Many woodworkers would love to see their young ones take an interest in it, but have an issue allowing them to use tools. This is understandable, they don’t want to see their children come to them with missing fingers or possible other body parts damaged from the woodshop.
What can be done then in order to get them to enjoy this pastime without hurting themselves? They can be shown how to show respect for the shop and tools that lie within it.
There are definite dangers that can be discussed with them, but you don’t want them to be so scared that they end up hurting themselves because of fear of the tools. Keep in mind that if you are teaching your children anything with woodworking, the risks of allowing them in the shop are going to fall on you as the parents or guardians. We at woodesigner.net have no responsibility in the matter. We want you to make sure though that you realize the risks involved.
Of course, you are going to want to start slow with them. Far slower than with an adult. You can get them going with something simple, even with a single piece of wood and a little sandpaper. For a younger child, try them out with some styrofoam, a few golf tees and a mallet. Teach them the hammer this way. For one a little older, maybe a couple of screws into a pre drilled scrap piece of wood with a screwdriver or small drill.
This will introduce them to the hand tools and basics of woodworking. Showing them one tool at a time and their use is key. This way they won’t be overwhelmed and won’t lose interest quickly.
Always keep in mind that you need to show them that they should always put safety first. Give them the rules to the shop, helping them to see they won’t be allowed unless they follow these rules. Here are a few tips when teaching children:
– It may be better to limit it to one or two children at a time.
– Once they reach a certain age determined by you, plastic tools may not be for them.
– Teach the name and function of the tools before allowing them to touch them
– Why not trace the handtools where they go on the wall so they know where to put them up at?
– By giving them their own safety glasses, goggles, aprons, and other equipment, they may be more apt to want to wear them. Especially if you do too.
– Put your workbench in a visible area and where everyone can keep a safe distance from each other when working.
– Power tools and machinery should not be used by a young child. Even teenagers have to be careful with them.
– If allowed to use a handsaw, make sure the piece being cut is in a vice or attached to the worktable.
– There are plenty of places to get scrap wood for them to work with the material and not destroy good stock. Be sure to have plenty around so they have opportunity.
– Children that are a little older can be taught to use a hammer with the proper safety equipment like safety glasses. Maybe a roofing nail with a large head would get them off to a good start.
Again, the best thing to teach a youth first is what the tools are and how to use them safely. Keeping an eye on them at all times is a must! It doesn’t take but a second for something bad to happen to them when you turn your back. Show them the consequences of being safe, even if it is a little graphic. They need to see being safe as no joke!
Even with emphasis on safety, young ones can enjoy working with you in the shop. It can open up their minds to creativity, and they can come to enjoy working with wood just like you!
DO YOU HAVE a woodworking project or tip that you would like to submit to WooDesigner and get it added to our site? Then go to the contact tab below OR at the top of this page and let me know. Just make sure you are able to give us step by step instructions on it, as well as images as you see here, and we will put it on this site just like you have read on this page! As long as it is clear and concise like you just saw, it will go up. Your name will be credited to the project, as where you live. (Please include that.) Also include the type of lumber you use for the design. We look forward to hearing from you! (Take note that the tip and images and instructions have to become ours. I do hate that so much but in today’s society so many will sue, and yes, you can sue for a lot of money over images.) The tips will need to include YOUR IMAGES that you take. They can’t be images from somewhere online. Remember, we have to go through these images and if they aren’t your own, we will not be able to use them. This is illegal and it won’t be tolerated and you will be banned from this community by being blocked. We can get sued for this, and just one bad apple can ruin our community.
Ted Leger –
Comments or questions are welcome.