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Thread: Kindergartner + bandsaw: Trouble?

  1. #16
    Take a 3/8 hardwood dowel, turn on the band saw and swipe dowel thru saw. A 3/8" dowel is about the same size as a finger! Enough said?

  2. #17
    With 5-6 year olds you are dealing with a very short attention span. Your best bet might be to cut a few more car like shapes than you have kids and let the kids pick out their favorite from the pile. Then let them do some light sanding, the decorating and assembly of the wheels. They will be far more interested in racing than spending time waiting for someone to supervise each one of them on the band saw while everyone else has to wait.
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  3. #18
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    Former Trained Assistant Den Leader here. I led woodworking projects from Bobcat, Cub Scout through Webelos. There's no way a kindergartner or first grader should be using a bandsaw, Kansas or not. Maybe you allow your kids and grandkids to use a bandsaw but as a Scout Leader there's more involved. I allow them to use a coping saw, hammer/nail and brace/bit at 2nd grade. Younger than that a parent had to be with the kid to use tools (Bobcat is a parent/child activity). I kinda followed the pocket-knife rules. No power tools for Cub Scout activities was the rule when I was involved in the 90's and 00's.

    For my kids we made two cars exactly the same, one that I showed them how to do the operations/techniques and then they mimicked it on their car. At the end we had two cars exactly the same including paint (could not tell the difference) so we'd race 'em in the basement and choose the one that went straightest. I allowed then to use a jig saw at 2nd grade and that's all they needed for pinewood derby cars through Webelos.

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Day View Post
    I have a Kindergartener and a 1st grader. There’s no way they are ready for the bandsaw. Maybe the disc sander and spindle sander if I reduce the speed with my VFD.
    I don't have kids that young, but I did once, and I do have children old enough to have their own kids that young. I agree emphatically. I wouldn't put a 6 year old on a bandsaw under any circumstance, mine or others.

    I think an oscillating spindle sander like the very nice, affordable Ridgid, is something I could see them using (the drum mode, 80 grit max, not the belt mode). Very easy to minimize exposure with a hood jig, and if you do slip and make contact, you get a nasty "owey" but you'll walk away with all your digits working as designed. If they have to saw, good handsaws (fret or coping saw for curves) with appropriate guidance. If they are drilling, I wouldn't hesitate to have them on a drill press, with someone supervising and checking their clamping before they hit the on switch. I would even consider using a drill press with big forstner bit for "big" stock removal, before moving to sander. BIg forstner bit at the right speed and clamped material would require obvious dumb action to be very dangerous, and, frankly, they are fun in the way 6 year olds like their woodworking to be fun - pull the lever, and out come big piles of chopped wood.
    Last edited by Steve Demuth; 01-10-2020 at 3:01 PM.

  5. #20
    With kids that age that are not your own, you have no real way of knowing much about each kid's hand/eye coordination and fine motor skills. They're all still in the developing stage and doing so at different rates. Just because one kid has the skills to perform an operation doesn't mean another does.
    One on one, maybe you could assess this a little better.

    As others have said, the downside of something going wrong is just too steep in this kind of situation.

  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kev Williams View Post
    One of my cousins has been a butcher since he was 15 years old. After about a dozen years of practice, one day he was cutting a pork leg with a bandsaw- toothless blade. Something happened, the bone broke or the blade skidded off, but he wasn't expecting the sudden 'nothing' to cut and his hand was in the wrong place-- the blade immediately went thru the meat, then between his thumb and forefinger, and he couldn't stop the momentum it until it hit his watchband...

    If not your kids, I wouldn't them anywhere near power your power tools, unless their parent(s) is supervising. Just never know...
    My 7th grade shop teacher used beef leg bones to illustrate the damage that a bandsaw could do. After his demo none of us wanted anything to do with it
    Sharp solves all manner of problems.

  7. #22
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    I did a few derby cars with my grandson. I let him do the spindle sanding, etc, but not any cutting with the bandsaw. Disaster can occur before you can react.
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  8. #23
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    And letís not even get into any legal liability here.

  9. #24
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    I found the Cub Scouts really liked woodworking with hand tools. They're allowed pocket knives and we felt saws, rasps, brace/bit and hammer/nails required a similar level of caution. I still have 6 coping saws

  10. #25
    zero chance of me letting 5 year olds use a bandsaw. Hand tools only, and even then I am doing the set up etc

  11. #26
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    I also was a scoutmaster, and opened my shop to them as well as our church Awana kids. Did it for 4 or 5 years.

    I had fathers come, and do the actual sawing out of the body, per the kids instruction and penciled lines on the cars. Some had no idea, and we had samples we kept to show them. The kids took the bandsawn bodies and were given sandpaper to smooth it, then we helped install the wheels if they needed it. Some bodies were sanded with my spindle sander by adults. There were 20-30 people at a time, including kids and adults.

    As far as letting kids operate a saw, or even a sander...Never. I had enough trouble with their fathers using them. It may work out for a while, but someone is going to lose concentration, slip, cough, trip, or get jostled sooner or later. I will not take the chance some kid I don't even know will lose a finger, and I could lose my home.

    PS: My favorite one was some kid who wanted the car to look like a slice of pizza. He even put pepperoni and cheese on it.
    Last edited by Rick Potter; 01-11-2020 at 1:30 PM.
    Rick Potter

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    AKA Village Idiot.

  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Potter View Post
    I also was a scoutmaster, and opened my shop to them as well as our church Awana kids. Did it for 4 or 5 years.

    I had fathers come, and do the actual sawing out of the body, per the kids instruction and penciled lines on the cars. Some had no idea, and we had samples we kept to show them. The kids took the bandsawn bodies and were given sandpaper to smooth it, then we helped install the wheels if they needed it. Some bodies were sanded with my spindle sander by adults. There were 20-30 people at a time, including kids and adults.

    As far as letting kids operate a saw, or even a sander...Never. I had enough trouble with their fathers using them. It may work out for a while, but someone is going to lose concentration, slip, cough, trip, or get jostled sooner or later. I will not take the chance some kid I don't even know will lose a finger, and I could lose my home.

    PS: My favorite one was some kid who wanted the car to look like a slice of pizza. He even put pepperoni and cheese on it.
    I've taught kindergartners for over 25 years and have had several in my shop to make things.

    I personally would not let a 5 or 6 year old operate a power tool, regardless of the safety holder I devised. They don't have the maturity, the focus, or the coordination needed. Some of the parents don't either. For one think, I don't want very young kids to go away thinking it's OK for them to turn on a bandsaw they find at a relative's or friend's house. In 4th grade I sat next to a guy with three fingers on one hand and two on the other after playing with a power saw in his dad's basement. This made a strong impression on me. (The only power tool ban exception I'll make is a drill press when the work is securely clamped.

    alex_drill.jpg

    I will sometimes let older kids (10 and older) operate the scroll saw on thin materials.

    I agree, let the kids sketch and design, have and adult with experience cut out the outline, then let the kids smooth by hand with files and sandpaper, paint, and assemble.

    I also teach bandsaw classes and cover the many ways to get seriously hurt on the safest power saw in the shop.

    JKJ

  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Potter View Post
    PS: My favorite one was some kid who wanted the car to look like a slice of pizza. He even put pepperoni and cheese on it.
    Here's some of the cars we made:
    from left to right, mouse trap with dead mouse, camping scene, Hersey bar, Converse shoe, Scout in Canoe, Sub Sandwich
    P1050843.JPG

  14. #29
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    The real fun after the kids racing was the involved adults having their own races. I hate to brag (sure) but my anatomically correct, underweight, Swiss Cheese Wedgie was unbeaten for three years straight, when I retired it.

    The next year the fastest adult used a totally untouched car blank with wheels.

    Go figure.
    Rick Potter

    DIY journeyman,
    FWW wannabe.
    AKA Village Idiot.

  15. #30
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    Final report:
    I needn't have worried. In the end, only one kid out of 6 actually showed up and he was very coachable.

    -- I made a platform for him from two cheap plastic stools from HD and a piece of 3/4" plywood. I simply bolted the two platforms to support each end of the plywood. It worked out great and the platforms fold up. I will be using that with my grandson.
    -- We did use a jig I had constructed for the bandsaw. At various points all three of us (kid, dad and me) were helping pilot the work. It went fine. Like the platform, the jig joins my other Pinewood Derby tools.
    -- He also used the oscillating spindle sander. I have a Jet tabletop sander that I moved to the floor and he sat on the platform.
    -- He used the drill press in conjunction with a fixture I made for drilling the axle holes. Again, Dad and I sort of steadied the work and he just operated the press.
    -- I do my standard shtick about, "What do we do when things go wrong?" and we all hold our hands in the air.

    All in all, it went very well. I was satisfied that he got the experience of doing it himself while, in truth, we were the puppetmasters pulling the strings.

    Bandsaw jig photos. The light colored car blank is a fairly tight fit in the U-shaped plywood. It's not a press fit but it holds the car well enough. The blank is not a perfect square so there is a piece of wood spacer for turning the blank on it's side. The kid did a great job of just holding on to the green part and keeping his hands away from the red part.

    The plywood is 3/4" thick and the blade is 32 tpi or so. So even if we cut into the plywood a bit, it's not going anywhere very fast.

    jig1.jpgJig2.jpg.jpg
    Last edited by Roger Feeley; 01-13-2020 at 12:44 PM.

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