Pre-K project boat

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Project by ihadmail posted 03-31-2017 01:53 PM 1164 views 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My 5 year old son had a homework assignment from his pre-k class. He was to construct a boat, then bring it to school to determine if it would float.

He asked if we could make one with his tools, which consisted of a dovetail pull saw, a 6’ tape measure and a small hammer. Not quite enough for this project. We made a quick trip to the local home improvement store and added a rasp and a coping saw to his arsenal.

I donated a piece of maple that was originally destined to become a cutting board, and some scraps of black walnut. I helped him mark a center line and the overall size of the boat. Then I drew the curves for him to follow. He made a small test cut on another scrap of maple to see how the coping saw worked, then went at it on the actual project.

He struggled a lot, and made some very wavy lines. I let him keep going, trying different teqniques, until he asked if I could help. I finished the cuts and then cut the center portion out using my jig saw. We were running over budget on our time.

I showed him the four different profiles on his rasp and let him practice for a few minutes to see which part was fast and which part made the wood smooth. Then I let him round over all of the edges while I cut and made the half lap joint in the paddle. He made a very consistent round over on the entire project in short time.

I let him use my combination square to mark off the cabin, then he cut it out and rounded over the edges here too. Next up we sanded it. I let him sand the boat body while I took care of the cabin and paddle. He really enjoyed the sanding, surprisingly.

He spread the glue on the cabin and put it on where he wanted it. I helped him get a pair of clamps on it and tightened down. He was not a fan of how the glue felt on his finger.

After everything dried I put two coats of wipe on poly in clear satin on it. I was very thrilled with him wanting to make his boat out of wood, and his enthusiasm through the entire project. This morning he told me his boat was going to be the best, because I helped him with it.

7 comments so far

View GR8HUNTER's profile


8257 posts in 1682 days

#1 posted 03-31-2017 02:16 PM

the smile says it all …..GREAT JOB :<))

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN :<))

View doubleDD's profile


9992 posts in 3013 days

#2 posted 03-31-2017 04:28 PM

Fun project you guys got to share. I remember as a kid, whenever my bother and I found a piece of wood, we would make a paddle boat out of it.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2866 posts in 3892 days

#3 posted 03-31-2017 08:08 PM

Thank You for this post. It is good to see fathers interacting with their children like this. I did this same kind of thing with my children. (They are now pushing fifty.) I have made paddle boats like this , although a bit smaller, that our wood workers club gives to local hospitals. Your son will remember this for all his life I bet.

-- No PHD just a DD214 Lubbock Texas

View ihadmail's profile


69 posts in 1483 days

#4 posted 03-31-2017 10:19 PM

My son’s teacher informed me that he had been talking about building his boat all day long. I think he’s hooked on woodworking now.

He was also correct in his hypothesis that the boat would float.

View pottz's profile


13733 posts in 1954 days

#5 posted 04-01-2017 12:57 AM

very cool project,so glad to see you getting your son into a great hobby,its about the same time my dad got me my first tool set,56 years later and I’m still hooked.hope yours does the same.thanks for posting this.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 3836 days

#6 posted 04-01-2017 12:49 PM

Way to go, Dad. Start them early and they will always appreciate it.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View mafe's profile


12844 posts in 4059 days

#7 posted 04-02-2017 10:40 AM

How wonderful, lucky son, lucky father.
Tell him he did a impressive job on that boat, really impressed here in Denmark.
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

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