Just for fun, an afternoon with the kid

Figured some of you might have some tips here too. On weekends in the winter, the kid gets pretty bored and since she's 14, we've been starting her on small safe projects. She can handle a hammer and nails at this age, but we don't let her use the electric saw (she marks, Daddy cuts).
Today, she finished off a wooden toy box out of some leftover plywood. The top makes a seat when down and it's going to double as a chair before the electric piano.
It started as a 2x4 'box', heavy framed (more than actually needed) and then the plywood was nailed to that and smoothed down with Daddy's help and the sander. She did the finishing hand sanding touches. Then, digging through my fabric piles, she picked out a pretty black cotton with little violets and we brushed glue all over it then cloth covered it. A little lacey trim here and there, and it looks pretty cool! I even had a fairly close matching cushion to put ontop.
It's drying now. I figure about 2 days for hard set of the thicker glue around the lace trim.
Anyone got any neat ideas for teaching kids that I might find handy? With supervision of course.
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At 14 you mightwant to teach her about boys....
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"Dr. Hardcrab" wrote

LOL that too, but it seemed a little off topic for here ;-)
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I know. I was just kiddin' ya.
Like Nate said: Let her use the power tools. Safety First...
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Group dates, date safety, that kind of thing.
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cshenk wrote:

Heck, at 14 I was using all the power tools. I think just about anything she wants to do is fine, ASSuming that she's responsible and careful and supervised by someone who can advise proper safety precautions.
I'm glad to see that she's showing an interest in making stuff on her own and that you are encouraging it. I'm starting to think that I was on the tail end of child-rearing when kids were generally allowed and encouraged to *do* stuff as opposed to just calling a plumber, handyman, etc...
Of course, my parents being hard-core DIYers and chea^H^H^H^Hfrugal to boot didn't hurt, in my case. I probably end up doing stuff myself that I would have been better off paying someone to do, but at least I know whether it was done well or not.
But back to your original question; have you considered checking out a good bookstore and seeing if there's a woodworking magazine that regularly publishes project plans? might get some ideas in there, and if you find one you like I'd be willing to bet that at some point they've published a book of plans all collated together. Another idea would be scavenging junk sales for old furniture to refinish, if she tends more towards enjoying the finishing rather than the construction (although methylene chloride is not wise to use indoors without ventilation...) that was one of my mom's favorite hobbies.
Or you could send her over here and I can start teaching her how to make paneled doors :) (got my grandpa's old router over xmas, happy happy joy joy)
nate
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hah! I got a new belt sander for xmas as well. I managed to resurrect an old third-sheet finishing sander that I'd picked out of a pile that a friend was throwing out (?!?!?!?!) as well as getting a really nice old (1940's) Craftsman jigsaw and the aforementioned router from my grandma while I was home for the holidays. So I had a very tool-enabled holiday. Life could be a LOT worse... although I still would like to have a table saw and I'm going to have to buy that myself, I don't know of any that I'm going to inherit (although I did visit my ancient Delta drill press while at Grandma's, next time I am going to have to take the pickup truck when I go to visit...)
Anyway, my advice is that while I understand that your more hirsute half wanted to play with his new toy and that's understandable, I'd say next time let her do everything, just do a small project so if she destroys a few pieces of wood it won't be a huge deal to replace. IMHO doing the tricky parts and getting them right is a huge confidence builder.
Of course, her mind may not work like mine (in fact, I'd offer my condolences if it did <G>) so YMMV...
nate
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Cool! Ours is a simple craftsman hand held sander withthe round disc. It was a bit overpowered for this job. I guess maybe we should have let her run it, but at the start Don wasnt sure of the arm strength needed for it. Rather than create a hazard with an unfamiliar new tool, she held the box so he could press the sander on the edges.

Agreed. The wood is no issue. No reason for you to recall but we are the ones who moved back from Sasebo Japan just recently and are having to fix tons of things. So, we got wood bits of all sorts laying about.
She has a next project in mind. Our closets are the old small style. She is plotting out how to use some 1x2 framing wood to make a riser and then set a second pole lower down. She's not sure how to cut the round hole so I let her chew it over. She figured out a method with just making as 'u' on both sides to set it in <grin>. Hey, works for me! I have about 36ft of that smaller framing wood leftover from doing the porch screening.
Her plan is to make a 3 sided box about 3 feet up then run risers from the floor up to it to reinforce it. Using that to stabilize, she then wants to run more risers upwards and raise the top bar which is set low in her closet (kids room design) to 6ft then put a shelf at the top. The back bar wouldnt be needed except she wants the extra to support the shelf and anything heavy she may want to put up there. It will also allow her to put a shelf on the lower level.
I have to get her 1 item. A round bar for the lower portion.
She likes the fabric look of the toy box, so asked how to do that for the closet. It's easy. You dip the wood in a bit of glue after cutting and wrap in fabric then let dry. Nail in place with back edge to the wall. Those smallish short flat nails with widish heads hold the fabric at the top and bottom of each wood piece so it doesnt show any raw wood at the joints. (hope I'm describing this clear enough to be followed).
I remember we did this with a kids room closet when Mom was fixing up houses. Sensibly we had to use a dark fabric as it doesnt come off and cant really be painted over the years. I've also used wallpaper for similar but you need really smoothe wood or it will come apart.
I have some dark blue (almost black) fabric with tiny flowers and little bears. About 3 yards which will be plenty. Oh, if considering such, do not cover the round bar as it wont hold up to the hangars over time. Just paint that and repaint as needed.
(reality, she doesnt need the back bar and it's risers but I think with the fabric look, it will be nice and it's her closet project! so hush! Let her plot).
Now, for parent help: We will use the table saw after she marks the wood. We have enough that if she mismarks, we can make more. We will help her hold it in place before fabric'ing to check measures. She will do any hand lathe smoothing after checking with a level to see what's needed. I don't think she'll need any more help other than holding parts while she nails. Maybe I'll wrap the first wood piece so she knows how to cover the edges without making a bulge.
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Get a scroll saw, some simple scroll saw patterns, and turn her loose to do her own work. The local highschools in this area that have shops do that with their special ed students. A scroll saw may nick a finger but would be extremely rare to do any serious damage. Some of the scroll saw animals can be painted to look real cute.
Red
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When my son was 5 he wanted to try to drill a hole himself. So I handed him the cordless drill and a piece of 2x6 and he took to it like a fish to water (after the dril spun him around the first time). Then when my wife came downstairs she had a knipshin fit, so to keep peace he didn't drill again until he was 7. Anyway that 2x6 full of holes we still have sitting on the kitchen counter makes a great pencil holder, he's 10 now.
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RickH wrote:

Chuckle. When one of my nephews was around 5, I gave him one of those 18" long wood-handled Stanley Yankee spiral ratchet screwdrivers for Xmas. (New-old-stock at a ma'n'pa hardware going out of business.) It was just like the one my father used to have, and that I started using at around that age. (no cordless drills or screwdrivers back then.) Aside from a few pinched fingers and blood blisters, I caught on quick how to use it. Never heard back from my sister how he made out. She did have to take away the 10" vise-grips I gave him, though. Last I heard, he was working as a carpenter on school breaks.
(Looks on Google) Damn- those seem to be made of gold, now- cost more than a low-end cordless drill.
aem sends...
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Spiral screwdrivers are still the best tool for trimming out a house full of electrical outlets, switches and wall/mud plates. Saves your wrists.
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cshenk wrote:

The most vital lesson in life that kids never learn about in school - how to maintain and do simple repairs on cars. She wouldn't want her friends to see her working on a car, but someday she might blow a guy's mind by getting his jallopy going :o) At least teach her to recognize basic problems, mebbe charge a battery (with supervision and adequate safety gear). Don't let her drive 'til she is 18, at least.
Red Cross First Aid, CPR and babysitting classes.
Volunteer (our high school gives credit for vol. They may require some hours.
For fun - tile a trivet or small table top. Can do with ceramic or glass mosaic, broken pottery, stone, etc.
Marbled paper. Messy.
Ceramics. Ceramics shops have lots of stuff to make - lamps, platters, figurines, Christmas deco., mugs, etc.
I had a nice Dremel jig saw for hobby stuff. Pretty harmless, but if she likes wood doodads, she could make funky stuff for her room. There are some little router bits for Dremel rotary tools - I haven't tried mine yet.
Sewing, especially quilts. Lots of pretty and easy styles to sew. Boys and girls should know how to sew.
In 6th grade, we had a class called "Home Mechanics". Separate classes for boys and girls (thank God), but we did the same things: sewed an apron, wired a lamp, made a plexiglass key chain thingy with initials on it, cooked spaghetti, cooked Eggs Benedict. The boys made great spaghetti but didn't drain the pasta; just dumped the sauce into the pot with water and all :o) Probably the most useful class I took. Sure beat physics :o)
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Norminn wrote:
<snip happens>

Damn, I wish I'd had that class in HS. I can fix a car and I can fake sewing competently and I can even do basic carpentry fairly well, but I'll be damned if I can make anything resembling an edible Hollandaise. This is a serious failing for me as a) I love Eggs Benedict and b) I can generally whip together a kick-ass breakfast of pretty much any other egg, meat, and potato based type.
I do remember an ex of mine being horrified when one morning when she actually woke up while I was cooking breakfast and discovered the "secret" behind my fried eggs that she'd never been able to duplicate (that secret, of course, is bacon grease... mmm, sweet, delicious cholesterol...)
nate
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"Nate Nagel" wrote

Cool! Charlotte's taking 'home ec' next year. We arent sure hat they will teach this time, but it should be good no matter what.

Grin, seen many a guy move out who'd never cooked before. Sad really, but there are also lots who can and did as a kid.
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cshenk wrote:

My hubby can take any two cans from the cupboard and make a meal of it. Doesn't matter what they are :o) Makes great venison and pheasant ........yum!
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Nate Nagel wrote:

Get an OLD Betty Crocker cookbook.............1950's or so. You can't miss with Betty. Of course, the secret to any egg dish to be cooked is to not have ingredients too hot when the egg is added (one exception - eggdrop soup:o). If you like, I can type the recipe and email it :o)
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"Norminn" wrote

Absolutely. I was pretty much at the mercy of mechanics til I married. Now my husband is at their mercy <g>.
I was thinking auto mechanics for 10th grade (next year is 9th with home ec).

It works. I've heard the guys rave over how a girlfriend could get in there and help with changing brakes and such. One of those silent 'selling points' that come to play when one is over 20 (smile).

Aww, naw. I'll start teaching her to drive when she's 16 (after a drivers ed class) and help her get a jalopy of some sort for those first few years. Virginia is pretty tough on how much one is allowed to do before age 18, but a car is something she needs to learn before she gets out of the house.

No particular interest on her part for that, but she's helping me with a soup kitchen deal (we feed folks on Sunday, not a mega big place but church run and only operates on Sundays).

I hadnt thought to check. Good idea! Could be we are knocking out an 'elective' right now and didnt know it. Charlotte helps make the food we bring, then helps serve. All food is donated by the church members and a few strays like us (not church goers but have nothing against it). She's racking up about 3 hours a week would be my guess.

Humm! Good one there.

Sorry, lost me. I dont know what that is.

We have many crafty sets for kids. One is a pottery wheel. I need to get her more clay for it.

So far, functional woodworking is her aim (see the closet idea). I dont have a dremel but I have many other tools and still adding more. Before we went to Japan, we had access to our FIL's workshop so didnt buy much. He actually left it all to us but it got 'disappeared' when the MIL died in 2005 except a few precious things he brought over in person before we left.
Thanks for the ideas!
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