Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Woodworking with Kids...Over the past couple years, I've had conversations with the editors of Fine Woodworking about the need to promote woodworking with kids. One of the ideas was to have a "pull-out-insert" each issue sponsored by tool companies, not as advertising, but as a public service. When I first made this proposal, I was told that there might be some tentative interest from a power tool company, but that they wanted it to be for high school age and using power tools. I told them no, that missed the point. It is an uphill battle when even the big tool companies don't have a clue. At the latest conversation, the editors were unable to put a staff person on the project. I still have hopes that something might happen, but it appears a long shot.
At some point, I have hopes that publishers, tool dealers and manufacturers will begin to see the big picture. If we don't put tools and projects in the hands of children and begin working together to do it, there will be a consistent decline in the market for their products, and worse, we will be reduced to a nation of helpless, mindless consumers, and even worse, our children will not know the potential joy in their own making.

On the bright side, across America over the holidays, there are a few parents who have taken time to share their woodshops and expertise with their children. The photos above and below are of John Grossbohlin's sons, Jesse and Joshua, ages 8 and 11, making picture frames for their grandmother using hand tools.

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