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Semi OT: How old should children be before helping in the shop.

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  • #16
    the young can develop skills very fast.

    My niece at the age of nine steered a good course with 36 foot yacht in a force 6-7 in heavy seas very well indeed. Her brother and mother were very sea sick and she was bored. So I thought give her a go at steering (wheel). I stood behind her(hanging on to the backstay) so I could see the compass and talk to her and catch mistakes. But within 5 to 10 minutes she had got it.

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    • #17
      My son started in the shop with me at 4 putting bolts in things (he would also tie pipe cleaners to things under the cars when they were up on stands (he has his own creeper). When he was 5 we built him a go-kart together. At 6 he has his own little benchtop delta drill press that we use TOGETHER on small projects. I also let him pull the quill on the bridgeport if I'm just drilling holes or catch the parts off the horizontal band saw if they are light and long. I'm always by his side and I bought him a pair of the safety glasses with the foam around them for extra protection.

      People fear what they don't know, and pictures speak a 1000 words. You may want to bring pictures of your shop and safety gear - and explain that most people don't even own leathers.

      Maybe print out this thread.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by gda
        Maybe print out this thread.
        Exactly what I was going to recommend. Print it out and give it to your attorney. I wish you well as I too went through a divorce from hell and it sure wasn't good for the kids, but she will never admit that her behavior had anything to do with it.

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        • #19
          If the ex thinks small-scale MIG welding is too dangerous, I presume she does not permit the girl to approach her birthday cake? Those 6 candles could cause some nasty burns!

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          • #20
            I wouldn't let children weld serious burns can be caused by this and regards other machinery well they should be at least nine or ten maybe even eleven before doing anything even with full suopervision sorry but I cannot be too sureso better be safe . Alistair
            Please excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Gravy
              If the ex thinks small-scale MIG welding is too dangerous, I presume she does not permit the girl to approach her birthday cake? Those 6 candles could cause some nasty burns!

              Not to mention allowing her to run the mixer and make the cake - I imagine that something like a KitchedAid mixer could inflict serious injury to, if not outright amputation of, a finger.

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              • #22
                I faced a similar situation with my youngest son, though it didn't involve a divorce as I'm still married to the only girl I ever married over 31 years ago.

                In my case, it was many people frowning upon my 8 year-old son riding on the back of my motorcycle. He & I put over 11,000 miles on my bike together over a 3 year period (I rode the other 38,000 miles alone.) During that time, I had a number of people comment that he was too young and it was too dangerous to ride with him.

                FWIW, he rode with the same level of riding gear that I always do: Amoured leather pants, jacket, gloves and boots, and a quality (Arai) full coverage helmet. By the time he was 12, he sprouted up enough that until we took the helmets off, most people thought I was a young guy riding around with my cute little girlfriend. By the time he was 13, he was too big to cart around.

                Yes, there are risks in doing these activities. There are risks in many activities that children are encouraged to participate, from crossing the street to riding unrestricted on a school bus to football to the most dangerous activity of all: youth baseball. However, we take all the possible steps to reduce the risks to a minimum and still enjoy the time together. Today my son is 21 and he reminds me often of how much he enjoyed riding with me. I am certain your daughter will feel the same way for the time spent enjoying a safe activity together.

                I wish you well in this little battle, though I'm sure that the time spent together wins the war no matter what happens.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by Rookie machinist
                  How old have your children been before you allowed them to help out in the shop. Me and the ex-wife are in a little feud about me allowing our 6 year old girl to make a single weld between 2 pieces of 1x1x1/8" AL tube.
                  I've posted several pictures of my daughter helping out in the shop since she was 5. I taught her to MIG weld when she was 7. I've been meaning to post a thread about it...

                  She's really feeding the table here -- (I can't remember what the project was)...

                  "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did."

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Black_Moons
                    At age 8 she was cutting blocks on the bandsaw and always worn protection
                    Gotta say thats a little scary, the bandsaw can remove fingers faster then they know what happened, It only takes a second of distraction...
                    I have to agree there -- the drill press and the bandsaw are the #1 and #2 sources of shop injuries. I won't be letting my kids anywhere near them.

                    I have a little 7x10 mini-lathe that is great for teaching them to turn aluminum.
                    "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did."

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by PixMan
                      In my case, it was many people frowning upon my 8 year-old son riding on the back of my motorcycle. He & I put over 11,000 miles on my bike together over a 3 year period (I rode the other 38,000 miles alone.) During that time, I had a number of people comment that he was too young and it was too dangerous to ride with him.
                      On the back? I was out riding and saw a kid, from his size I doubt he was more than 4 years old, wearing full gear on a tiny dirt bike zooming around his yard with a border collie running alongside. Cutest damned thing I've seen. Gave his Dad a thumbs up.

                      On the other hand, right after Christmas I killed my 15 yo nephew's gift of a wire welder. My brother gave him a welder for Xmas because "he wanted one". My brother's mechanical ability is limited to the ability to generally tell the difference between a standard and phillips screw driver. My nephew, who ain't going to be a rocket scientist one day, said he was going to learn to use the welder by watching videos on YouTube. And the only place he would have to use it is in my brother's crowded basement full of cardboard boxes. After I emailed my brother the safety documents off Miller's web site, he took everything back to the store.

                      Fully supervised 6 yo with a welder - I don't see a problem.

                      Steve

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                      • #26
                        Children working in a shop is an age old tradition, haven't you ever read Dickin's. Normally you just chain them to the bench and beat them if they don't get their quota done. It's still a practice used in central America and parts of Asia, just ask Cathy Lee Gifford.

                        But seriously it is a good idea from any normal person, they learn better work ethics and some skills BUT you will definitely loose in court, seen it happen. The know it all child welfare do gooders will beat you to death with it.

                        Many, many, many years ago when I was in the Canadian navy, if we where sailing somewhere for a few months, this was on a frigate (destroyer escort to Americans), we would take on about 30 sea cadets.

                        They "officially' where suppose to be at least 16 years old but "unofficially" 14 or 15 was common. The youngest we ever had was 12 (keep it quite, he wasn't suppose to be there). All these kids had to stand watch and work along side of us getting some OJT (on the job training). They usually stood deck watches but sometimes worked in the galley or stood engine room/boiler watches. All of them had to learn to steer the ship even the 12 year old but even giving it his best try he was to small and not strong enough to do it and had to removed from this duty.

                        By the time we returned home these kids where capable of preforming there tasks as well as most of the younger Seamen and the rest of the crew treated them as such. You have to remember that sailing a ship is a dangerous occupation, at the best of times, lots of things that can hurt you and there is the weather to deal with. Storms nearly did me in more then once but they all made it home with all their finger and toes, they where under supervision just so that they did.

                        Working along side elders is a time honored tradition, passing along skills from the earliest ages onward. The courts will not see this in a good light, little Johnny might get a sliver.

                        P.S. once I was detailed 4 of these cadets to go to the cable deck to paint. I gave one of them a can of red paint and told him to redo all the red bits, everything is colour coded on these ships red for port and green for star. Turns out he was colour blind. What a mess.
                        The shortest distance between two points is a circle of infinite diameter.

                        Bluewater Model Engineering Society at https://sites.google.com/site/bluewatermes/

                        Southwestern Ontario. Canada

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                        • #27
                          Oh jeez, I guess I shouldn't let my 5 YO drive my car around in the back yard any more.
                          Andy

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                          • #28
                            It's surprising how many posters have girls that work with heavy machines in the shop at a young age. ( I love it ) I'm not a big fan of the It's a man's job type of thinking.
                            I started taking things apart at age 5 ......repairing things since 7 (mostly the things I broke 2 years ago )
                            I remember sneaking out family Computer into my room to replace the mains On / Off switch at age 8.
                            I parents did not trust me with those type of jobs at first, but hey I proved I could do it.
                            At age 14 I was wiring 3 phase connecters and repair all sorts of stuff for my dads neighbours (on my own)
                            The only rule of thumb is Safety first ( a 3 year old can under stand the the concept of "don't touch that it's hot or thats dangerous")
                            Everything else is learned out of experience and in today's world you may aswell give your kid a headstart.
                            I think this thread should be renamed to "Parent of the year Finalists"
                            My dad told me many years a go "People can take everything from you but your knowledge and experiece is yours forever"
                            If you are using violence and it does not work, You are not using enough or it is upside down.
                            You can always just EDM it...

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                            • #29
                              It always depend. I beging running farm machinery for my dad at 5 years old.
                              At the same age my wife was clearing a wood sticker for his dad. My 3 daugthers start working around at the same . We remember it was not always fun when we saw other kids playing around.
                              Today with all the security rules, suits, childrens rights, etc I keep my grandchilds around for fun, not real working. It help to keep their eyes open and develop their creativity.
                              On the bad side it will not develop their patience, tolerance for working some hours, satisfaction of doing something rewardable with the group, something to be proud of it later.

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                              • #30
                                Safety is the key item.

                                I love it when any of the kids come out to the shop. I appreciate the help, and just fun to have company.

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