Boy in the shop

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Blog entry by johnjoiner posted 01-04-2008 06:12 PM 1235 reads 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

The boy (10 years) and I descended into the shop last night to begin work on his pinewood derby car.

With really close supervision I let him cut a straight part of the car on the band saw. But I was really happy that he got excited about using some planes and spokeshaves. On a scrap he tried out my woody smoother, block plane, and old #7. He thought it was very cool to peel the shavings off the board. Then it got even better when he went to town using a spokeshave to smooth the band saw marks off his car. I took a picture of him with the plane, which I’ll post later.

My bench is way too tall for him of course so the planing was hard work. The planes were up near arm-pit height so he couldn’t get any of his weight over the tool. I have thought about building a nice small bench for the kids. That just jumped near the top of the to-do list.

-- johnjoiner

10 comments so far

View airfieldman's profile


185 posts in 4316 days

#1 posted 01-04-2008 06:20 PM

I don’t think it can be overstated how important it is to infuse a passion for this art into our offspring. I don’t mean to imply that the craft is more important than anything else we teach or children, however the time spend pays dividends way beyond the abilities shared.

You are a lucky man my friend. Cherish this time.

-- Measure with a micrometer, mark with a crayon, cut it with a chainsaw.

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 4666 days

#2 posted 01-04-2008 06:27 PM

how wonderful
He definitely needs to build himself a workbench so he can play with wood along side you.

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

View David's profile


1969 posts in 4644 days

#3 posted 01-04-2008 06:34 PM


Getting kids involved with woodworking is so important! This is also some very special quality time.

Good luck with the pinewood derby!


View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 4380 days

#4 posted 01-04-2008 06:51 PM

What a great post.

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

4050 posts in 4569 days

#5 posted 01-04-2008 07:26 PM

With the absence of a budget in schools for shop training (Hey wait! What could be more important than providing the next generation with some skills other than how to be a better consumer – did I just type that out loud), I can’t imagine anything more gratifying and unifying to a family than one-on-one together in the shop.

I got to do this with my then new step-son and we both had a blast. I wish your son good luck with his entry.

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over two decades.

View Dadoo's profile


1789 posts in 4495 days

#6 posted 01-04-2008 07:31 PM

So “his” next project should be helping you build a step stool. A nice wide, stable one that gets him up to the right level for those planes. Right?

-- Bob Vila would be so proud of you!

View Tomcat1066's profile


942 posts in 4301 days

#7 posted 01-05-2008 03:03 AM

I remember my father and I building my first Pinewood Derby car. I won second place in my pack that year too! I have no doubt that your son will remember this for the rest of his life as well. Planting the seeds to be a woodworker? That’s just the icing on the cake :D

-- "Give me your poor tools, your tired steel, your huddled masses of rust." Yep, I ripped off the Statue of Liberty. That's how I roll!

View Blake's profile


3443 posts in 4379 days

#8 posted 01-06-2008 02:56 AM

Ahhh, Pinewood Deby cars. Brings back memories…

-- Happy woodworking!

View pyromedic602's profile


164 posts in 4253 days

#9 posted 03-03-2008 03:29 AM

I have a three year old son who I cant keep out of my shop. Every time I am out there doing something he has to be in the middle of it “helping”. I love every minute of it even though it can get aggrivating some times. Can’t wait until he is big enough to trully use the tools and help. Good luck with the child size bench I plan on building one also when my shop is complete.

-- Pyromedic602, free wood is always good wood

View lazyfiremaninTN's profile


528 posts in 4458 days

#10 posted 03-03-2008 04:32 AM

Just wait till he starts cutting on a Special Piece Curly Cherry that you were saving. Won’t be so fun then…..LOL.

-- Adrian ..... The 11th Commandment...."Thou Shalt Not Buy A Wobble Dado"

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