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

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

    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 had her in full leathers and a shade 14 hood. We were using my mig set-up with a spool gun. She stood in front of me holding the gun while I guided her on the weld. The ex is going to bring this up in court saying it was wreckless and unsafe. While I see it as a good father/daughter bonding moment. Is 6 too young for the kids to assist while being supervised?

  • #2
    I think much depends on the ability and advancement of the child.
    The weld part i see nothing wrong with, as long as you say she was properly protected.
    By 5-6 my kids were involved in a lot of projects, little ones that they could comprehend and feel a sense of accomplishment at, either finishing something or helping to finish something.
    So much stupidity today is restricting kids ability to learn things, and develop good motor skills.
    My 8 year old grandson right now is workin in my son inlaws shop helping him do the brakes etc on a tractor trailer, this kid is learning, taking an interest in mechanical things, and knowing what tools are for,besides learning the tool sizes etc, stuff like that. He now has his own small set of tools, wrenches, sockets, etc and his own tool box, knows what an impact is, just a bunch of things a lot of kids today get no chance to learn.
    So many kids today even in their teens have no idea on how to thread a nut on a bolt even, being raised on cartoons etc.
    I applaud anyone taking the time to work with a kid to get them interested in things they will need to know in the future.
    Those kids will remember those moments, and treasure them as they age.

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    • #3
      Like so many things, there is no single "age" which is "correct". The question is whether the particular child understands that there is potential danger, and will do as they are told when they are told, not what they please when they please. There are 6 year olds in both camps.
      "A machinist's (WHAP!) best friend (WHAP! WHAP!) is his hammer. (WHAP!)" - Fred Tanner, foreman, Lunenburg Foundry and Engineering machine shop, circa 1979

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      • #4
        Cripes I hope not! My daughter is 19 months and can't wait to see "Dad-Dad" in the workshop. She particularly likes to take all the sockets out of their case and stack them up like building blocks. Of course while all this is going on I get basically nothing done, but I think it's great and hope she shows some interest in learning how to at least do basic repairs as she progresses through life. Good on you for taking the time I say.

        On the other hand I'm sorry to hear your ex is going down that path. It sucks for everyone. Just keep in mind you're trying to psychologically build, she's trying to destroy. Maybe the thought will help you keep your chin up through the whole process as there's no "winners" once it's over, just a lot more damage.

        Pete

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        • #5
          Welding? Seems safe enough to me. Worse case, a tiny burn. Whoopie do. Know how many of those I got as a kid playing alone? All healed without scars but one.

          Id give the kid an autodark helmet, cranked up to higher shade, Gloves, And maybe those shoe covers. Thats all you need for safe welding. And come on, its Mig, If exhaust repairmen can do it, any 6 year old can.

          Really. Mig is very safe, Theres not enough voltage for electrocution, the heat is extremely localised, And as long as you wear gloves, Not for welding, But for the stupid things you do 15 seconds after welding (Gee it stoped glowing, Must be safe to grab now right??), Its safe. Lots of funny dancing if you don't wear the shoe covers though.

          Iv seen people welding and grinding just 7' away from thier fully unprotected children, Felt like going up and telling the guy 'I don't care that you don't wanna wear safty glasses while operating an angle grinder, But put some on your kid or tell em to play elsewhere!'
          Play Brutal Nature, Black Moons free to play highly realistic voxel sandbox game.

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          • #6
            Well at age eight, I was shooting firearms..under supervision
            Had my grandaughter in the shop at six doing things.
            At age 8 she was cutting blocks on the bandsaw and always worn protection
            Green Bay, WI

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            • #7
              One thing i forgot to mention whether the kids in a shop or the home,, is to be taught and get the message about "On and OFF" on switches, along with the dire circumstances that can happen by turning machines on out of curiosity. Show the kid what each switch does and what the machine does and what it,s for, this i found eliminated that desire to "Push" that start button.

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              • #8
                Hi Roockie,

                It is not what You or your EX think, it is what the Judge thinks.

                I had the Grandchild in the shop at age 4.

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                • #9
                  I wonder what the judge will think, my first court date is coming up and this divorce has been bitter to say the least. It happened in my home shop where my little girl always asked to help on projects. She is very mature and listens well. I thought it was a great expierence and she was extremely proud of what she had made, just sad it has been turned into a negative.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by h12721
                    Hi Roockie,

                    It is not what You or your EX think, it is what the Judge thinks.

                    I had the Grandchild in the shop at age 4.
                    EXACTLY... my fear would be that the judge thinks like the ex wife.....

                    But I had my 9yr in the shop turning the handles on my friends Bridgeport and working the power feed while I did set up and during a run of parts (damn I wish I had a mill)


                    Edit to add my experience: My wifes ex dragged us to court over who was watching the boy after school, the church he was attending and some other minor issue I dont remember at this instant..... My wifes sister was watching the boy after school, she's a lesbian and he had a problem with the Baptist church that he and my in laws attended.

                    While him dragging us to court for full custody based on these issue was completely stupid, I still had to pay a good lawyer $1700 to deal with it....

                    Plenty of other ways to bond with your kid.. Pick one that is a easier for Sheeple to accept.
                    Last edited by cuemaker; 03-05-2011, 10:14 PM.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Rich Carlstedt
                      Well at age eight, I was shooting firearms..under supervision
                      Had my grandaughter in the shop at six doing things.
                      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...
                      Play Brutal Nature, Black Moons free to play highly realistic voxel sandbox game.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Rookie machinist
                        I wonder what the judge will think, my first court date is coming up and this divorce has been bitter to say the least. It happened in my home shop where my little girl always asked to help on projects. She is very mature and listens well. I thought it was a great expierence and she was extremely proud of what she had made, just sad it has been turned into a negative.
                        I would ask him which is more dangerous,at home with Dad learning how to weld,or a few years down the road copying Lindsey Lohan God forbid?

                        I also think anyone who would question careful parental supervised shop work as somehow poor parenting is off a little in the head.

                        One thing good though is no matter what Mom or the Judge says she will always remember you spending time with her doing something neat.
                        I just need one more tool,just one!

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                        • #13
                          My son was 4 when he came to the shop. He is still there at age 28. He was using a mic and welding before age 8 and learn cad around 9 years old.

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                          • #14
                            Before you even mentioned it was a bitter battle I'd basically already come to that conclusion just with the small amount you mentioned. It's probably little consolation under the circumstances, but here's my take on it. I strongly suggest the whole thing has very little to do with your ex-wife's concern about your child's welfare and a heck of a lot more to do with the fact that your daughter subsequently went back to your wife and raved about what a great time she had with her Dad; kids being kids it's possibly up there as one of the highlights of her life.

                            Slightly OT but with regards children's safety in the workshop, my little girl isn't allowed to go in there unless I'm there. I'll then pretty much stop what I'm doing and watch what she does. It would only take my back turned for a moment for something really nasty to happen. Having said that, again children being children, I know she will want to go in there when I'm not around. So I installed an isolation switch on the electrical feed to the whole workshop and the only person other than myself who knows about it is my wife. When I enter the workshop in the morning I flick the master power switch on, and when I walk out at night I flick it off along with the lights.

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                            • #15
                              Rookie, I suggest you take what she made to court with you and explain how it all went. Some photo's of your shop may help. You wifes extreme behavior may be in your favor.

                              When I had a lawn mower shop in the early 1970's my two sons were 5 and 6 and sometimes stayed all day with me at the shop. I let them tear down old engines, clean the shop and other things. Of course I had to keep an eye on them and sometimes separate them but they never got hurt and today each one has his own home shop and projects.

                              It worked for us.
                              It's only ink and paper

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