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Senior Member from MN
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Inspired by the video posted previously in another thread (3 year old in shop with reckless table saw guy), at what age do you begin teaching your kids how to use power tools?

I suppose it depends on physical size, personality, etc. At around 11 years old, I had my daughters use the jig saw for a school project, and at about 12 they used the miter saw for a quick chop that I had set up. But they generally do not like to hang around the shop. They like to hang with Mom. I have yet to stand them near the table saw, and with them being small statured, I don't think I will any time soon.

Maybe for me it would be more of a pressing issue if they had more interest.

I know schools have shop class in junior high, and that scares me to death (I could not handle be a shop teacher for 20 junior high school kids).
 

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johnep
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In general, think working with wood is a 'boy' thing. I know we have the illustrious Nancy and one or two other ladies, my wife says her realm is the kitchen, mine is the garage workshop.
johnep
 

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My thought is that

children through young adults should be limited to hand tools. A number of things are accomplished by this.
1] Your hand tool skills will remain sharp because you resurrect them in order to teach the young.
2] The youngsters learn how to visualize the assembly elements of the project they are involved in and they start internalizing woodworking basics.
3] The youngsters retain all their digits until they are of legal drinking age at which point, hopefully they have learned a healthy respect for all things powered.

Clearly it is the responsibility of the adult to exercise reasonable judgement. Accidents do not happen on their own. They are always the result of poor judgement on someone's part.

Ed
 

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Senior Member from MN
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I would agree that judgment is the last part of a young person's brain to develop, especially boys - from personal experience. There are studies that confirm this. Having teenager's (now 13 and 15) I have read interesting articles on teens and their thought process. They may be sharp as tacks, but parts of their brains are still developing.
 

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My wife dabbles with the scroll saw and carving, no stranger to the shop at all.

My youngest daughter, now 19, was pounding nails at age 10.
She and my wife thought it would be cool to make a box for my birthday that year.
In an unsupervised moment my daughter turned one of her thumbnails purple. While she managed to finish the box, the throbbing digit ended her career as a woodworker.

'Tis a shame, but I always know where to find my tools, unlike the car keys, shaving cream, razors, shampoo etc. :laughing:
 

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My Dad started teaching me how to use powertools when I was 8-9 years old. And by the time I was 12 (I'm 15 now) I could work in the shop alone with routers, miter saws, jigsaws, circular saws and other power tools. I hate the table saw though, it scares me to no end.
 

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I started using power tools when I was about 12 or 13 but had always been supervised to make sure I was doing everything correctly. Now i'm 15 and feel comfortable around every tool, including the table saw. But I don't get so comfortable that I forget there's something a few inches away that could take my finger off. And if I ever feel unsafe i ask for help later or I see if theres nother way to do it.
 

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I started using power tools when I was about 12 or 13 but had always been supervised to make sure I was doing everything correctly. Now i'm 15 and feel comfortable around every tool, including the table saw. But I don't get so comfortable that I forget there's something a few inches away that could take my finger off. And if I ever feel unsafe i ask for help later or I see if theres nother way to do it.
Do you have a cover over your blade on your table saw? Mine doesn't, I think what scares me the most is that when I was little my dad used the saw incorrecty and it kicked back and scared me to death. I'm fine with it now, I just don't use it that often.

BTW, it's cool to know that there's another 15 year old on the forum frosty!
 

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Woodworker and Contractor
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My 5 & 8 year old girl join me in the shop some times but not when power tools are running, they hate the loud noise too. Mainly if I'm putting things togeather or finishing. The 8 year old can help hand me things and hold things but I need to work with her more for learning how to use the non-sharp hand tools.
 

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When I was about 7 or 8 I had my own tool box. It had a pin hammer, junior hacksaw, fretsaw, small screwdriver etc. I used to make toys with my Dad, puzzles, tumbling clowns........
I was also used as the third hand a lot. "Sit on here while I cut it" or "Hold this together for me" I loved it!
I am Mum to two kids, boy & girl, now 4 & 6, I will do the same with them.
I have a child gate on the door of my workshop at the moment!
 

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When I was about 7 or 8 I had my own tool box. It had a pin hammer, junior hacksaw, fretsaw, small screwdriver etc. I used to make toys with my Dad, puzzles, tumbling clowns........
I was also used as the third hand a lot. "Sit on here while I cut it" or "Hold this together for me" I loved it!
I am Mum to two kids, boy & girl, now 4 & 6, I will do the same with them.
I have a child gate on the door of my workshop at the moment!

There you go!!

Heaven on Earth!

Nice to see it's still happening! :laughing: :laughing:
 

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My dad grew up on a farm and was doing field work before he was even 12 and back then safety wasn't much of a consideration in the design of machinery. My dad taught me to use the chain saw when I was 12, all we had was a woodburning stove so we cut a LOT of wood. Dad would fell the trees and I would help him limb and cut them up. My dad instilled in me a deep appreciation for the dangers of power tools in the field and the shop and I haven't lost it. If you have boys around the age of twelve you HAVE to give them those opportunities even if they are dangerous. Your trying to raise them to be men after all and what an incredible opportunity, time is short. When dad handed me that chainsaw for the first time he gave me much more than just a chainsaw. I think you guys know what I am talking about.
 

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My dad grew up on a farm and was doing field work before he was even 12 and back then safety wasn't much of a consideration in the design of machinery. My dad taught me to use the chain saw when I was 12, all we had was a woodburning stove so we cut a LOT of wood. Dad would fell the trees and I would help him limb and cut them up. My dad instilled in me a deep appreciation for the dangers of power tools in the field and the shop and I haven't lost it. If you have boys around the age of twelve you HAVE to give them those opportunities even if they are dangerous. Your trying to raise them to be men after all and what an incredible opportunity, time is short. When dad handed me that chainsaw for the first time he gave me much more than just a chainsaw. I think you guys know what I am talking about.
I can definately agree with that!
 
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