Sunday, October 08, 2006

Making a quick vise...to get started.

A real bench vise is the best way to securely hold stock for sawing or any number of woodworking operations, but a quick vise can be made using a common wood bodied hand-screw and a clamp to attach it to a bench or plank as shown in the photo above. This option might be enough to get you and your child safely started. You can also use long wood screws to attach the hand-screw to a saw horse and eliminate the need for the second clamp.

My own daughter began joining me in my woodshop at the age of 3. She would work quietly at a low bench using glue to assemble rather odd, but charming objects from the interesting shapes left in my scrap pile. It was always a joyful time for me, seeing the pleasure she took in the work and the pride she expressed for the finished objects.

The other information I have shared in this blog should convince you that work with the hands is essential to the full development of your child's intelligence and should be an important part of his or her education. At this point, given the No Child Left Behind pressures on American schools, you will probably be mistaken in thinking your child's school will provide the kinds of activities required. Take matters into your own hands. Invite your children and grandchildren to your woodshop and invite them to discover their creative powers. If you don't have a woodshop, buy a clamp, build a saw horse or bench and get busy. It will be fun for you as well.

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