PWW #196 “I can do that” Shelf Project with Daughter
I’ve built a few projects with my kids in the past – mostly toys and tiny houses. Their level of involvement has always been a challenge due to their somewhat short attention spans. A good “beginner’s” woodworking project for kids allows you the instructor to offer a number of different tasks and skills to the assembly, while still being easy enough to see tangible results along the way. This is where I’ve struggled in the past, finding the right combination of those attributes.
Little did I know, the answer was right under my nose: Popular Woodworking’s “I can do that” articles. In their latest April 2012 issue #196. Megan Fitzpatrick’s feature is for a basic hanging wall shelf. One trip to Home Depot for a single 8′ x 7″ x 3/4″ poplar board gave me enough to cut enough parts out for each of my kids.
All of the measuring, marking, clamping, drilling, nailing and sanding so far has been all at the hands of my 9 year-old. I also learned that my Benchcrafted Moxon Vise with mini-benchtop is a perfect surface to stand on for a kid to use a standard sized workbench.
The progress is so far, so good. Next up marking and cutting the back, and then onto finishing. The pride in her face is easy to see that this project is a great idea for kids. We’ll see how the next steps go with my younger son. Thanks to Megan and the folks at Popular Woodworking for helping to save woodworking.