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Carpenter's tools

Don Abbott

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I've been blessed with eight grandchildren, five of them boys. I'm trying to keep an eye on their skill sets as well as the things they like to do.

The oldest is the woodsman. He likes to hunt and such, so he's easy. Our #2 is seven years old, and he doesn't like hunting much, but I've watched him nail scrap boards together just to be doing, and he doesn't get tired of it. So, I decided to get him started as a woodworker.


I cut out a pattern for one of the old style open-top carpenter's tool boxes:


box pattern.jpg



I had him come up one evening and told him I needed his help on this box. Told him I was building it for a friend of mine as a Christmas present.

I had to get the nails started, but he drove 'em all home:


Judah working1.jpg


When we finished it, he had no idea it was going to be his.


Judah finished1.jpg



In days to come I found an antique hammerhead I had laid up. I also found an old handsaw I bought in the 80's.


Back in the fall, I had cut a bunch of seasoned ash wood. All the ash trees are dead, and I was surprised to find some that was this solid, so I laid some aside for handles.




I wanted a the saw to be about 18" total, so I had to cut it down:


saw build1.jpg


I finally finished everything out and had a good starter set of real tools to give him:






tools and box1.jpg


I included a new tape measure, a combo square, some pencils and some assorted nails. I also sent some planed white pine scraps for him to work on.


He told me today that he's "working on a box", so I'm interested to see what he comes up with on his own.













tools and box 2.jpg



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Don, you're an excellent grandfather, the kind all kids need.  The stories they'll tell about you when they're our age will be quite the tribute! B) 

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Sweet! Nice job and thanks for sharing, Don.
One thing, though....with his love of hitting nails just for the sake of hitting nails, how can you be sure he's destined to be a woodworker and not just practicing hammer control for a future in smithing????:ph34r:

If the latter is the case, I'll share my experience and recommend dissuading him, unless he's like me and has no interest in travel, going out to shows or dinner regularly, having a nice new car, buying new clothes, etc...

Edited by billyO
  • Haha 1
RIP Bear....be free!


as always

peace and love




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Nice Don,

sounds like he already dove in if he making plans..... I hope he inspires some of his siblings also....I think learning how to make stuff is a confidence builder like no other..... Good for you & Judah.

when I was a kid my mother put me out on the back porch with nails a hammer and some scrape wood to keep me out of her hair.... she said I would spend hours making "boats" to float in the bathtub..... from nail pounding to blacksmithing is not much of a stretch.....I think is ready for the forge already....

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My granny bought me a couple tools for a brief stint in 4-H when I was around 11, but my parents never encouraged much in the realm of craft and creativity. My dad was a sports guy (still is at 88 years old). I played four years of football in high school and count it as mostly wasted time. I could have been learning some useful things during that time instead of collecting concussions.


I think it is important to do our best to pass whatever skills we have to this young generation. It's important to observe interest and ability and encourage them if it's there and be willing to have them try something different if it's not.


In my years of volunteering at a state park, I have had the opportunity to give a number of young men their first lesson at the forge. In a matter of minutes I can usually put them (in my mind; not out loud) in one of three categories: gifted, teachable, or unteachable. I usually reserve "unteachable" for those who would be considered adults. A preteen or teenager can sometimes grow out of it. But I have seen a couple that absolutely couldn't get it. But that's cool... they just needed to find something else.


It is becoming rare to find young men that want to work with their hands, so I encourage each of you to jump at the chance to teach anytime you have the opportunity.



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This is absolutely a wonderful idea and perfect execution. I Love it!

I made myself one of those tool boxes many years ago when I was working full-time as a carpenter. I needed a way to separate finish tools from rough tools. It became my finish work "go-box" that I could grab and go to work with. Mine has two interior separators, one runs from side to side and the other from end to end. Chisels, dividers, and a small block plane went it the small compartment while sandpaper and the handsaws went in the longer one. I even had a pencil shapener screwed to the end!

I'm cetain that he will cherish this forever and always tell the story of how he and granddaddy built it together.

Edited by Joshua States

“So I'm lightin' out for the territory, ahead of the scared and the weak and the mean spirited, because Aunt Sally is fixin’ to adopt me and civilize me, and I can't stand it. I've been there before.”

The only bad experience is the one from which you learn nothing.  





J.States Bladesmith | Facebook



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