An Investment in Time

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Project by justjoel posted 05-11-2010 07:35 PM 3890 views 8 times favorited 34 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Okay, this project in no way matches the beauty and expertise of any of the other works of art that I’ve seen here, so forgive me if I’ve broken a posting rule, but I think you will all appreciate it just the same.

My father makes reproduction antique furniture, mostly shaker style. He also makes knife boxes, game boards, whirligigs, doll beds and such, all from re-claimed lumber. He taught me that EVERYTHING you learn is like a tool in your toolbox for life.

For my son’s 8th birthday party we decided that rather than give the kids those silly little bags of cheap toys and candy, we’d have them make something to take home with them. I of course pre-cut and pre-drilled the lumber, then had the boys assemble their own toolboxes. (Mom had them make their own individual pizzas too.)

As we were putting these together, I talked about what a tool is, “Is a tool just something like this (holding up a drill)?” – “What about Math, is that a tool?” and such things. The boys all got it, but I don’t imagine the lessons learned here will sink in right away – it’s probably best that they discover and/or rediscover it on their own anyway.

Unintentionally, I showed them that even when you really know what you are doing, you can make a mistake, and that is a lesson too (I had to re-cut a couple of the dowel handles).

Everyone signed each other’s “Brainbox,” and I supplied little stickers to help them remember the lesson.

Only time will tell.

-- Creating something out of something-else is fantastic! Creating something out of nothing is really just (D?)divine!

34 comments so far

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3750 days

#1 posted 05-11-2010 07:53 PM

fantastic project you have started there with the kids
and if its not woodworking I don´t know what it is

thank´s for sharing this wonderfull moment with the rest of us


Edit: I´m sure you will have dustsweepers aprenticed coveret
for the next many years in the shop….............LOL

View PurpLev's profile


8554 posts in 4283 days

#2 posted 05-11-2010 07:56 PM

very cool! looks like a great shop time

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View itsmic's profile


1419 posts in 3753 days

#3 posted 05-11-2010 08:01 PM

That is Great You have the right idea, most definitely a great project, I have said in the past that one of the things I like about woodworking, is that it makes people feel good, Your project, more than qualifies, great job, keep the good work up

-- It's Mic Keep working and sharing

View Jack_T's profile


623 posts in 3666 days

#4 posted 05-11-2010 08:08 PM

What do you mean not beautiful. Young boys learning how to make something. That is beautiful. The boxes look nice too! Keep up the good work.

-- Jack T, John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life."

View bobkberg's profile


439 posts in 3708 days

#5 posted 05-11-2010 08:13 PM

Good project! They’ll probably treasure these for years!

-- Bob - A sideline, not how I earn a living

View justjoel's profile


11 posts in 3572 days

#6 posted 05-11-2010 08:29 PM

Thank you, Gentlemen (and I mean that). Most of the stuff I make is fairly rough and for outdoor use (I use lots of cedar fence boards), though I have made a couple of nice shelves for my daughter. Don’t have the tools or the skills (yet) that you all seem to possess, but I’ll get there. I have a profile on GardenTenders too, and have posted projects there as well. I’ll be searching and drooling over all your stuff soon.

-- Creating something out of something-else is fantastic! Creating something out of nothing is really just (D?)divine!

View swirt's profile


4741 posts in 3607 days

#7 posted 05-11-2010 08:36 PM

Great project and great first post! You have taught some very valuable lessons in that and they will likely remember more than you realize….and more than they’ll realize just yet. I bet in 20 years, each of these kids will still have their toolbox that they made…. the same can’t be said for their ipod or whatever else they treasure right now.

I have a very similar style toolbox in my shed that I made as a kid ~30 years ago in 7th grade shop class. Can’t bring myself to get rid of it and it is still useful. If I had made it with my Dad or with a friend, it would probably be in my house rather than my shed.

-- Galootish log blog,

View BarbS's profile


2434 posts in 4720 days

#8 posted 05-11-2010 08:43 PM

What a great birthday party! I’ll bet at school the other boys are saying “Your dad is so cool!” and bragging about their work. Way to go, Dad. And this kind of Project is Exactly what Lumberjocks like to read about. Thanks for joining us and posting this!


View tyskkvinna's profile


1310 posts in 3621 days

#9 posted 05-11-2010 08:53 PM

How awesome! This is something that they will certainly treasure for many years to come. And a birthday party they will recall long after the other parties with random plastic toys and candy fade from memory.

-- Lis - Michigan - -

View flyfisherbob2000's profile


81 posts in 3622 days

#10 posted 05-11-2010 09:05 PM

ANY time you can share yor skills & knowledge with a younger generation, it is a fantastic project! Well done JustJoel

View FirehouseWoodworking's profile


769 posts in 3908 days

#11 posted 05-11-2010 10:34 PM

For the value of your project and the time you invested, this project is PRICELESS! And it surely DOES rank in there with the best!

Well done, sir!

-- Dave; Lansing, Kansas

View justjoel's profile


11 posts in 3572 days

#12 posted 05-11-2010 10:44 PM

I love preaching to the choir. ;o}’

-- Creating something out of something-else is fantastic! Creating something out of nothing is really just (D?)divine!

View Splinterman's profile


23074 posts in 3996 days

#13 posted 05-11-2010 11:38 PM

Hey Joel,
Good one man.

View hjt's profile


904 posts in 3773 days

#14 posted 05-11-2010 11:38 PM

I echo Barbs comments. Very good idea.

-- Harold

View ND2ELK's profile


13495 posts in 4409 days

#15 posted 05-12-2010 01:20 AM

What a great idea. Anytime you can get kids involved in woodworking it is an extra special project. Tell the guys they did a great job on their boxes. Thanks for posting.

God Bless

-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

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