Grandkids In The Workshop

A Gathering Place For The Grandkids

Future American Craftsmen & Artists in the making.The shop is becoming a regular gathering place for the grandkids when they visit. I always go through the emotions and thoughts of, "Not now - I have to get this project done."

But once again, I relent and tell the kids, "You know where the stuff is, get it out. And you can set up over there on that end of the bench." I shouldn't be working on Sunday anyways - right? 

The "stuff" includes the hammers, nails, glue gun, markers and what ever else they fancy to be a part of their project.

Don't Be So Stingy

While the kids were getting their supplies out, I was picking through the materials and came to a realization - Don't Be So Stingy.

Recently, I went through a big shop organizational effort and had given away or burnt years of scraps that I had hoarded, each piece had been earmarked with the thought "I can use this someday..." 

Some of it was highly figured wood, but to be honest, most of it was ordinary. Just like any other piece that I could find sitting on top of the bunk at my local wood supplier. So what was I holding on to it for? 

I don't have to go out of my way to accumulate scraps of wood in the shop, it is a naturally occurring phenomenon. Allowing the kids to come into the shop is a great way to cull out some of the material that tends to build up over time. I decided to override the hoarding instinct and let the kids use those pieces that, in reality, would be there 2 years from now if I did not share them.

The Empty Box Effect

You guys know what the empty box effect is right? It's when you give the kids a gift and they find the empty box more fascinating than the toy itself.

Call me lazy, but I call it smart parenting (or grandparenting in my case) to take advantage of this. I don't plan out anything that the kids have to build. I just provide the various shapes of wood and let the kids' imagination take over.

A shark's fin project.There is plenty of skill and coordination being developed while they work on their project. And I like to think that by allowing them free expression, I am encouraging the next generation to be more creative and think outside the box. Perhaps I am raising the next generation of studio furniture artisans:)

Ultimately, I don't really care if it is woodworking that they enjoy. For kids it is just about being creative, no matter what the medium is, and the shop is just one great big, ultimate craft room.

When I decided to let go of a piece of plywood, that had a curved shape on one edge, my grandson found a shark's fin hiding within it. Now what good would it have done if I had kept that piece on the shelf?

That's all for now.

Your friend in the shop - Todd A. Clippinger

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Photos Restored to Blog

OK - some things you just learn the hard way. I changed the name on a folder and it moved all of my photos for all the February entries. 

I needed some shop time to break from the computer. But then I just had to fix the site because it was killing me to know I was getting visitors and they were missing out on the photos.

It's all better now. That is both me and the site.

Be sure to contact me if you find something amiss on the site. I am always trying to maintain vigilance to the condition of my site.

Your friend in the shop (where I am headed back to now) Todd A. Clippinger

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Congrats To Tommy MacDonald

With Norm's New Yankee Workshop no longer in production, it felt as if there was a void on PBS and everyone has been wondering who would step up to the airwaves or if anybody would.

Well, the word is out - Tommy MacDonald has publicly announced his contract to produce a new woodworking TV series with PBS. 

Tommy brings a great passion combined with his skill and knowledge for teaching woodworking to the viewing audience. This is already evident in the series of videos that he has produced himself and they can be seen at his Major League Woodworking site. You will find them under the button labeled the "207 Show."

Tommy also has a vibrant online community where one of the big topics they discuss is design. They cover everything on the topic of design from the history to specific elements that define a style and the people that influenced the design world. If you are interested in checking in on the community, stop by the 207 Forum.

Tommy has a guest moderator staffing the design forum and it is none other than Neil Lamens. Neil brings an incredible amount of knowledge in the history of design and furniture manufacturing to the woodworking community. His talent and knowledge is a great compliment to that of Tommy's. 

Neil is no stranger to woodworking videos as he has produced several himself. You can check out Furnitology Productions to see Neil's videos and gallery.

When you stop by Tommy's site you will immediately notice all the work that has gone into the design and attention to detail. Tommy is sure to bring the same level of perfection to his show in sharing with the woodworking community.

Another mention has to be for Dave Pruett. He is a good friend to the woodworking community for all the videos that he has produced to share woodworking skills and doing personal interviews. Dave can be followed at his blog "The Folding Rule."  Dave was lucky enough to get video of Tommy's announcement for the new PBS show.

Tommy - we wish you great success with the new show and will be looking for you on the air!

That is all I have for now so I will leave you with the video of Tommy's announcement.

Your friend in the shop - Todd A. Clippinger.

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