View Full Version : Corrupting youth

07-28-2003, 11:30 AM
Making chips with grandpa. These are my identical twin grandsons. They are really keen on the lathe work and Colton, the one operating the lathe, has a real knack for it. This is his first lesson and he catches on fast. Brandon and Colton are ten years old.



07-28-2003, 12:26 PM
Great to see someone taking time to teach a child the ropes! Keeps 'em away from the video games.

Might want to put on a shirt though! http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//eek.gif


07-28-2003, 12:29 PM
We are only turning small diameter aluminum and it doesn't throw chips. Too bloody hot here right now to wear a shirt. I also have always been of the school of thought that sleeves are good for catching in spinning parts.

07-28-2003, 01:09 PM
I would strongly recommend getting over to Home Depot, or closest similar store and getting a fan and another pair of safety glasses.
Get at least a t-shirt on everyone. Starting teaching machining by taking shortcuts is not very responsible.

07-28-2003, 01:16 PM
When the picture was taken I did not realize my other grandson was not wearing his safety glasses. He was told. My glasses are hardened. As for shirts, appropriate wear is used as necessary.

Michael Az
07-28-2003, 01:33 PM
Good show Evan. Your grandkids will have some idea now how things are made. Move to Phoenix, we are in a cool wave today. Only going to be 100*.

07-28-2003, 01:47 PM
It's going to about 100 here as well.

07-28-2003, 01:53 PM
Seriously, you get low marks on the safety factor. You know this is probably a good exercise for all of us. I know if a camera were kept on me, with a thousand expert eyes on me, many things that I should pay attention to would show up. If you look at your glasses it is obvious that you use them for close up work, like reading glasses. At a further distance you actually look over the top of them. Also even if they are actually hardened they have no side guard or screens. When my eye got nicked it was a glancing side shot so these are very important in my book. The third person has no glasses so this part of the lecture wasn't worked on hard enough. When something jambs up and parts go flying who can predict the safe distance? On the T-shirt thing, I don't like the little swarf pieces sticking to my chest and then later ending up under a shirt or ending up in my shorts. I share the opinion that a T-shirt and a fan can actually make you feel cooler and less sticky.
I like your lathe because it looks exactly like mine but I can't see if it is a model A.
You've given them a start, and now you'll have to tell them what a ribbing you got on the safety issues by the group. It won't hurt them a bit.
PS. In a recent 4-wheel drive article about Jesse James, the motorcycle fabricator, he was pictured operating a 6" angle grinder without safety glasses. He looked pretty tough of course with the sparks flying and all. He must have tougher eyeballs than I do.


07-28-2003, 02:04 PM
My salute to you. Priceless experience for the kids and a good contribution to the future of the country. Inject a little trigonometry and similar stuff while you are at it. It important to convey the idea that there is a lot more going on than just some "blue collar" skill education as some elitists would have most kids believe. I occasionally take machines such as old mechanical typewriters and teletypes to first and second grade classes and supervise the distruction of them with hand tools. A friend of mine at NASA gives talks to grammar school and he is quick to tell you that you have to get to kids before the third grade if you want them to catch the thrill of technology, after that they are lost to peer pressure and very likely to become lawyers.

07-28-2003, 02:14 PM
Sigh.. My grandson without the glasses was not a part of the lesson and had just walked into the room. I didn't know he was there. As I said, he was told. If we were machining anything that would throw chips we would be wearing shop aprons.

The lathe is a SB9 model C . It is excellent for teaching as the belt tension can be reduced allowing the drive to slip if needed.

I also wear appropriate eye wear for the job at hand including full face shield when needed. I have been doing metal work for 40 years and have never had anything in my eyes.

07-28-2003, 03:50 PM
You really can't overdo the eye safety drill. I worked for a long time in a government organization with a lot of manufacturing and we had safety meetings weekly, monthly, quarterly, yearly. It seemed overdone but for the work we were doing it was literally lifesaving. The good effect on me was a lot more attention to safety and I am sure it has possibly saved me some injuries. I also gained more tolerance for people nit picking about safety. With that said, more nit picking so you will feel fully done: Need a belt guard on that lathe, label all containers, inspect all electrical cords yearly, watch out for loose paint flaking from the ceiling, clear the floor of trip hazards, install a hand rail at the entrance to your shop, provide adequate ventilation, provide a false floor to raise small guys to appropriate working height, better lighting according to OSHA standards, read all the childern's working laws, make the MSDS sheets on the coolants available to all who enter and post them. Add a lathe cut off switch that kills the motor unless the chuck key is in its proper place. Install a fire extinguisher near each machine, mark each door with a lighted exit sign, install emergency lighting. You do have more than one exit? If I think of anymore things I will send them along. Give those boys a rub on the head for me and keep up the good work.

07-28-2003, 04:10 PM
Remind me to never post any pictures here. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

07-28-2003, 04:30 PM
Thanks Cass. BTW, do you know where I can get a MSDS for extra virgin olive oil?

L Webb
07-28-2003, 04:42 PM
That's great to see the kids taking an interest. I think you have been properly chastised on the safety issues.

I think kids need exposure to mechanical things and how they work. I think they need exposure to woodworking, metalworking and just how to tear something apart, inspect it, and properly reassemble it.
It will enable them to become more adept at maintaining their home, vehicles and possessions as adults, regardless of their profession.
I am constantly amazed at some of the statements and questions made by people in places such as Home Depot or Lowe's. It is clear that nobody ever took the time to show them how to do anything. They can be a danger to themselves and others.
I feel fortunate that as a kid I was able to work with my father in his swimming pool maintainance business. As soon as my brother and I were big enough to carry the equipment, we went to work. Besides instilling a strong work ethic in us, we learned plumbing, mechanical, electrical, safe use of chemicals and customer relations.
It is too bad that not every child has the opportunity I had as a child.


07-28-2003, 05:55 PM
Absolutely agree! Both my children were girls, but I always tried to interest them in mechanical pursuits. However from the earliest age both wanted to only do the 'girley' things. But once they became adults they became more interested ...especially the youngest.
Tho I was around carpentry and woodworking as a kid, I sure wish I'd had some form of exposure to machining and metal working when I was young. I can remember seeing pictures of lathes (in Sears catalogs) and milling machines, and could only try to imagine what they were used for, and how.

07-28-2003, 08:11 PM
Good job Evan, keep it up with the kids. Nothing here to say about safety, seems it was hammered home. Just wishing you the best with the kids.

My oldest daughter started learning this at 11, but is now a nurse and mother, my youngest right now at 12 can set and figure offsets on the CNC Mill and turn diameters to .002 on the lathe and face to .005. She kind of "bears with it" though, she has all of the sudden discovered she is a pretty young lady, but then again, she still asks when we are going to the shop, and can't wait to get to "work".

07-28-2003, 08:11 PM
I can hear it now-"well doc,seems I turned my lathe on not realising that my nipple was clamped it the three jaw and-" http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//eek.gif http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif
Good to see kids doing something worth doing!

07-28-2003, 08:49 PM
hey evan good to see you passing on the skills of life my 2 sons both machine and weld since no one asked what were you guys making?

07-28-2003, 09:23 PM
Evan: I sure learned a few things about posting here too http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//smile.gif Another thing to watch is foot safety ... a widely ignored but painful and potentially long lasting injuries. My kids are always running around barefoot and I'm constantly warning them about hammers on tabletops, metal chips, etc. etc. Never sinks in because they have never been hurt.

Shed Machinist
07-28-2003, 09:46 PM
Give a em' a pat on the back. I love it when people get interested in machining. Especially children. I am scared of pictures now, so if i don't post any then umm. I will be happy http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif.

07-28-2003, 10:57 PM

We (they) are making the old standby, a (small) candle holder. They get to do a little turning, facing, drilling and use the cutoff tool plus of course, polishing. I wish I had some right sized brass stock but I have used up my supply and need to order some more. Aluminum will do. In this case it is not so much the product but the process. I'm sure they will be happy with what they accomplish and I make sure to tell them how well they do. My daughters eyes lit up when I informed her that tool and die makers average $100,000 per year in Canada.

07-29-2003, 01:13 AM
Reminds me of the time I fried chicken naked. Yep... ha ha.. Overall bibs are almost as bad on a lathe, the chips get into the top, stop at my beer belly then stick and poke me till I shake them on down where they stick and poke me some more.

Good work, keep them kids busy and interested. I wish my son had a interest in what I do in my shop. I should have got to him before he learned it all.

[This message has been edited by ibewgypsie (edited 07-29-2003).]

07-29-2003, 03:24 AM
Nice pics! Start building things with your kids and life will be better for all of us. I belive there should be a lathe in every house and a few less computers and tv sets, I live in an apartment but still has my own lathe. A Sherline machine.

Salute to you!

07-29-2003, 04:46 AM
I won't flog you over the safety issues either, but Safety should always be stressed. I also think you should try to teach both the boys at the same time - twins have enough competition with each other already (my oldests twin sisters drove me nuts).

As far as the naked metal working - thats all I need to get one of my tits or chest hair caught in the chuck, let alone the fire hazard of chest hair while dry machining. Plus I would not want to have to clean any puke up if anyone seen me semi-nude machining. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//eek.gif

07-29-2003, 10:39 AM
Kidding aside, I find that having hairy arms is a blessing when machining. I often feel slight heat from chips caught in the hair, but held away from the skin til cooled and brushed away. Tho occasionally one gets thru.

Alistair Hosie
07-29-2003, 11:12 AM
Evan well done from me I am proud to see you have two very wonderful boys there who are having a good time with grandad.I don't have any grandchildren yet but if I did I would treat them just like you do .It's great to see a nice family.regards Alistair

07-29-2003, 11:20 AM
I knew from the start that I would get some of the reactions I've seen to posting those pictures. In my 40 or so years of using power tools the only one that ever really bit me was a chain saw at the age of seventeen. It was not a safety lapse either but a mechanical failure that caused the accident. The one tool that has caused me the most injuries and pain over the years is my soldering iron. It is a very sneaky tool, very harmless looking, not like a welding torch. If you do much soldering you spend a lot of time with fingers very close to the business end where one slip will get you.

Thrud, the twins are at a stage where it is time to start separating them. Also, I don't have a lot of space around the lathe in my current shop area. I intend to give them both the same instruction, but one at a time. They are developing very distinctly different personalities and I'm not sure that Brandon has a real interest in machining. I think he's just curious what his brother is up to. We'll see, he will have his turn.

Weston Bye
07-29-2003, 01:03 PM
I am envious of your situation. I currently have 2 granddaughters, one toddler, the other in first grade, but with the attention span of a fruit fly. Perhaps the situation will improve with age.

All my daughters worked for me when I was self-employed building control panels and wiring machine tools. They all learned to drill, tap and connect the right wire to the right terminal. I did the conduit bending. One of my customers hired the oldest daughter and several college boys to do a 2 week production job, drilling and reaming holes in zinc castings on fixtured Bridgeports. The boss said my daughter was the best of the bunch. She worked - the others did a lot of goofing off. Afterward, she told me she learned a lot - that she didn't want to do that for a living.

Second daughter went into computers. One class at the U. of Michigan requires them to build a 80186 computer on a breadboard. Hers ran first time and looked good too. All wires "plumb and level", nicely grouped and parallel. The prof preserved it as a good example.

None of my girls took up my trade, but I like to think that what they learned from me made some small difference.

Herb W
07-29-2003, 02:28 PM
Good going Evan!

I have a 10 yr old son who spends lots of time in the shop with me...he's learning on a
SB 9C as well.

For anyone who has a 'young apprentice' or two, I've found some Uvex youth-sized safety glasses which fit my son very well. http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.asp?page=44169&category=1,42207,42216&ccurrency=1& SID= (http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.asp?page=44169&category=1,42207,42216&ccurrency=1&SID=)
Also picked up an adjustable strap by Uvex which clips into the holes in the ends of the arms.
This keeps the glasses snug up against his face to lessen the chance of chips getting in from the sides.

Lee valley also has Peltor muff type hearing protectors in a youth size - again a good fit on the young man.

BTW, usual disclaimers re Lee valley, Uvex, & Peltor. I'm sure there are other brands & suppliers for these types of products.

[This message has been edited by Herb W (edited 07-29-2003).]