Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Wolf: Achievement 5

Have you shared woodworking with anyone? Thanks, if you have. If not, please do. Remember, it’s Get Woodworking Week. It’s important that we all share our craft with others so that this obsession we call woodworking will continue for generations to come. I shared a very basic introduction to the craft with about two dozen eight year olds this year.

My twin sons have been Cub Scouts for two (2) years. They’re currently Wolves. While I’m not an official leader, I’m a relatively involved parent. I certainly try to help out when I can.
I'm proud to say the Plotke cars dominated taking first in class and first overall.
Last week, our Pack held our Pinewood Derby night. It was a triple event night, consisting of a spaghetti dinner fundraiser, achievements for each level scout and, of course, the derby. The achievement the Wolves worked on was Achievement 5: Tools for Fixing and Building. I taught the achievement to the four (4) Wolf dens.

I followed the basic instructions set out by the Wolf Book, so we began by learning the names and uses of several tools. Though they weren’t the first dozen tools I’d have considered, we discussed: claw hammers, coping saws, C-clamps, hand saws, awls, hacksaws, files, adjustable wrenches, straight blade screwdrivers, phillips screwdrivers, slip joint pliers and needle nose pliers.

After showing and reviewing each tool’s purpose and method of use, I broke the kids into smaller groups and the were able to work with the hammers, both types of screwdrivers and both types of pliers.
Controlling the force of the hammer blow vs controlling the aim was
critical for the Wolves.
The hammer demonstration was as simple as it sounds, just a bunch of 8 year olds hitting nails into a 2x4 on the floor.
It took all the force they could manage to hand drive the Phillips head screw.

Driving the straight head machine screws was much easier.
For the screw driver demonstration, we used the awl to make a starter hole, then drove phillips head wood screws into a 2x4 by hand. Though the Wolf Book says to do a similar thing with a straight blade screw, I didn’t have the heart to punish them by making them drive a straight blade screw in by hand. Instead, I epoxied some nuts into a board and had them drive straight blade machine screws into the nuts.

The plier demonstration was the most fun. The book reviews how to use slip-joint pliers for both thin and thick items. For the thin item with the jaw closed, I had the boys move a piece of sheet metal between slots in two (2) 2x4’s. For the thick item, I had them move a copper pipe between two (2) holes in a 2x4. Since I most often use needle nose pliers while doing electrical work, I had the kids use the wires to bend a hook on the end of some small wires, then hand the wires on screws I had partially driven into a scrap of plywood.
These 1x6's will soon be birdhouses.
The final requirement for Achievement 5 will be the construction of bird houses. We were originally supposed to build them last Friday, but since I was sick all week, we’ve postponed the bird houses until our 2/21 den meeting.

As the boys get older we’ll take them through more complex projects. For about two dozen eight year olds, it was fun to just introduce them to some tools and show them how they worked.