…Make the Most of It if You Can

Some of you have seized the opportunity that you may never have been able to before, to work from home. In some cases, you may have gained an extra hour or more in the morning and also in the evenings before you actually start work and then after the day because there is, of course, no commute. I’d love to think that we can all use that time together to make something small or even big to maximize learning in woodworking.

I have a couple of ideas for woodworking with your children, to get them out there with you. Have some therapy for yourself in the morning and then what you learn you can pass on to your children. Watch for the first one tomorrow.

14 Comments

  1. Graham on 24 March 2020 at 11:38 pm

    Good idea Paul, it will both help foster an interest in woodworking and help deal with the boredom that can sometimes set in for kids (even big kids like me)

  2. Roberto on 25 March 2020 at 2:01 am

    Having the kids at home without school or learning programs is so much work. The hours spent working, cooking, cleaning, all in addition to taking care and keeping children busy in a healthy and useful way…. it’s uncountable.

    I’m thankfully not having to work so I’m able to cope alright. I can’t imagine how bad it would be for my spouse though if I had to work, because she doesn’t. They are the ones that take the heaviest burden.

    Anything, any ideas of I can do to keep my toddler busy on the workbench with me would be really appreciated.

    • Augustine on 25 March 2020 at 9:17 am

      My dad had rigged up a kids workbench for us in the shop, at our height, with little vises and small tools. Unfortunately, he didn’t have the time to teach us, and he was a classic woodworker in the sense of a table saw, jointer, planer, handsaw, beltsanders, nail guns. It’s too bad because he would have loved doing things via Paul’s methods. But we loved being in the shop anyway – we would pound nails into scraps, make his coffee, sweep the dust. What I remember loving to do was dump out a box of mixed loose nuts and bolts on the shop floor and then collect them with a magnet. I bet sorting them out would have been fun if I had known it was an option…

      We made wooden swords and shields, painting on the wood.

      I have a 10 month old, so I can still put her in a chair, and she loves to watch and especially loves when I hit things with a hammer. If the toddler is too young to learn to use a tool, give them some harmless version of the tool for them to play with and put them where they can see what youre doing. Good luck! (And good luck to me in a year…)

  3. Rob Ling on 25 March 2020 at 8:37 am

    I’m really excited to see these. Woodworking with my eldest who’s 5 now sits between 7 and 8pm just before he goes to bed (once my 3yr old has gone to bed).

    Early mornings are spent on home schooling, via the medium of google classroom – IT at school was only a few hours a week, now its a couple of hours every day so he’s learning fast. I also use a mac so there are differences he’s getting used to.

    I’m familiar with working from home but it’s a totally different ball game with the kids around. I used to do it when i needed to get in the zone and get something finished. I’m learning fast that with the kids at home its more about being flexible and communicating better with them when I’m in the middle of something.

    My wife has been at home for the last couple of days as she is part time but she is also a key worker (she works for a company who make veterinary medicines) so off into work today. I’ll definitely need to be flexible today.

    We have been stealing the odd half hour in the shed on my lunch break to tidy and prepare for our next projects though.

  4. Geoff Kinlen on 25 March 2020 at 12:33 pm

    That is one beautiful photo

  5. Artur Darmofal on 25 March 2020 at 1:01 pm

    I am using this time exactly for this i.e. for woodworking. Also, instead of lunch break I go to the basement too in order to work on TV stand project. Made a good progress on this one recently.

  6. Tom Bittner on 25 March 2020 at 1:11 pm

    I have finally managed to sharpen a scraper ( and used it) and finally used my plow plane to make a groove. Something I need to work on some more but I got it working!

    • John Cadd on 1 April 2020 at 1:00 pm

      Tom are you lucky enough to have a plough plane with a spur in place ?If the spur is missing you can transfer one from another model but then you find the countersunk screw has a different thread . And ebay has a few on sale at exorbitant prices . Those spurs spoil all the fun and make a simple groove job into a frustrating nightmare .

  7. Bill on 25 March 2020 at 2:23 pm

    My son and I will be in the garage with a spokeshave today! He wants to make a toy sword.

    I found making “toys” with my kids is a great way to get them interested!!

  8. Kerry M. on 25 March 2020 at 8:33 pm

    This is excellent Paul! My kids are begging to get in the shop while they’re off school and I’m running out of projects! Thanks for thinking of us!

  9. James on 26 March 2020 at 1:26 am

    Thank you for your wonderful YouTube videos and blog. I just recently found them and am currently working on manufacturing a work bench using your video series and salvaged lumber.

    All the best to you and yours.

  10. Richard Harnedy on 29 March 2020 at 6:46 pm

    Dear Paul.

    I am definetly taking advantage of the time. I made 2 stools with the kids and now doing the hanging wall shelf and after that the dovetail box and then the table. Most the wood used is reclaimed. Woodwork is definetly taking some stress and anxiety away due to the virus. I hope you are keeping in good health and looking forward to your blogs and videos as always.

  11. Cass on 30 March 2020 at 11:43 pm

    Hi from South Australia Paul. I’m definitely looking forward to this opportunity to get out into the shed and introduce my two children to the joys of woodworking. We sat down this morning and worked out a list of projects – my 12yo daughter wants to carve a small sculpture, my 10yo son wants to make a box with a hinged lid and my wife has tasked me with making a dozen or so picture frames. That should keep us busy for a couple of weeks! Luckily the shed was spared by the recent bushfires that came through our district back in December, so there are plenty of pieces of scrap/salvage wood still lying around for them to work with.

  12. LARRY SMITH on 2 April 2020 at 2:04 pm

    Hey Paul,

    Larry Smith here, former student from Dallas TX. I miss seeing you in person. I sure enjoy your blog and videos. Thanks for your encouragement.

    You mentioned that we could watch for the first video or post about your ideas for working with children, but I haven’t seen it. Am I missing it somewhere?

    Thank you and may God richly bless you for all you and your staff do.

Leave a Comment





  • Paul Keane on Working AloneI must say your website is excellent with lots of information on how to work with and improve my wood working skills. Due to the lockdown I have build a workbench, I have been look…
  • Dan on Branching outSteve, was that the one on display inside a ranger station in California? If so, I have seen that as well. Definitely worth a look to anybody interested. Keep well, everybody.
  • Gary on Working AloneYou are not alone when you go home to your partner at the end of each day. The same person you saw when you awoke this-morning. They're even with you in many ways when you're apart…
  • Paul Sellers on Edge Sharpening Under £10Is it "cheap" plates or 'less expensive' or 'low cost' plates? There is a difference here. Mylow cost plates in all gritt=s are holding up well after almost four months to date. My…
  • Paul Sellers on Edge Sharpening Under £10I might suggest something different here. I think that with the larger diamonds to top angular points fracture more readily and in a sense, create a sort of plateaued top which is…
  • Richard C on Edge Sharpening Under £10with the cheap plates, I find that yes, they wear very quickly initially, but then 'settle'. another thing I've found is that it's possible to scratch the grit off completely if yo…
  • Samuel on Working AloneThere’s a childlike joy in only having the bare essentials in tools and knowing them and admiring them.