Wednesday, April 15, 2015

A much needed diversion.

This post will be a first for me.  Rather than begging the readers' pardon for a lack of posts based upon a lack of shop time , I will now note that I have actually been able to spend a great deal of time in the shop working on numerous small projects and experiments.  I've actually been so busy working, that I've had little time to report on my progress here.  Needless to say, I'll try to catch up in the coming days and weeks.

This post however, will be  about a little diversion that my son and I embarked upon a few nights ago.  And in the process, I was reminded how a little work time can bring the generations together.

My son received a wonderful gift some time ago.  It was a kit to build a wooden monster truck.  At six years old, he was excited to get started.  Being slightly older, and very busy at work, in the house, and in the shop, I was less enthralled.  But finally, my son won me over and we decided that we would open the package and read the instructions and plan our strategy.

Work begins on our "workbench", the dining room table.
I am embarrassed to admit, the project turned out to be much easier than I had anticipated.  I had assumed that the kit would require painting, but lo and behold, stickers were provided to complete the truck.  And so, as I am wont to do, I got a bit carried away and our planning session became a full blown construction session.  He was very excited, and insisted that mama and sister not look until we were finished.

The kit was perfect for the younger, aspiring woodworker. 

Everything but the hammer was included and all of the holes were pre-drilled.  As a result, the project progressed quickly.  I did start most of the nails for him and held the pieces while he hammered.  I wanted his first real building experience to be positive.  He can learn about the fun of hammer meeting thumb sometime down the road when he is a little less pain averse.

The finished dalmatian monster truck, complete with ears and tail.

All in all, it was a great project for father and son.  It was a learning curve for me, as I had to tread the fine line between "helping" and teaching.  In the end though, he was a great listener, and was able to learn some beginning lessons in woodworking despite my shortcomings as a teacher.  We were also able to bond over my hobby, and hopefully one that we will share again in the future.  I see a birdhouse in our future this spring. (As an aside, mama and sister were duly impressed with his craftsmanship.  Sister will however, not be allowed to touch the truck without permission.)  Thanks go out to my parents for providing the gift, sorry it took so long.

The proud carpenter and his first project, gotta love the urban camo PJ's.

This Day in (Mostly American) History

1783: Congress ratifies the peace treaty with England
1865: Abraham Lincoln dies the morning after being shot by John Wilkes Booth
1894: Bessie Smith is born
1912: The "unsinkable" Titanic goes down in the North Atlantic
1947: Jackie Robinson breaks the color barrier in Major League Baseball
2013: Three parish and hundreds are badly injured in the Boston Marathon bombing


  1. I'm very enivous that you got to make something like this with your son. I'm still waiting for grandkids so I can the same.
    I had to look up Bessie Smith, the others I knew.

    1. I'm sure that it will be worth the wait. And your grandkids will be fortunate to be able to learn from you. I am envious of the work that you are able to turn out with such regularity.

  2. Great project.
    The best thing with those projects is that the kids are SO proud that they have made something themselves.
    It is fantastic to be able to help them experience that feeling.

    1. It was a humbling experience to be able to contribute to that experience for him. I think that his pride in the finished product may lead to years of creating alongside his also very proud dad.

  3. Great story, thanks for sharing. Time like this spend with our young ones are not only fun for both, but learning to build things with your own hands, is priceless...
    Best regards, Bob