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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Explanation and Plans

Each year on the first weekend of December I travel to New Jersey to spend the weekend with my nephew, who is now 6. We go swimming at the hotel, have lunch out, and work on a project. The first project, when he was 2, was a set of shelves for the very small first floor bathroom of their house. He didn't help a lot with that, although he was very sure to make sure that I fixed the bathroom door which had to be removed from the hinges to provide enough room to work in the tiny bathroom. Each year since I've taken down a project for him and me to work on.

Last year he suggested that we make houses this year. This still sounded like a good idea to him when we spoke last month. I spent some time looking for patterns, but didn't find anything that looked like it would work. Criteria for this project are that it had to be easily transportable, couldn't take too much time to create, and had to be something that a six year old could do most of the work putting together.

Finally it hit me. We could make a wooden gingerbread house. First I needed a pattern. I headed to the kitchen and pulled out the gingerbread house cookie cutters. With those as inspiration I turned to the computer and SketchUp. Several hours later I had a pattern I thought would work. I adjusted the pattern so that all of the angles are 45 degrees to make it easier to set tools for cuts.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

One gable end and the door side of the house.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
The same gable end and the other side of the house.

The other gable end only has the round window.

Next step milling the parts.
 

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Explanation and Plans

Each year on the first weekend of December I travel to New Jersey to spend the weekend with my nephew, who is now 6. We go swimming at the hotel, have lunch out, and work on a project. The first project, when he was 2, was a set of shelves for the very small first floor bathroom of their house. He didn't help a lot with that, although he was very sure to make sure that I fixed the bathroom door which had to be removed from the hinges to provide enough room to work in the tiny bathroom. Each year since I've taken down a project for him and me to work on.

Last year he suggested that we make houses this year. This still sounded like a good idea to him when we spoke last month. I spent some time looking for patterns, but didn't find anything that looked like it would work. Criteria for this project are that it had to be easily transportable, couldn't take too much time to create, and had to be something that a six year old could do most of the work putting together.

Finally it hit me. We could make a wooden gingerbread house. First I needed a pattern. I headed to the kitchen and pulled out the gingerbread house cookie cutters. With those as inspiration I turned to the computer and SketchUp. Several hours later I had a pattern I thought would work. I adjusted the pattern so that all of the angles are 45 degrees to make it easier to set tools for cuts.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

One gable end and the door side of the house.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
The same gable end and the other side of the house.

The other gable end only has the round window.

Next step milling the parts.
One very, very lucky nephew. I'm sure that teaching him these little things now will pay off in the future for both he and you. Have a great time on your visit.
 

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Explanation and Plans

Each year on the first weekend of December I travel to New Jersey to spend the weekend with my nephew, who is now 6. We go swimming at the hotel, have lunch out, and work on a project. The first project, when he was 2, was a set of shelves for the very small first floor bathroom of their house. He didn't help a lot with that, although he was very sure to make sure that I fixed the bathroom door which had to be removed from the hinges to provide enough room to work in the tiny bathroom. Each year since I've taken down a project for him and me to work on.

Last year he suggested that we make houses this year. This still sounded like a good idea to him when we spoke last month. I spent some time looking for patterns, but didn't find anything that looked like it would work. Criteria for this project are that it had to be easily transportable, couldn't take too much time to create, and had to be something that a six year old could do most of the work putting together.

Finally it hit me. We could make a wooden gingerbread house. First I needed a pattern. I headed to the kitchen and pulled out the gingerbread house cookie cutters. With those as inspiration I turned to the computer and SketchUp. Several hours later I had a pattern I thought would work. I adjusted the pattern so that all of the angles are 45 degrees to make it easier to set tools for cuts.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

One gable end and the door side of the house.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
The same gable end and the other side of the house.

The other gable end only has the round window.

Next step milling the parts.
Chelle you are the perfect Aunt - should be a fun project for you guys to build. Now, you say you go to New Jersey In December and you and your nephew go swimming? Hope it a heated pool, brrrrr
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Explanation and Plans

Each year on the first weekend of December I travel to New Jersey to spend the weekend with my nephew, who is now 6. We go swimming at the hotel, have lunch out, and work on a project. The first project, when he was 2, was a set of shelves for the very small first floor bathroom of their house. He didn't help a lot with that, although he was very sure to make sure that I fixed the bathroom door which had to be removed from the hinges to provide enough room to work in the tiny bathroom. Each year since I've taken down a project for him and me to work on.

Last year he suggested that we make houses this year. This still sounded like a good idea to him when we spoke last month. I spent some time looking for patterns, but didn't find anything that looked like it would work. Criteria for this project are that it had to be easily transportable, couldn't take too much time to create, and had to be something that a six year old could do most of the work putting together.

Finally it hit me. We could make a wooden gingerbread house. First I needed a pattern. I headed to the kitchen and pulled out the gingerbread house cookie cutters. With those as inspiration I turned to the computer and SketchUp. Several hours later I had a pattern I thought would work. I adjusted the pattern so that all of the angles are 45 degrees to make it easier to set tools for cuts.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

One gable end and the door side of the house.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
The same gable end and the other side of the house.

The other gable end only has the round window.

Next step milling the parts.
Bill - you've got me laughing. Indoor pool. I may be crazy - when we are on vacation in the summer I swim in the lake every morning no matter what the weather (except lightning cause I'm not that crazy); 56 degrees out no problem - but swimming outdoors in New Jersey in December is not going to happen.
 

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Explanation and Plans

Each year on the first weekend of December I travel to New Jersey to spend the weekend with my nephew, who is now 6. We go swimming at the hotel, have lunch out, and work on a project. The first project, when he was 2, was a set of shelves for the very small first floor bathroom of their house. He didn't help a lot with that, although he was very sure to make sure that I fixed the bathroom door which had to be removed from the hinges to provide enough room to work in the tiny bathroom. Each year since I've taken down a project for him and me to work on.

Last year he suggested that we make houses this year. This still sounded like a good idea to him when we spoke last month. I spent some time looking for patterns, but didn't find anything that looked like it would work. Criteria for this project are that it had to be easily transportable, couldn't take too much time to create, and had to be something that a six year old could do most of the work putting together.

Finally it hit me. We could make a wooden gingerbread house. First I needed a pattern. I headed to the kitchen and pulled out the gingerbread house cookie cutters. With those as inspiration I turned to the computer and SketchUp. Several hours later I had a pattern I thought would work. I adjusted the pattern so that all of the angles are 45 degrees to make it easier to set tools for cuts.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

One gable end and the door side of the house.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
The same gable end and the other side of the house.

The other gable end only has the round window.

Next step milling the parts.
Good luck on the construction. I'm sure you both will have lots of fun.
 

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Explanation and Plans

Each year on the first weekend of December I travel to New Jersey to spend the weekend with my nephew, who is now 6. We go swimming at the hotel, have lunch out, and work on a project. The first project, when he was 2, was a set of shelves for the very small first floor bathroom of their house. He didn't help a lot with that, although he was very sure to make sure that I fixed the bathroom door which had to be removed from the hinges to provide enough room to work in the tiny bathroom. Each year since I've taken down a project for him and me to work on.

Last year he suggested that we make houses this year. This still sounded like a good idea to him when we spoke last month. I spent some time looking for patterns, but didn't find anything that looked like it would work. Criteria for this project are that it had to be easily transportable, couldn't take too much time to create, and had to be something that a six year old could do most of the work putting together.

Finally it hit me. We could make a wooden gingerbread house. First I needed a pattern. I headed to the kitchen and pulled out the gingerbread house cookie cutters. With those as inspiration I turned to the computer and SketchUp. Several hours later I had a pattern I thought would work. I adjusted the pattern so that all of the angles are 45 degrees to make it easier to set tools for cuts.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

One gable end and the door side of the house.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
The same gable end and the other side of the house.

The other gable end only has the round window.

Next step milling the parts.
how wonderful
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Construction

A couple of class nights (adult ed open workshop) provided me with the time to mill the necessary lumber for the houses. I was also able to cut the 45 degree angles on the roof parts and the top edge of the walls. The remainder of the work to date has been done with my scroll saw, a drill, hand saws, chisels and planes.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Here's an early dry fit. The ridge beam fits into a slot in the gable ends, and is notched to lock the ends together. The walls are waiting to be cut down leaving a tab in the center to lock into the roof, and the windows and door have not yet been added.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
This is one of the roof sections (it's sitting on top of the other) with the notch that'll mate with the walls cut.

A fair amount of work later here are two views of the dry fit.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Since I'll be doing the final construction with a six year old I decided there needed to be a way to anchor the houses to a base. The final two pictures above show the houses set into a hole in 1/4" plywood. The hole matches the footprint of the house. The 1/4" sheet will be glued to a 1/2" sheet. I'd have gotten it done today, except I need to make some cauls for the glue up, and most of today was spent making bread rolls for Turkey Day.

Cutting the tab in the top of the walls presented an opportunity for a new woodworking challenge. I have never before cut anything with the table of my scrollsaw tilted. The saw I have uses a thumb screw mechanism to secure the blade. I usually have the blade installed so that the thumb screw is on the right side (when you stand in front of the saw). When I tilted the table to 45 degrees to the right the thumb screw bumped into the table. I was able to solve this by installing the blade so that the thumb screw was on the left. The other challenge with cutting the angles in the walls was in figuring out the correct angle of approach so that I could follow my line. The cuts aren't perfect but they're pretty close.

I have made one flub on the construction. I was really careful with cutting the bevel (plane and chisel) on the ridge beam for the first house. I got cocky cutting the second and it ended up seriously lopsided. So another was cut and beveled with more care.

When I dry fit the houses I discovered a serious gap at the ridge of one. For this I turned to my supply of thin wood. In the supply I found the perfect piece to fill the gap. After a little work with the plane it was good to go.

Because these won't be assembled for another couple of weeks I've got all the parts labeled so they will fit together correctly.

I will say that this have given me even more respect for the awesome birdhouses John creates.

Next step for these is to create pieces for decoration - trees, wooden candy, wreaths for the doors, candy canes…
 

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Construction

A couple of class nights (adult ed open workshop) provided me with the time to mill the necessary lumber for the houses. I was also able to cut the 45 degree angles on the roof parts and the top edge of the walls. The remainder of the work to date has been done with my scroll saw, a drill, hand saws, chisels and planes.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Here's an early dry fit. The ridge beam fits into a slot in the gable ends, and is notched to lock the ends together. The walls are waiting to be cut down leaving a tab in the center to lock into the roof, and the windows and door have not yet been added.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
This is one of the roof sections (it's sitting on top of the other) with the notch that'll mate with the walls cut.

A fair amount of work later here are two views of the dry fit.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Since I'll be doing the final construction with a six year old I decided there needed to be a way to anchor the houses to a base. The final two pictures above show the houses set into a hole in 1/4" plywood. The hole matches the footprint of the house. The 1/4" sheet will be glued to a 1/2" sheet. I'd have gotten it done today, except I need to make some cauls for the glue up, and most of today was spent making bread rolls for Turkey Day.

Cutting the tab in the top of the walls presented an opportunity for a new woodworking challenge. I have never before cut anything with the table of my scrollsaw tilted. The saw I have uses a thumb screw mechanism to secure the blade. I usually have the blade installed so that the thumb screw is on the right side (when you stand in front of the saw). When I tilted the table to 45 degrees to the right the thumb screw bumped into the table. I was able to solve this by installing the blade so that the thumb screw was on the left. The other challenge with cutting the angles in the walls was in figuring out the correct angle of approach so that I could follow my line. The cuts aren't perfect but they're pretty close.

I have made one flub on the construction. I was really careful with cutting the bevel (plane and chisel) on the ridge beam for the first house. I got cocky cutting the second and it ended up seriously lopsided. So another was cut and beveled with more care.

When I dry fit the houses I discovered a serious gap at the ridge of one. For this I turned to my supply of thin wood. In the supply I found the perfect piece to fill the gap. After a little work with the plane it was good to go.

Because these won't be assembled for another couple of weeks I've got all the parts labeled so they will fit together correctly.

I will say that this have given me even more respect for the awesome birdhouses John creates.

Next step for these is to create pieces for decoration - trees, wooden candy, wreaths for the doors, candy canes…
Great Job Chelle. You will have fun at the assembly stage.
 

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Construction

A couple of class nights (adult ed open workshop) provided me with the time to mill the necessary lumber for the houses. I was also able to cut the 45 degree angles on the roof parts and the top edge of the walls. The remainder of the work to date has been done with my scroll saw, a drill, hand saws, chisels and planes.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Here's an early dry fit. The ridge beam fits into a slot in the gable ends, and is notched to lock the ends together. The walls are waiting to be cut down leaving a tab in the center to lock into the roof, and the windows and door have not yet been added.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
This is one of the roof sections (it's sitting on top of the other) with the notch that'll mate with the walls cut.

A fair amount of work later here are two views of the dry fit.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Since I'll be doing the final construction with a six year old I decided there needed to be a way to anchor the houses to a base. The final two pictures above show the houses set into a hole in 1/4" plywood. The hole matches the footprint of the house. The 1/4" sheet will be glued to a 1/2" sheet. I'd have gotten it done today, except I need to make some cauls for the glue up, and most of today was spent making bread rolls for Turkey Day.

Cutting the tab in the top of the walls presented an opportunity for a new woodworking challenge. I have never before cut anything with the table of my scrollsaw tilted. The saw I have uses a thumb screw mechanism to secure the blade. I usually have the blade installed so that the thumb screw is on the right side (when you stand in front of the saw). When I tilted the table to 45 degrees to the right the thumb screw bumped into the table. I was able to solve this by installing the blade so that the thumb screw was on the left. The other challenge with cutting the angles in the walls was in figuring out the correct angle of approach so that I could follow my line. The cuts aren't perfect but they're pretty close.

I have made one flub on the construction. I was really careful with cutting the bevel (plane and chisel) on the ridge beam for the first house. I got cocky cutting the second and it ended up seriously lopsided. So another was cut and beveled with more care.

When I dry fit the houses I discovered a serious gap at the ridge of one. For this I turned to my supply of thin wood. In the supply I found the perfect piece to fill the gap. After a little work with the plane it was good to go.

Because these won't be assembled for another couple of weeks I've got all the parts labeled so they will fit together correctly.

I will say that this have given me even more respect for the awesome birdhouses John creates.

Next step for these is to create pieces for decoration - trees, wooden candy, wreaths for the doors, candy canes…
wow.. quite the house!
When I first thought "gingerbread house" I figured it would be 4 walls and a 2 part roof and tack it together.
THIS is a house!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Decorations and an Oops

Every gingerbread house worth it's salt needs decorations - candy canes, gingerbread men, gum drops…

The houses I've been working on will be no different, although the decorations will be wood not actual gingerbread.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
walnut gingerbread man

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
peppermints and candy cane sticks

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
tree - there is a second piece which allows the tree to stand up

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
candy cane

I leave first thing tomorrow for New Jersey and final construction of the houses will happen this weekend. The weekends tasks will be assembling the houses, painting the decorations and adding the decorations to the houses. Before I leave I need to cut a bunch more peppermints. I'll probably do a fair amount of sanding in my hotel room tomorrow night (the maids are going to hate me). I'd have D help me but our schedule is packed - wrestling practice, movie, project, swimming…

I'm a little concerned about the trees. I made those and the full candy canes out of balsa wood. I think they're too weak for the long term. I'm out of time so I can't do anything about it before this weekend but I expect I'll be coming up with some sturdier trees in the not too distant future.

One of the last things I needed to get done last night was assembling the chimneys for the house. These are 4 pieces of wood connected with butt joints. Two of the ends are cut to fit the pitch of the roof. I used my picture frame clamps to glue up one of them but had to improvise for the other (there are 2 houses). I ended up gluing one side and one end together, then the other side and end later.

This is what I ended up with:
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

It should look like this:
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

At 11:15 last night when I discovered this all I could do was laugh, well after I finished cursing. It's not a big tragedy since one of the houses is going to come home with me. I'm thinking of gluing it together as is and keeping it in the shop as a reminder to always think things all the way through. Of course if I do keep it this was I'll have to make another.

That's it for now. I should have pictures of the construction and completed project to post Sunday night or Monday.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Almost Final Construction

Last weekend I made my trek to New Jersey. Friday night was spent enjoying magic tricks, games, and conversation, and a nice long sanding session in my hotel room. Saturday morning was wrestling practice - think room full of testosterone. Saturday afternoon was project time. Our construction team was my nephew, his friend, also 6, and me.

First step was gluing up the walls of the house. The boys each took responsibility for an end wall. While making lunch earlier we had been talking about my mother's ability to stretch a jar of peanut butter. The bread would be coated but with no extra volume. When it came to applying glue my nephew, D, asked if he should apply it like Grammy (his name for my mom) used to spread peanut butter. This proved to be the perfect description for him. His pal, G, having not been part of the earlier conversation was a little more liberal with the glue. But since the point was for the boys to have fun putting the house together we didn't stress out about this.

The boys were fascinated by the clamps (Irwin quick grips). After a quick explanation about how to operate them the boys secured the walls. After fitting the wall structure into the base we set it aside to set and we turned our attention to painting the decorations.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
D is on the left.

During the course of the painting D commented on the roughness of some of the decoration parts (guess I hadn't done a thorough enough job sanding Friday night) and asked for some sand paper to fix them. Soon both boys were hard at work sanding.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Here's the output of the painting session.

After the painting it was time to glue up the roof. In order to get the angles glued up correctly it needed to glued together while in place over the walls, but we wanted it removable so a layer of plastic wrap was added to the walls before the roof pieces were added. To make it easier for the boys to add the glue to the correct edge without adult intervention I placed a small bit of blue tape on either side of the edge to be glued.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
The boys adding the glue.

Here's the roof all clamped up. I'd made a set of clamp blocks for this step. Held together by C clamps. D announced that this was awesome.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Energy was flagging at this point - we'd been working on this for most of 3 hours. D announced that he'd like to put on the decorations with his parents - as a "family project". So the house was unveiled without the decorations applied (hence the almost final of the title).

Here's the house and it's decorations.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

The proud assistant builder.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Me, D and the creation.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

A couple of recommendations for working with kids.
- It's not about perfection. The point should be spending time together and sharing your love of woodworking.
- Be flexible. If the child in question has had enough stop, or at the very least let them stop.
- Enjoy it. The most fun part of this was watching D explain to G how the clamps worked.
- Share your knowledge in language the child can understand. We had a great conversation about sand paper grits, but mostly we talked about how bumpy the sand paper was. In the course of the conversation I mentioned that woodworkers called how bumpy the sand paper was the grit. I still smile when I think about D telling me that the piece he was sanding was pretty uneven and "I think I need the 100" (he was sanding with 220).

I'll post pictures of the finished project once I get them.
 

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Almost Final Construction

Last weekend I made my trek to New Jersey. Friday night was spent enjoying magic tricks, games, and conversation, and a nice long sanding session in my hotel room. Saturday morning was wrestling practice - think room full of testosterone. Saturday afternoon was project time. Our construction team was my nephew, his friend, also 6, and me.

First step was gluing up the walls of the house. The boys each took responsibility for an end wall. While making lunch earlier we had been talking about my mother's ability to stretch a jar of peanut butter. The bread would be coated but with no extra volume. When it came to applying glue my nephew, D, asked if he should apply it like Grammy (his name for my mom) used to spread peanut butter. This proved to be the perfect description for him. His pal, G, having not been part of the earlier conversation was a little more liberal with the glue. But since the point was for the boys to have fun putting the house together we didn't stress out about this.

The boys were fascinated by the clamps (Irwin quick grips). After a quick explanation about how to operate them the boys secured the walls. After fitting the wall structure into the base we set it aside to set and we turned our attention to painting the decorations.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
D is on the left.

During the course of the painting D commented on the roughness of some of the decoration parts (guess I hadn't done a thorough enough job sanding Friday night) and asked for some sand paper to fix them. Soon both boys were hard at work sanding.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Here's the output of the painting session.

After the painting it was time to glue up the roof. In order to get the angles glued up correctly it needed to glued together while in place over the walls, but we wanted it removable so a layer of plastic wrap was added to the walls before the roof pieces were added. To make it easier for the boys to add the glue to the correct edge without adult intervention I placed a small bit of blue tape on either side of the edge to be glued.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
The boys adding the glue.

Here's the roof all clamped up. I'd made a set of clamp blocks for this step. Held together by C clamps. D announced that this was awesome.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Energy was flagging at this point - we'd been working on this for most of 3 hours. D announced that he'd like to put on the decorations with his parents - as a "family project". So the house was unveiled without the decorations applied (hence the almost final of the title).

Here's the house and it's decorations.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

The proud assistant builder.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Me, D and the creation.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

A couple of recommendations for working with kids.
- It's not about perfection. The point should be spending time together and sharing your love of woodworking.
- Be flexible. If the child in question has had enough stop, or at the very least let them stop.
- Enjoy it. The most fun part of this was watching D explain to G how the clamps worked.
- Share your knowledge in language the child can understand. We had a great conversation about sand paper grits, but mostly we talked about how bumpy the sand paper was. In the course of the conversation I mentioned that woodworkers called how bumpy the sand paper was the grit. I still smile when I think about D telling me that the piece he was sanding was pretty uneven and "I think I need the 100" (he was sanding with 220).

I'll post pictures of the finished project once I get them.
Looks like fun was had by all. Some future LumberJocks in the making there?
Great project for the kids (and adults).
 

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Almost Final Construction

Last weekend I made my trek to New Jersey. Friday night was spent enjoying magic tricks, games, and conversation, and a nice long sanding session in my hotel room. Saturday morning was wrestling practice - think room full of testosterone. Saturday afternoon was project time. Our construction team was my nephew, his friend, also 6, and me.

First step was gluing up the walls of the house. The boys each took responsibility for an end wall. While making lunch earlier we had been talking about my mother's ability to stretch a jar of peanut butter. The bread would be coated but with no extra volume. When it came to applying glue my nephew, D, asked if he should apply it like Grammy (his name for my mom) used to spread peanut butter. This proved to be the perfect description for him. His pal, G, having not been part of the earlier conversation was a little more liberal with the glue. But since the point was for the boys to have fun putting the house together we didn't stress out about this.

The boys were fascinated by the clamps (Irwin quick grips). After a quick explanation about how to operate them the boys secured the walls. After fitting the wall structure into the base we set it aside to set and we turned our attention to painting the decorations.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
D is on the left.

During the course of the painting D commented on the roughness of some of the decoration parts (guess I hadn't done a thorough enough job sanding Friday night) and asked for some sand paper to fix them. Soon both boys were hard at work sanding.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Here's the output of the painting session.

After the painting it was time to glue up the roof. In order to get the angles glued up correctly it needed to glued together while in place over the walls, but we wanted it removable so a layer of plastic wrap was added to the walls before the roof pieces were added. To make it easier for the boys to add the glue to the correct edge without adult intervention I placed a small bit of blue tape on either side of the edge to be glued.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
The boys adding the glue.

Here's the roof all clamped up. I'd made a set of clamp blocks for this step. Held together by C clamps. D announced that this was awesome.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Energy was flagging at this point - we'd been working on this for most of 3 hours. D announced that he'd like to put on the decorations with his parents - as a "family project". So the house was unveiled without the decorations applied (hence the almost final of the title).

Here's the house and it's decorations.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

The proud assistant builder.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Me, D and the creation.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

A couple of recommendations for working with kids.
- It's not about perfection. The point should be spending time together and sharing your love of woodworking.
- Be flexible. If the child in question has had enough stop, or at the very least let them stop.
- Enjoy it. The most fun part of this was watching D explain to G how the clamps worked.
- Share your knowledge in language the child can understand. We had a great conversation about sand paper grits, but mostly we talked about how bumpy the sand paper was. In the course of the conversation I mentioned that woodworkers called how bumpy the sand paper was the grit. I still smile when I think about D telling me that the piece he was sanding was pretty uneven and "I think I need the 100" (he was sanding with 220).

I'll post pictures of the finished project once I get them.
Looks like a lot of fun.
 

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Almost Final Construction

Last weekend I made my trek to New Jersey. Friday night was spent enjoying magic tricks, games, and conversation, and a nice long sanding session in my hotel room. Saturday morning was wrestling practice - think room full of testosterone. Saturday afternoon was project time. Our construction team was my nephew, his friend, also 6, and me.

First step was gluing up the walls of the house. The boys each took responsibility for an end wall. While making lunch earlier we had been talking about my mother's ability to stretch a jar of peanut butter. The bread would be coated but with no extra volume. When it came to applying glue my nephew, D, asked if he should apply it like Grammy (his name for my mom) used to spread peanut butter. This proved to be the perfect description for him. His pal, G, having not been part of the earlier conversation was a little more liberal with the glue. But since the point was for the boys to have fun putting the house together we didn't stress out about this.

The boys were fascinated by the clamps (Irwin quick grips). After a quick explanation about how to operate them the boys secured the walls. After fitting the wall structure into the base we set it aside to set and we turned our attention to painting the decorations.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
D is on the left.

During the course of the painting D commented on the roughness of some of the decoration parts (guess I hadn't done a thorough enough job sanding Friday night) and asked for some sand paper to fix them. Soon both boys were hard at work sanding.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Here's the output of the painting session.

After the painting it was time to glue up the roof. In order to get the angles glued up correctly it needed to glued together while in place over the walls, but we wanted it removable so a layer of plastic wrap was added to the walls before the roof pieces were added. To make it easier for the boys to add the glue to the correct edge without adult intervention I placed a small bit of blue tape on either side of the edge to be glued.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
The boys adding the glue.

Here's the roof all clamped up. I'd made a set of clamp blocks for this step. Held together by C clamps. D announced that this was awesome.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Energy was flagging at this point - we'd been working on this for most of 3 hours. D announced that he'd like to put on the decorations with his parents - as a "family project". So the house was unveiled without the decorations applied (hence the almost final of the title).

Here's the house and it's decorations.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

The proud assistant builder.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Me, D and the creation.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

A couple of recommendations for working with kids.
- It's not about perfection. The point should be spending time together and sharing your love of woodworking.
- Be flexible. If the child in question has had enough stop, or at the very least let them stop.
- Enjoy it. The most fun part of this was watching D explain to G how the clamps worked.
- Share your knowledge in language the child can understand. We had a great conversation about sand paper grits, but mostly we talked about how bumpy the sand paper was. In the course of the conversation I mentioned that woodworkers called how bumpy the sand paper was the grit. I still smile when I think about D telling me that the piece he was sanding was pretty uneven and "I think I need the 100" (he was sanding with 220).

I'll post pictures of the finished project once I get them.
Great Blog! Glad to see the homebuilders at work.
 

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18,890 Posts
Almost Final Construction

Last weekend I made my trek to New Jersey. Friday night was spent enjoying magic tricks, games, and conversation, and a nice long sanding session in my hotel room. Saturday morning was wrestling practice - think room full of testosterone. Saturday afternoon was project time. Our construction team was my nephew, his friend, also 6, and me.

First step was gluing up the walls of the house. The boys each took responsibility for an end wall. While making lunch earlier we had been talking about my mother's ability to stretch a jar of peanut butter. The bread would be coated but with no extra volume. When it came to applying glue my nephew, D, asked if he should apply it like Grammy (his name for my mom) used to spread peanut butter. This proved to be the perfect description for him. His pal, G, having not been part of the earlier conversation was a little more liberal with the glue. But since the point was for the boys to have fun putting the house together we didn't stress out about this.

The boys were fascinated by the clamps (Irwin quick grips). After a quick explanation about how to operate them the boys secured the walls. After fitting the wall structure into the base we set it aside to set and we turned our attention to painting the decorations.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
D is on the left.

During the course of the painting D commented on the roughness of some of the decoration parts (guess I hadn't done a thorough enough job sanding Friday night) and asked for some sand paper to fix them. Soon both boys were hard at work sanding.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Here's the output of the painting session.

After the painting it was time to glue up the roof. In order to get the angles glued up correctly it needed to glued together while in place over the walls, but we wanted it removable so a layer of plastic wrap was added to the walls before the roof pieces were added. To make it easier for the boys to add the glue to the correct edge without adult intervention I placed a small bit of blue tape on either side of the edge to be glued.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
The boys adding the glue.

Here's the roof all clamped up. I'd made a set of clamp blocks for this step. Held together by C clamps. D announced that this was awesome.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Energy was flagging at this point - we'd been working on this for most of 3 hours. D announced that he'd like to put on the decorations with his parents - as a "family project". So the house was unveiled without the decorations applied (hence the almost final of the title).

Here's the house and it's decorations.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

The proud assistant builder.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Me, D and the creation.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

A couple of recommendations for working with kids.
- It's not about perfection. The point should be spending time together and sharing your love of woodworking.
- Be flexible. If the child in question has had enough stop, or at the very least let them stop.
- Enjoy it. The most fun part of this was watching D explain to G how the clamps worked.
- Share your knowledge in language the child can understand. We had a great conversation about sand paper grits, but mostly we talked about how bumpy the sand paper was. In the course of the conversation I mentioned that woodworkers called how bumpy the sand paper was the grit. I still smile when I think about D telling me that the piece he was sanding was pretty uneven and "I think I need the 100" (he was sanding with 220).

I'll post pictures of the finished project once I get them.
that's awesome.
My favourite part was the "this needs sanding" ..
You are amazing: all the preparation and the time,, and the rewards: priceless
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Almost Final Construction

Last weekend I made my trek to New Jersey. Friday night was spent enjoying magic tricks, games, and conversation, and a nice long sanding session in my hotel room. Saturday morning was wrestling practice - think room full of testosterone. Saturday afternoon was project time. Our construction team was my nephew, his friend, also 6, and me.

First step was gluing up the walls of the house. The boys each took responsibility for an end wall. While making lunch earlier we had been talking about my mother's ability to stretch a jar of peanut butter. The bread would be coated but with no extra volume. When it came to applying glue my nephew, D, asked if he should apply it like Grammy (his name for my mom) used to spread peanut butter. This proved to be the perfect description for him. His pal, G, having not been part of the earlier conversation was a little more liberal with the glue. But since the point was for the boys to have fun putting the house together we didn't stress out about this.

The boys were fascinated by the clamps (Irwin quick grips). After a quick explanation about how to operate them the boys secured the walls. After fitting the wall structure into the base we set it aside to set and we turned our attention to painting the decorations.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
D is on the left.

During the course of the painting D commented on the roughness of some of the decoration parts (guess I hadn't done a thorough enough job sanding Friday night) and asked for some sand paper to fix them. Soon both boys were hard at work sanding.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Here's the output of the painting session.

After the painting it was time to glue up the roof. In order to get the angles glued up correctly it needed to glued together while in place over the walls, but we wanted it removable so a layer of plastic wrap was added to the walls before the roof pieces were added. To make it easier for the boys to add the glue to the correct edge without adult intervention I placed a small bit of blue tape on either side of the edge to be glued.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
The boys adding the glue.

Here's the roof all clamped up. I'd made a set of clamp blocks for this step. Held together by C clamps. D announced that this was awesome.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Energy was flagging at this point - we'd been working on this for most of 3 hours. D announced that he'd like to put on the decorations with his parents - as a "family project". So the house was unveiled without the decorations applied (hence the almost final of the title).

Here's the house and it's decorations.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

The proud assistant builder.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Me, D and the creation.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

A couple of recommendations for working with kids.
- It's not about perfection. The point should be spending time together and sharing your love of woodworking.
- Be flexible. If the child in question has had enough stop, or at the very least let them stop.
- Enjoy it. The most fun part of this was watching D explain to G how the clamps worked.
- Share your knowledge in language the child can understand. We had a great conversation about sand paper grits, but mostly we talked about how bumpy the sand paper was. In the course of the conversation I mentioned that woodworkers called how bumpy the sand paper was the grit. I still smile when I think about D telling me that the piece he was sanding was pretty uneven and "I think I need the 100" (he was sanding with 220).

I'll post pictures of the finished project once I get them.
Thanks all. This was a lot of work, but also a lot of fun.

I thought of another recommendation after I posted this.
- Let the child do as much of the work as possible. As long as a step isn't dangerous explain what should be done then step back. This will take planning but lets the child really get the sense that they did it themselves.
 

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Almost Final Construction

Last weekend I made my trek to New Jersey. Friday night was spent enjoying magic tricks, games, and conversation, and a nice long sanding session in my hotel room. Saturday morning was wrestling practice - think room full of testosterone. Saturday afternoon was project time. Our construction team was my nephew, his friend, also 6, and me.

First step was gluing up the walls of the house. The boys each took responsibility for an end wall. While making lunch earlier we had been talking about my mother's ability to stretch a jar of peanut butter. The bread would be coated but with no extra volume. When it came to applying glue my nephew, D, asked if he should apply it like Grammy (his name for my mom) used to spread peanut butter. This proved to be the perfect description for him. His pal, G, having not been part of the earlier conversation was a little more liberal with the glue. But since the point was for the boys to have fun putting the house together we didn't stress out about this.

The boys were fascinated by the clamps (Irwin quick grips). After a quick explanation about how to operate them the boys secured the walls. After fitting the wall structure into the base we set it aside to set and we turned our attention to painting the decorations.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
D is on the left.

During the course of the painting D commented on the roughness of some of the decoration parts (guess I hadn't done a thorough enough job sanding Friday night) and asked for some sand paper to fix them. Soon both boys were hard at work sanding.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Here's the output of the painting session.

After the painting it was time to glue up the roof. In order to get the angles glued up correctly it needed to glued together while in place over the walls, but we wanted it removable so a layer of plastic wrap was added to the walls before the roof pieces were added. To make it easier for the boys to add the glue to the correct edge without adult intervention I placed a small bit of blue tape on either side of the edge to be glued.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
The boys adding the glue.

Here's the roof all clamped up. I'd made a set of clamp blocks for this step. Held together by C clamps. D announced that this was awesome.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Energy was flagging at this point - we'd been working on this for most of 3 hours. D announced that he'd like to put on the decorations with his parents - as a "family project". So the house was unveiled without the decorations applied (hence the almost final of the title).

Here's the house and it's decorations.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

The proud assistant builder.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Me, D and the creation.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

A couple of recommendations for working with kids.
- It's not about perfection. The point should be spending time together and sharing your love of woodworking.
- Be flexible. If the child in question has had enough stop, or at the very least let them stop.
- Enjoy it. The most fun part of this was watching D explain to G how the clamps worked.
- Share your knowledge in language the child can understand. We had a great conversation about sand paper grits, but mostly we talked about how bumpy the sand paper was. In the course of the conversation I mentioned that woodworkers called how bumpy the sand paper was the grit. I still smile when I think about D telling me that the piece he was sanding was pretty uneven and "I think I need the 100" (he was sanding with 220).

I'll post pictures of the finished project once I get them.
Excellent job : ) Reminds me of some Bird feeders that I made with my sons many , many moons ago !
Kids are great and the little imperfections that are in the projects today will bring back fond memories in the future : )
 

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8,740 Posts
Almost Final Construction

Last weekend I made my trek to New Jersey. Friday night was spent enjoying magic tricks, games, and conversation, and a nice long sanding session in my hotel room. Saturday morning was wrestling practice - think room full of testosterone. Saturday afternoon was project time. Our construction team was my nephew, his friend, also 6, and me.

First step was gluing up the walls of the house. The boys each took responsibility for an end wall. While making lunch earlier we had been talking about my mother's ability to stretch a jar of peanut butter. The bread would be coated but with no extra volume. When it came to applying glue my nephew, D, asked if he should apply it like Grammy (his name for my mom) used to spread peanut butter. This proved to be the perfect description for him. His pal, G, having not been part of the earlier conversation was a little more liberal with the glue. But since the point was for the boys to have fun putting the house together we didn't stress out about this.

The boys were fascinated by the clamps (Irwin quick grips). After a quick explanation about how to operate them the boys secured the walls. After fitting the wall structure into the base we set it aside to set and we turned our attention to painting the decorations.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
D is on the left.

During the course of the painting D commented on the roughness of some of the decoration parts (guess I hadn't done a thorough enough job sanding Friday night) and asked for some sand paper to fix them. Soon both boys were hard at work sanding.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Here's the output of the painting session.

After the painting it was time to glue up the roof. In order to get the angles glued up correctly it needed to glued together while in place over the walls, but we wanted it removable so a layer of plastic wrap was added to the walls before the roof pieces were added. To make it easier for the boys to add the glue to the correct edge without adult intervention I placed a small bit of blue tape on either side of the edge to be glued.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
The boys adding the glue.

Here's the roof all clamped up. I'd made a set of clamp blocks for this step. Held together by C clamps. D announced that this was awesome.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Energy was flagging at this point - we'd been working on this for most of 3 hours. D announced that he'd like to put on the decorations with his parents - as a "family project". So the house was unveiled without the decorations applied (hence the almost final of the title).

Here's the house and it's decorations.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

The proud assistant builder.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Me, D and the creation.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

A couple of recommendations for working with kids.
- It's not about perfection. The point should be spending time together and sharing your love of woodworking.
- Be flexible. If the child in question has had enough stop, or at the very least let them stop.
- Enjoy it. The most fun part of this was watching D explain to G how the clamps worked.
- Share your knowledge in language the child can understand. We had a great conversation about sand paper grits, but mostly we talked about how bumpy the sand paper was. In the course of the conversation I mentioned that woodworkers called how bumpy the sand paper was the grit. I still smile when I think about D telling me that the piece he was sanding was pretty uneven and "I think I need the 100" (he was sanding with 220).

I'll post pictures of the finished project once I get them.
this one looks really cool, and having the kids decorate is just a cherry on top (does gingerbread houses work well with cherries?)
 
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