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do your small kids hang out in your shop ?

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  • do your small kids hang out in your shop ?

    being a family type of guy its hard some times to complete projects in my shop/basement, my 8 yr old is always down there with me and his brother also ( 4yrs old ) between answering questions and nagging about saftey glasses some jobs take a lot longer than they should LOL, my 8 yr old wants to drill holes in every thing on his small drill press, he hand files knives out of aluminum bar stock, getting better every day kinda remindes me of my self when i was 12,he also makes little bows and arrows, arrow heds, etc, thinking of building him a mini wood lathe powered by a singer sewing machine motor, any ideas on a scroll type saw that is so under powered that a kid cant easly cut off his fingers,thanks.

  • #2
    I had the same problems when my kids were small. My 19 yo daughter has no interest in machining, but knows a lathe from a surface grinder from a mill and loves the smell (scent?) of machine oil.

    My 15 yo son also knows about machine tools and appreciates them. He does not really like metal working, but knows how to used them, and now has a strong interest in woodworking.

    Both have a full understanding of shop (and firearm by the way) safety which has served them very well in ways I never imaginged.

    I would work at 0% to 10% efficiency in their younger days. I used to get very frustrated, but in retrospect, would not trade a minute of of my metal tool boxes has a nice dent on the top from the fall of a drill press vise....I don't know what happened to this day. It had something to do with the x feed hand wheel on the mill being used as a steering wheel while the mill was serving as an imaginary car; I don't know what the vise was pressed into service for.


    • #3
      I have a soon to be 4yr old and 7yr old. All they want to do is "help"

      The older one wants to put holes in everything and the little one wants to cut everything or imitate everything I do.

      I need more patience


      • #4
        I fully understand the frustration with this issue. However, let me point out another take on it. I believe it takes a change in mindset. Assume that all activities will take 5 times as long as they should from the get go. Secondly, view the "project" as TIME with your kids, not the physical thing you are building.

        There will be more time for you to do projects in the future, but you can NEVER re-coup time lost with your children.

        I was not around much when my son was little, because of work. Consequently he has no interest in the things I'm interested in. He is now a teenager and per typical teenager mindset thinks he knows everything, and mom and dad are fos.

        Once they hit teenager years their interests change, and they are around the house less. Shortly after that, they move out, and are gone forever. While it may not seem like now, the time you have with your children is relatively short, and will fly by before you know. Don't let it slip away like I did.

        Please don't squander time with your children. You will never be able to replace that time. You can build your favorite widget when they move out, or build it over a ridiculously long time period with their help. Whatever you do, make a concerted effort to spend time with your children. Do whatever you have to to resist encroachment on the time.



        • #5
          Well put Wayne!

          I have two girls 9&6. Where have the last nine years gone? The time flies by and it is gone. As you said you're not getting any of it back. Tomorrow becomes today and then yesterday. The tommorows of daily interaction, and keeping thier interest will expire. I know this. Yet keep on thinking "Well, tomorrow..."

          I let them "help out" until they become bored, then they go play, or the task is something I feel is unsafe to allow them to do. I do not send them away while I am doing something they show interest, or the want to help with, unless there is a potential hazard to thier safety.

          I make them aware of the hazards of any machinery and power tool, thus they do not touch them.

          I am scared to death that if I show them the "how tos" of any machinery or power tool it will end up with a severe injury. Yet if feel if I do not show them, it is more likely to occur, through experimentation. What to do?

          However, I can and do, see the frustration with the need or want to get something done in a timely manner.

          Paying Attention Is Not That Expensive.


          • #6
            " do your small kids hang out in your shop ? "

            Nope. Safety Hazzard,Oh and no kids, thank the heavens.

            The tame Wolf !


            • #7
              Time with your kids is an unbelievable gift, that's when the memories are made, memories that can bring a smile to your face or fill you with regret and someday memories may be all you have left. My 6yr old son Jeremy was ran over by a semi and killed while riding his bike in May of 2003. I have three other kids, two boys ages 6 and 16 and a girl 12. There's no way to even explain what life has been like for the last 2 1/2 years. I do let my kids in the shop, the girl has no interest but the boys do and shoptime with them usually ends up just being time to teach and satisfy there curiosity about all the neat tools, not much really gets done but good memories are made. When Jeremy first died there didn't seem to be any good memories, just bad ones, I spent too much time at work, or I scolded him too much, those kind of things, it took a long time for the good memories to start to surface, I still ocassionally will recall something new and now I can smile when I recall some memories although 6 years was not enough time.
              One of my favorites, mom and I went for a walk and told Tyler the oldest to keep an eye on the kids, well....Jeremy was a very adventurous boy and loved mud but it hadn't rained for a few days so he decided to get a big bowl full of dirt and go make some mud in the tub, anyway we came come to a mud covered kitchen and bathroom, he had started a mud fight in the house with his younger brother, at the time needless to say we were a little livid, now I look back and laugh because it really was funny as hell.
              So....enjoy the moment, you never know when it might be the last time.


              • #8
                I have a 3 year old Niece. We watch her a lot while her dad is at work in the evenings.

                I don't work when she is out in the shop, I stop working and show her stuff. My hand is never too far away to pull hers away if she were to ever grab at something or trip either.

                She loves to watch the bandsaw "cut metal" scraps. Scared of the mill, but likes the power feed button. Likes the clamps and other small bits in the tool box. Oh, she can tell the difference between an end mill and a drill bit !
                It is wonderful to take her to HD to get stuff, she knows what some things are already and points them out while we shop.


                [This message has been edited by lenord (edited 01-24-2006).]


                • #9
                  My Dad always worked on projects and I learned much of what I know standing beside him and handing him tools and generally getting in the way. It turned out well and I have worked as a carpenter/contractor and machinist and have been employed as a shop/technology teacher for the last 32 years.
                  The only thing my Dad wouldn't work on was cars. So when my boys were waiting for their drivers licenses I asked if they wanted to buy or rebuild cars. So far the oldest and I have done 4 cars for him over the years and just finished painting a chevy pickup the weekend before last. The youngest picked up a 1968 AMC Rebel and we re-built the engine and ground the valves as well as all the body and paint work. When he went off to college he sold it and put the money in the bank for expenses. We then picked up a Camry and put a ground effects kit on it, painted it and sent him off to college.
                  The oldest just bought a house and moved out. My wife says don't look at it as losing a son but as gaining another house to work on!


                  • #10
                    2 of my 3 kids have shown interest in working beside me in the shop. Yes, it slows me down, but I wouldn't trade it for anything! My daughter, now 19 and away at college still remembers taking cuts on the Hardinge mill I had back then. My older boy, now 16, has never shown any inclination towards my shop, but knows the door's always open and he's welcome. I'm secretly hoping to get him interested in a muscle car once he starts driving. My younger boy, the 12 year old, has recently developed a need to turn wrenches. He's always fixing something. As I think back to my childhood, this about the age when I was suddenly joined at the hip to my Dad, a toolmaker by trade, in our home shop.

                    My "young apprentice" is taking an active part, on his schedule, in helping me reassemble a basket case 10" Logan Lathe. He was poking around the other night asking about how the quick change gear box on the South Bend Lathe works. I pulled out the box of Logan parts, the manual, and told him to see if he could figure our how to do it. It was the best puzzle he ever had! Throw away the clock, and enjoy the kids. The projects will always be there. The kids grow up too fast.


                    • #11
                      My little daughter makes a beeline for the
                      shop every time shes out side.
                      I pick her up and twiddle the lathe handles,
                      she only needs a couple of minutes then its on to the next thing, but she will talk about it for a couple of days.


                      • #12
                        If they are my children I don't mind. If my children don't learn it at home, then may never learn it. Somethings like welding, they just watch now and it slows me down some. But I don't do pay-de-bills stuff at home. If earning money is the issue then no kids.

                        I feel kids in the shop helps defeat the, "I don't care about the farmer, I buy my milk at the store" attitude that is so common in the USA today.

                        Today I will gladly share my experience and advice, for there no sweeter words than "I told you so."
                        Today I will gladly share my experience and advice, for there no sweeter words than "I told you so."


                        • #13
                          Sometimes my 3 yr old surprises me in the shop and I have to stop what I'm doing, make sure he's wearing shoes, his goggles (swim goggles, but hey they work) and clothes...

                          At 2-1/2 years I had him turn a piece on the Taig, had to pin his other arm down so he wouldn't stick it anywhere, but he moved the carriage back and forth and removed some Al, had him drill a few holes as well. He loves to sweep up chips at 3yrs old now...
                          Both kids will calm down from a tantrum/crying as soon as I bring them into the shop, something about the metal just relaxes them...and turning the handwheels seems to be a universal pleasure.

                          I am looking forward to working on all sorts of projects with them as they get older - what's the point of life otherwise?
                          Largest resource on the web for Taig lathes and milling machines,


                          • #14
                            My kids (4,7,& 10) spend some time in the shop. The two oldest (girls) usually ask a few questions then want to pound nails into a board. The 4 yr old is full of questions and spends a lot of time playing with the retrieving tools or the toy crane I keep out there specifically to entertain him... None of mine have run any machines or run anything more sophisicated than a hammer (yet). All seem to enjoy being in the shop when I'm doing my thing. I do try to keep them away from the lathe and welder though.

                            [This message has been edited by cam m (edited 01-24-2006).]


                            • #15
                              Well I guess my kids are a little older than most of the posts here.
                              Mine are 32 (a boy, man)and 38 (a girl, woman) both were always "in the way". I loved it, now one is a engineer at JPL and the other is in maintenance-electronic engineering.
                              Don't think for a moment that they don't absorb everthing you say and do.
                              Better your doing it with them, than letting someone else teaching them.
                              Gary Helmick