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Simple lathe project for a 12 year old

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  • Simple lathe project for a 12 year old

    Good day all,

    My grandson is visiting for the summer and wants to make something. So I have been scrathing about for some ideas on something simple we can make on the lathe.

    My first thoughts are of something like a couple of simple chess pieces which will probably satisfy his need. However, I wonder if there is something else just as or almost a simple as turning a chess piece that we might consider.

    Links? Websites? Thoughts, comments and suggestions?

    cheers, Graham near Ottawa Canada

  • #2
    Brass or aluminum candle sticks? Simple turning, drilling, reaming...or get fancy!

    David
    Montezuma, IA
    David Kaiser
    “You can have peace. Or you can have freedom. Don't ever count on having both at once.”
    ― Robert A. Heinlein

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    • #3
      just make a simple wobbler engine

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      • #4
        This little engine is pretty simple. http://npmccabe.tripod.com/mccaberunner.htm
        Milton

        "Accuracy is the sum total of your compensating mistakes."

        "The thing I hate about an argument is that it always interrupts a discussion." G. K. Chesterton

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        • #5
          i;ve always thought the little bolt with the threads in the center and the captured nut was cool. bolt of stainless and nut of copper or brass. . .
          cute little gadget for a lad to carry in his pocket.

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          • #6
            A year or so ago HSM had an article about some tops that kids were making... they were nothing complicated, just a pointed dowel (1/4"? I don't remember) pressed into a disk that was maybe 1.5 or 2" around.

            I made some for my kids out of material in the 'bin and they had a blast with them (they're still too young to make their own though)

            That project should take a good chunk out of a lazy day and introduce them to several basic concepts. As they try out their first top they can see how it performs - then go back and make improved or fancier versions. It can grow from there.

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            • #7
              Robbie, that’s a great idea. I've got four rug rats and would say it’s very difficult to get out of the paradigm problem of what you or I would consider simple and what they would (depends of course on age and interest level, everyone is different). What is interesting to us may be a complete snooze to them – chances are they are into the idea because its new and they want to spend time with you, not because they like making engines (yet) or have any idea what it means to do so. I remember one of my kids when (not sure age, maybe 7 or 8) i set him up on my old unimat. Had a good amount of fun (45 minutes or so, long time at that age sitting still) facing off aluminum slugs and with a number stamp putting his age on the end. lol. Hard to remember the world through the eyes of a seven year old, right?

              Even the most basic of engines becomes a tedious bore of measurement and calculations to a young kid. Again, a 13 year old is different than a 7 year old but even the 13 year old (unless the rare exception who is really into it) might not have the patience to make an engine. Mostly I think a little kid likes the idea of spending time with dad or grampa and doing something interesting and at a young age the math, measurements etc become a bore.

              The other activity that was always a big hit in my shop was a big full of cut of scraps of pine. I cut out of say 3/4" pine a foot long shape of a boat (plan view) and the kids would spend hours over several days gluing on superstructures, nail railings, dowel masts, even old hunks of circuits boards as engines. This one seemed to have fairly broad age appeal.

              ok, asleep at the switch, missed that its for a 12 year old, but think it all still applies
              Last edited by Mcgyver; 07-06-2008, 02:21 PM.
              .

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              • #8
                Originally posted by GrahamC
                Good day all,

                My grandson is visiting for the summer and wants to make something. So I have been scrathing about for some ideas on something simple we can make on the lathe.

                My first thoughts are of something like a couple of simple chess pieces which will probably satisfy his need. However, I wonder if there is something else just as or almost a simple as turning a chess piece that we might consider.

                Links? Websites? Thoughts, comments and suggestions?

                cheers, Graham near Ottawa Canada
                This idea might not work in your shop, but I don't know of many kids that age that that don't play ball on some level. So how about a nice bat?
                Steve

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                • #9
                  In HS we made a Ball Pein Hammer.

                  Turned the head, drilled and tapped for a lathe turned handle, and heat treated it(probably not very effective).

                  The handle was made out of (Probably 1") bar stock. Knurled the handle and turned the rest down to 1/2", threaded the end(with a die), and screwed 'em together.

                  We didn't work from dimensions or anything, and the outcomes were varied.

                  I think it could be a good project. Not too complex, a variety of operations, hard to screw up, and useful in the end.

                  -James

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                  • #10
                    This is a project I intend to build some day. And it has some historical importance: http://www.buckstix.com/MortarBarrel.htm

                    Pretty simple, too.

                    Edit: Mine will be a desktop model, not a shooter

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                    • #11
                      How about a whistle? Seems like something that would interest a 12 year old and be an interesting project.

                      Lautard's 2nd MBR has a steam whistle that might be scaled down for lung power. Or poke around on the net for whistle designs.

                      John
                      Location: Newtown, CT USA

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                      • #12
                        Call me nuts... but what about something like a top or a Yo-Yo to start him off. He can play with either one which is a positive reward for his work. Not to mention these are something he can share a few years from now with his own kids.... as he tells them about his grand summer with his grand.

                        Steve

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Cedge
                          Call me nuts... but what about something like a top or a Yo-Yo to start him off. He can play with either one which is a positive reward for his work. Not to mention these are something he can share a few years from now with his own kids.... as he tells them about his grand summer with his grand.

                          Steve
                          A yo-yo is a good one, I know adults who would make them at work when things are slow.

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                          • #14
                            Lots of good ideas.

                            This week he is at a day camp so that limits our time in the workshop.

                            However, he is thinking perhaps, maybe, a couple of chess pieces would be nice (he plays chess) but the top or the yo-yo are also cool. Doesn't seem to have any interest in anything like an engine.

                            Simple and easy will be the way.

                            cheers, Graham

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                            • #15
                              My 9-year-old grandson just made a center punch and a pin punch. I held the torch for the hardening and tempering, but he did the rest. He says, "Working with metal is much more fun than working with wood!" Now we're making a toolbox to hold them and other tools we'll make in the future. Next up will be some parallel clamps.

                              His 7-year-old brother has a very different interest and is happy to hot-glue bits of pine into boats, planes and trains in shapes and forms he generates in his "magnation." Although we did make a finger ring of steel in the lathe two weeks ago.

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