Infinity's Tool Box

I have an apprentice.

Maybe not your traditional apprentice but she's close enough. She's my youngest daughter Infinity. I have tried to make sure I spend as much time as possible with all three of my daughters in the shop but Fin (what we call her for short) does her best to monopolize every opportunity. I can't put my shoes on without her asking if I'm going to the shop. Unfortunately this time of year my poorly heated shop is not the place for her but this fall we did manage to spend a day working on a project just for her.

This summer I had set her to work learning to saw. I gave her a piece of scrap pine, my dovetail saw, and a saw bench. She worked really hard at it all day long, sawing one inch pieces off the scrap, and by the end of the day she really had the hang of it. She didn't wimp out on me or quit on me at all. As a reward I bought some tools for her, we actually for all three girls to use when they want to come to the shop. I'll do some changes and updating on the tools as soon as I can, but for now it keeps me from looking for my tape measure when they have it. Now they have their own.

But what good is a pile of tools with no home? Fin and I spent a day working on building a tool box to keep them in. I picked up a piece of cheap 1x6 at the local fix it store and marked out the pieces for her to saw and let her go at it.
 I have to say I am damn proud of her, it'd been a month or so since she had spent the day practicing. She went back to it like a champ. She really can do a nice job of following the line, she wears out after a bit, it probably took the better part of two hours for her to break down the whole board. but that was completely cool. She got to take her time and I was able to work on a couple other things while she was busy and staying out of trouble.
 Once the board was cut down into sides and bottom I put away what I was working on and we cleared off the bench for her project. We clamped up the sides and gave her a chance to get a little feel for the plane by rounding the edges over. I think this was a great way to put the plane in her hands and not have her need to worry about technique or staying square.
 Now it was time to start building. I had her start the nail holes with an awl and then drill with a little egg beater drill to make it easier for her to drive the nails.
 Driving nails was the real taxing portion of the build. no we didn't smash any fingers or anything traumatic like that, but it was "really tough work Dad." I did finish a quite a few of them off for her after she drove them 3/4 of the way.
 Here's the mostly finished tool box, and a cheesy smile to boot. We have to fashion a handle for it yet. I'm thinking some rope with a centered wooden handle.We'll see what she thinks. She was very excited to take her own picture of the finished product, filled with "her" tools of course.
A lot of fun, for me and her. One more great day in the shop.




  1. Nicely done, my friend. You certainly deserve to be a proud father.

  2. That's the ticket! Start while they're young. Hey, it beats the X-box! Nice blog.

  3. I am so proud of you, Derek. You are a very good father and teacher. Infinity looks so happy to be with her Dad learning these valuable things and what great memories you are making with her.

  4. Just found your blog via Dyami. I think it's great that you are getting your daughter acclimated to woodworking at a young age. I wish I had picked up hand tool skills at her age. She is a cutie!

  5. Infinity is an awesome name! My daughter would be jealous of your skills. She's still working on sawing straight.


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