 PM

Your supervisor is eyeing that mallet pretty hard!

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

View SalvageCraft's profile


274 posts in 2554 days

#10 posted 09-21-2011 04:42 PM

The other day she helped me make a teething toy for her. I had a chunk of bamboo flooring I had milled down to cut spacers for my box joint jig (BTW, bamboo is excellent for jigs and runners – extremely hard, stable and lightweight), and she was getting fidgety looking for something to chew on. As I worked on filing down the corners and edges, every few moments I held it up for her approval. She was very excited about this! Once it met her specs, I drilled a hole, put it on a string, and attached it to her carrier. Chewing commenced.

Bertha – Again, I think she was looking for something to gnaw on!

-- Jesse --

View KYJeepGuy's profile


50 posts in 2469 days

#11 posted 09-21-2011 09:49 PM

Reminds me of when my college sophomore twins were little, they were often “hanging around” in their Johnny-Jump-Ups. All four kids have had important life lessons learned by my side in the shop.

-- If I'm not in the shop, I'm someplace else. Joel, Lumberjock #30,000

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18291 posts in 3704 days

#12 posted 09-22-2011 07:51 AM

I didn’t do much in the shop when my kids were little; we did mostly outdoor stuff, camping, fishing, little league, ect. My son now has his own shop, so he came through it just fine ;-))

All I can tell you is do what my dad did when I was little. The shop was actually the barn where he milked. In the winter time, I had a straw nest in the corner. It was nice and warm. With winter on the way, that should work just fine. Oh, I was on the right level for milking but you may have to elevate to get to work bench height.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

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