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Forum topic by socrbent posted 653 days ago 657 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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209 posts in 896 days

653 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: question finishing sanding shaping

I have three grandson’s 6, 7, 8 yr. old. I’m thinking that a great Christmas gift might be some type of partially completed project for them to complete with their non-woodworker dads over the holidays. Something where most of the initial sizing and surfacing of wood components is near complete. The project might require sanding, assembly with screws or glue, drilling of standard 1/4” to 3/8” holes, and finishing. I cold include the sandpaper, glue, paint, wood pre-cut. Do you have suggestions that I could prep and ship several states away to them that might appeal to a boy that age? 2 of the 3 live in Texas and the other in Ohio.

-- socrbent Ohio

12 replies so far

View a1Jim's profile


112011 posts in 2204 days

#1 posted 653 days ago

I would say the most typical kids projects are bird houses.

-- Custom furniture

View woodwasp's profile


7 posts in 657 days

#2 posted 653 days ago

I undertook a project with my grandsons at Christmas several years ago and they loved it and it got a lot of the family involved. I pre-prepared finger jointed pencil cases with a sliding top, to them it was just a stack of loose wood bits but on the appointed day at a family get together we all assembled glued and sanded all the various bits. the following day we varnished together with the skills of 5 to 10 year olds and heaps of enthusiasm. The finishes range from “not a bad bit of brushwork” to “applied with a chooks claw” but to each of them the self signature on the bottom and “made with Grandpa 2010” in their own writing (permanent marker), the pencil cases have become family treasures.
I am sure you could premake something along these or similar lines that every one could benefit from.
Good luck, oh yes and a happy Christmas to you.

-- James -- Mooroopna Australia

View alina's profile


1 post in 653 days

#3 posted 653 days ago

nice plan

View David Craig's profile

David Craig

2135 posts in 1736 days

#4 posted 653 days ago

One beginner project that is also popular is the old tool box with the dowel for a handle. You could put together the parts, pre-drill holes for nails and have them glue and fasten the box together. Future gifts could be tools for the box (i.e. hand powered drill, hammers, glue, etc.) in which they would have the supplies for each new project that is sent to them as a gift. The next project might be a bird house, for example, but instead of pre-drilled holes, you would have marks on the boards where they have to drill a hole, and each project incorporate a little more complexity and a little more involvement on their part.

-- There is little that is simple when it comes to making a simple box.

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10850 posts in 1742 days

#5 posted 653 days ago

+ 1 to what David say
prepping the projects so they can be send as flatpack
with very clear instruction to the ten thump fathers of what to do … and not to do :-)


View Fishinbo's profile


11216 posts in 803 days

#6 posted 652 days ago

That is a sweet gift. You’ll make them happy with your gift as well as you provide them with bonding time.

View AandCstyle's profile


1286 posts in 884 days

#7 posted 652 days ago

I just got issue 49 of “Scrollsaw Woodworking & Crafts. It gives plans for a Castle and Crossbow set using rubber bands staring on page 32. I think it could be made using a band saw. It would be a great present for boys of all ages.

Another option is a trebuchet. Here is one plan, but there are many available. HTH

-- Art

View CueballRosendaul's profile


300 posts in 767 days

#8 posted 652 days ago

What a great post, I like all the ideas so far, but have none to offer of the top of my head, but I do look forward to seeing the result. I’m about 8 years away from having a six year old grandson, but I do have a nephew in that range.

-- Matt CueBall Rosendaul. I don't think I've ever had a cup of coffee that didn't have cat hair or sawdust in it.

View 404 - Not Found's profile

404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 1596 days

#9 posted 652 days ago

The trebuchet sounds good but where are you going to find a glazier on Christmas morning?

How about a wooden truck/car in kit form.

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2163 posts in 1477 days

#10 posted 651 days ago

As a general rule, kids do better with glue than with nails.

What about constructing some track pieces that need curbs glued on, and then creating Pinewood Derby type cars? You can buy the kits with just wheels and axles in them. This allows some creative and constructive time as well as unlimited play options.



-- " 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 pintodeluxe's profile


3322 posts in 1440 days

#11 posted 651 days ago

lincoln log kits.
router carved sign for the kids to paint.
video game fingerjointed box.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View socrbent's profile


209 posts in 896 days

#12 posted 651 days ago

I am grateful for all the suggestions. I made a trebuchet with the grandson in Ohio earlier this year and it was treasured. The plans were in a recent wood mag and they suggested using peanuts for ammo. Doubt if that would break window. So maybe I’ll do 2 dueling trebuchets for Texas. Thinking about a collapsible structure for them to attack sorta Lincoln log style

-- socrbent Ohio

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