Category Archives: Kids

Crafting (in) the Home: Passing on Your Skills to your Children

I just returned from a conference on community building called The Urban Village: From Cloud-Castles to Blueprints, sponsored by The Servi Institute in Oklahoma City, OK, where I gave a presentation on passing on manual skills to children by letting … Continue reading

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Fairy Furniture You Can Make on Your Front Steps

After a big tropical storm made a mess of my daughter K’s fairy garden, she decided to do some remodeling. First on her list was new fairy furniture, so we thought up some simple designs for a table and chairs.  … Continue reading

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Working Wood with My Children (Mostly Pictures)

Ever since my children were old enough to hold tools, I have included them in my woodworking.  My workbench is right in our main living space–on one end of the dining room–so the kids can all see me every time … Continue reading

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The Best Tire Swing Ever

We have a large oak tree in our front yard, and while we have attempted to put up several different kinds of tree swings for the children over the years, this tire swing has been by far the best.  The … Continue reading

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The Folly of “Prepping”

What is the best way to preserve a seed?  I first came across this question in a gardening book, and it’s a trick question.  The answer, of course, is to plant it. I have thought about that question a lot … Continue reading

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Build a Cedar Bench in an Hour

One summer afternoon not long ago, my wife and oldest daughter had gone out, leaving me to mind the little ones.  We decided to make a fire in the fire pit and roast hot dogs for supper.  We lit the fire … Continue reading

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A New Door, a New Bed, a New Daughter

My summer ended with big woodworking plans for the coming year.  (Most people’s year begins on January first, but being a professor, I think as much in school years as in calendar years, so my year effectively begins in mid-August.)  … Continue reading

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She Sure Fooled Me!

Some time ago, I had been working on a big home improvement project for which I had collected a lot of lumber over the past year.  One evening at quitting time, I left some of the lumber out on the … Continue reading

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Little Helpers Who Actually Help

My children have always enjoyed playing at working wood.  I’ve taught them to handle some basic tools, like braces, spokeshaves, and even gouges, but they’ve mostly contented themselves with playing in the sawdust and shavings as I work. But recently … Continue reading

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Making Wooden Spoons (Quickly)

Our local art museum, the Mobile Museum of Art, is hosting an arts-and-crafts fair next month.  I don’t usually sell my work at craft shows, but the table fee was reasonable, so I signed up. The problem is that I … Continue reading

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