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Need some advice on training

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Old 12-27-2004, 03:15:57 AM
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Joe Musser Joe Musser is offline
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Default Need some advice on training

I have a dilema, sort of, I have a six year old son and I want to take him into the shop with me more. I have been following another post here about show experiences and how our hobby doesn't seem to involve the kids and it has really got me to thinking about how when I was young my father and his friends always seemed to include me. machinery in general was second nature to me I grew up around it because my dad had his own business right on the property at home I was always there and I can't even remember how I learned all I have because it happened on a day to day basis listening to him and watching what he was doing. I don't have this now and I am afraid my son is being ripped off by not having this experience. So I guess my question is this how young is too young? How can I involve him in this? where do I start he has an interest but if I don't soon include him more he may lose it. My biggest fear tho is that there are so many ways for him to get hurt, none of these engines had osha in mind and most of my shop stuff doesn't either and I can't possibly watch him all the time. I have no idea how my father did it I still have all my fingers and toes and eyes and I am very consiuos of all these things at all times I have seen guys get fingers ripped off and do not want that at all for me or my son, I could really use some opinions here let me know how some of you have handled this. Now I have to get him some work clothes and instruct him not to walk in the house or sit on his mothers furniture after he has been in the shop. I do remember doing that once or twice with some bad results Joe M and Alex M.
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Old 12-27-2004, 07:56:24 AM
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Default Re: Need some advice on training

My grandson mostly stays a day or 5-6 with us every month, he is 3 years by now and since he was 2 he comes in the shed because he loves it and want to do everything his granddad does. I learned him what is dangerous and what can happen, showing him the pics again of my accident that he saw fortunally 10 minutes later than it happened ( my wife was walking around the house with him that moment).
All my machinery needs 380 volt power, so I have to plug in the wall connectors and they go not easy and always are out, when I don't use a machine the power connector is off. I leaned him what little boys can do and what granddads may do, in some way he understand that and lissen to me very carefully. What can I do grand, he ask me and I give him a machinery part with alot different bolts and nuts on it and a bunch wrenches and let him go (before I lose all the nuts and bolts, so they could turn easy). I told him to find the good wrench for every bolt and turn it out and lay all the parts in a row, amazing how quick he did understand it, after a few times he even grab the ˝" spanner at once for the right bolt. The only machinery he might work on is the drillpress which we do together, cause he likes it very much to drill holes in a piece of aluminium, when I shut off the drillpress he says, no grand we have to chamfer the sharp edges first with a larger drillbit ( and I play the dummy). Another trick is to rebuilt his peddal tractor, I told him it needs some service and since we do that he grab almost the right tools at once.
That's the way I try to learn that little engine buddy the rules and dangers in the shed, although his mother doesn't like it that much
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Old 12-27-2004, 09:18:25 AM
Leonard Keifer Leonard Keifer is offline
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Default Re: Need some advice on training

One way to get him involved is to get him his own little Briggs (a 5S is a good one to start with). YOu can usually pick one of those up at an auction for under $25, in fact I've bought some for under $5. You don't want one that's too far from running. Give him some tools and help him change the plug, clean and set points (you'll probably have to remove the flywheel), etc.

My son started with a 5S and ended up going to the National 4H small engine competition a couple of years ago. If you have 4H in your area maybe you could get him involved in their programs in a few year.

The nice thing about starting with a 5S or something similar is that they're not too expensive, they're fairly simple, and if a piece gets broken--so what, it's not a rare one-of-a-kind engine.

As you go along be sure to stress safety. He should alway wear safety glasses and it's probably a good idea for you to pour the gasoline.

Good luck.
Old 12-27-2004, 09:30:26 AM
Orrin Orrin is offline
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Default Re: Need some advice on training

My advice would be to keep youngsters at their own level. What do I mean by that? Let them do youngster things like tearing apart wind-up alarm clocks or anything else that's small and mechanical. One of my favorite pastimes as a pre-schooler was to hammer nails into a rotten old board that was part of the framework for our old-fashioned hand-cranked grinding wheel.

Make sure your youngster has a set of Legos. If he has creative skills he'll build something; but, he must have guidance or pictures of projects he can build.

When I was a pre-schooler my dad let me have an old keyhole saw and a hammer. That was back in the days of wooden peach and apple crates. I'd knock the crates apart, save the nails, and make such things as boats and bird-houses.

Peach crates have gone the way of the passenger pigeon, but if you have a band saw you can convert 2 X 4 studs into thin kid-sized boards.

Let kids be kids, first, then as time goes by they can graduate to the big-time.

One thing a father must be willing to accept is this: Not all youngsters have a natural mechanical knack nor an inquisitive nature. My eldest son is a case in point. When he was the age where most boys start getting interested in cars and things mechanical, I tried teaching him the parts of an automobile and their function. After all, an automobile is the second most expensive investment the average person makes. They oughta know enough about them to be able to tell when a mechanic tries to take them to the (pocketbook) cleaners.

It was like trying to teach a dog modern physics. The kid resisted with all his might (and his mom took sides with the kid )

The moral of the story? Brace yourself in case of disappointment if your youngster prefers video games to spending time in the shop with dad.

My 2˘

Old 12-27-2004, 09:49:06 AM
Ralph Leonard Ralph Leonard is offline
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Default Re: Need some advice on training

"So I guess my question is this how young is too young? How can I involve him in this? where do I start he has an interest but if I don't soon include him more he may lose it."

Joe, you cannot start too soon, but you can go too fast.

Listen carefully to his questions and answer them on his level. Start him out with simple hand tools, teaching safety all the way.

You will need to observe his actions and determine when he is ready for power tools.

His interests and skills will tell you when he is ready for each next step.

My son is still intact at 39 and I am amazed at what he can do.
Old 12-27-2004, 11:42:54 AM
Al Steppich Al Steppich is offline
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Default Re: Need some advice on training

Let your son learn at his own pace and let him learn by his own mistakes. I turned off my son by being too critical when he made mistakes and I was too critical about quality & perfection. You can't expect a 6 year old to put out perfect work. Patience is the secret. Hindsight is 20-20, I wish I could do it over with him. I'll do better with grandchildren if and when they ever come along. All the best to you in the New Year.
Old 12-27-2004, 11:52:40 AM
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Craig A Craig A is offline
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Default Re: Need some advice on training

I have a an old friend (he must be around 80 now) whose father, and later his wife, did everything to discourage his interest in old iron. Needless to say his relationship with his father was pretty sour (and he isn't over yet!) but his wife DID come around when he laid $25,000 (something like that~~~~) on the kitchen table one time for a piece he sold. Then she came around and realized that this stuff ISN'T "junk". His father was long gone by this time so all he harbors is bad feelings toward him yet. whatever it takes to keep the kid interested.....our hobby DEPENDS on it. Craig
Old 12-27-2004, 12:09:53 PM
Mark K Mark K is offline
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Default Re: Need some advice on training

try working with him on a go-kart, mini bike or even an old lawn tractor. My father built a go-kart for me when I was that age or youger. Kids that age are operating these with proper supervision. There is a motorcycle track nearby where both boys and girls at that age are already racing.
Old 12-27-2004, 12:18:20 PM
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Default Re: Need some advice on training

I have a 7 year old and 9-year old. Both like to spend time with me in the shop. Basically, I'd don't try and force anything on them, but make things available for them to do. I keep old things around for them to disassemble, they work on their own bikes, and I built a nice solid kid-height workbench for them. And there's always some root beer in the shop fridge. I let them use the jig saw and electric drills now. They have their own hot-melt glue gun and Dremel tool. And there's always lots of pieces of scrap wood around as their raw material.

So, we've not yet started tinkering at engines yet, but they are developing the basic mechanical skills that will lead that way...
Old 12-27-2004, 12:21:41 PM
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Thumbs up Re: Need some advice on training

Don't even hesitate to take them to the shop with you, my son has been coming to the shop with me since he first began to walk. I keep a close eye on him so he doesn't put a finger where it doesn't belong, and have raised a few things so he can't reach. Nearly every time we go out we make a round together and talk about what we don't want to ever do (safety,safety,safety,safety!!) it has been a very rewarding experience for me. I, like my father and grandfather before him started out in the shop the same way, just watch your tools they may end up being claimed by your son...

Jim Sherman

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