Results 1 to 5 of 5

Thread: Woodworking class for kids

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    burnham, maine, usa
    Posts
    1,575

    Default Woodworking class for kids

    I'll be teaching at an arts camp through July this Summer. The kids are 8-15. I have 3 classes. Each class is 6-8 kids. Through the session they have 8 classes of 1 hour. So....

    What would you say would be a good project for them to build that would be fun, use a bunch of different tools, challenge them a bit, and take about 8 hours to complete?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2000
    Location
    The land of reefs
    Posts
    35,331

    Default Re: Woodworking class for kids

    Haven 12 1/2.........
    Never trust a man with a clean workshop.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Guerneville,CA
    Posts
    4,892

    Default Re: Woodworking class for kids

    Quote Originally Posted by JMAC View Post
    I'll be teaching at an arts camp through July this Summer. The kids are 8-15. I have 3 classes. Each class is 6-8 kids. Through the session they have 8 classes of 1 hour. So....

    What would you say would be a good project for them to build that would be fun, use a bunch of different tools, challenge them a bit, and take about 8 hours to complete?
    You say the kids are 8-15 years of age.

    First some safety rules. Like no fooling around in the shop. Teach them to wear safety glasses.
    An 8 year old just barely has the motor skills to use tools.
    I would start them out by having them build a box. I would use lumber they only have to cut to length. Or cut all the lumber and have them just assemble the box.
    For the older kids I would start by showing you a drawing of a box. TOP, FRONT and SIDE view and teaching them that to build ANYTHING you have to have a plan.

    That is what my first shop class was all about. Learning to make a drawing then building the box.

    Just use lumber that can be cut to length with a hand saw.
    Then have a class about HOW to use simple hand tools like a plane, a saw, a hammer and the different kinds of hammers. Show them different tools, like chisels, drills etc.,. Finally a project that you approve that can be built in the time they have. like a bird house, dog house, cat scratching post , simple pond sailboat.
    I love the smell of fresh cut plywood in the morning.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2000
    Location
    NWly shores of Lake Whitehall, MA
    Posts
    7,137

    Default Re: Woodworking class for kids

    I have done woodworking classes for kids - age range 6ish to 12 or so...

    Couple points:

    1. I wanted the kids to have fun
    2. To do that they needed to have a project that looked good
    3. I felt it also important that they learned some working together skills

    I have two standard projects - a step stool and the classic capenter's tool box.

    For the 6 to 8ish I precut and predrill for nails all the pieces. This improves the looks of the final project, and greatly improves the probability the nail will go in straight. For those needing practice I'll have a big hunk of pine, roofing nails and duplex nails. These two projects will take 2 kids about 8 hours to complete

    For the older kids I partially cut stuff, meaning there's only cross-cutting and drilling required. Usually two kids can complete one of these projects (one each) in about 8 hours.

    I supply the tools (kid size where possible), and safety glasses - Lee Valley is an excellent source for kid tools. I also don't supply junk tools - I have a couple of LV LA block planes, and I keep them sharp. I fitted them with the optional front knob - perfect for small hands.

    Drill bits are expendable - keep a bunch.

    Funny, but at the moment I'm doing, as noted elsewhere, a 6-hour canoe class. I've not kept track of time, but we're well past 6 hours at this point - I think we have 5 in just this week alone. Obviously a bunch of work could be done ahead of time, such that it was mostly just an assembly process.

    The step stool is an adaptation of one at my mother's. The ends are 1x8 cut in a trapazoidal shape, connected with 3 1x3 across the top, and two across the bottom edges. I rip those to a parallelogram to match the angle of the sides. An option is a pivoting backrest/step. For the older kids their kit would include one piece for the ends - they would need to mark and cut it so as to end up with two trapazoidal pieces, etc.

    The tool boxes / 'totes' can be customized with odd bits added on, drilled for pencils, etc. You do need to have a way to keep those who finish first busy.

    Good luck!
    MAKE WAY! MAKE WAY! "I have heard of some kind of men that put quarrels purposely on others."

    As a general rule, the better it felt when you said it, the more trouble it's going to get you into.

    International Financial Conspirator, Collaborator, Gun Runner, Ace Philosopher-King and all-around smartie pants

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    burnham, maine, usa
    Posts
    1,575

    Default Re: Woodworking class for kids

    When my son was about 7 I helped them build crude boat models by having two blanks of wood. They drew a long centerline, then measured off station lines then I called off measurements for them to mark on the station lines. They then tapped in brads on those points and used a batten to define the shape of the boat. I set the band saw on an angle and I think I did the cutting, then had them sand out the saw marks.

    I like Ed's idea of making the project expandable for different levels of ability. What would be a good boat to copy if I go this route? Still open to other suggestions too.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •