Project with the Kids #1: A Small Bench

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Blog entry by darryl posted 07-27-2008 08:17 PM 1389 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Project with the Kids series Part 2: Bird Nesting Boxes »

My two younger girls (ages 7 & 4) are always interested in working on a project in the basement with their dad. Most of the time they are gluing sawdust to a piece of scrap wood. This time around I thought I would try and do something a little more involved with them. We decided to build them a kid sized bench using some of the scrap plywood I’ve got laying around.

With a bit of searching through the piles, we were able to find some pieces that would work without much cutting required. I showed them how to line up and mark their pieces so they could see where to spread the glue. I also let them do the glue spreading themselves.

The only real glitch we ran into was when we attempted to glue the small side pieces on that would connect the front of the bench to the back. After letting the glue dry for 30 mins, I removed the clamps. All seemed well until I attempted to move the bench and that is when it all fell apart (literally, not figuratively)! My 7 year old looked up and me and said “maybe we should use nails”. All I could do was laugh.

I’ve told this story to one of my friends in Chicago and he has been busting my chops since then asking when I’m going to complete this little wonder project. Well Paul, here it is. And this time I used screws!

The girls are very happy with their bench and after we return from vacation, I’ll show them how to sand it down to take off the sharp edges and perhaps we’ll do some painting.

7 comments so far

View FlWoodRat's profile


732 posts in 4920 days

#1 posted 07-27-2008 09:02 PM

Darryl. when you look back on your ‘shop life’ I would bet the hours you spent with your girls making the bench will be on your High Light Reel.
Scrap wood: Cheap
Kid sized work bench: Useful and economical
Quality Shop Time with your kids: Priceless

-- I love the smell of sawdust in the morning....

View Betsy's profile


3394 posts in 4907 days

#2 posted 07-27-2008 09:29 PM

“maybe we should use nails”. —out of the mouths of babe’s comes true wisdom!

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

View sharad's profile


1119 posts in 4815 days

#3 posted 07-28-2008 10:41 AM

Ideal project for the kids and tap their wisdom. Good experience

-- “If someone feels that they had never made a mistake in their life, then it means they have never tried a new thing in their life”.-Albert Einstein

View Russel's profile


2199 posts in 4950 days

#4 posted 07-28-2008 12:05 PM

Ya gotta love the direct insight of a youngster. When my kids were younger they too would say similar things, probably wondering why Dad didn’t see it. Great project with the kids. The experience is something they will have long after the bench is gone.

-- Working at Woodworking

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 5171 days

#5 posted 07-28-2008 02:53 PM

I guess she’s been paying attention. What is her next skill to learn?
and it’s a darned cute little bench!!

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View PaulB's profile


3 posts in 4659 days

#6 posted 07-28-2008 06:38 PM

Awesome project, Darryl! I’ll need to make a bench like this with MY 3.5 year old girl. So you used screws (countersunk, I’d gather ;) , and not nails. Much sturdier than Titebond!

-- Paul

View 1978's profile


167 posts in 4620 days

#7 posted 07-28-2008 06:49 PM

This is the way woodworking stays alive. Teach your skill to a young one. Chances are they will do the same.

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