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BOTD 09-22-2015 No One Got Hurt - A DMK Production

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Bransom Postmaster
A DMK Production

You helped your sons, ten year old Aaron and twelve year old Adam, build a tree house.  It was a good experience for all of you.  The boys learned a lot about tools and building and carpentry.  You do allow the boys to use power tools but require that you be present to supervise.  

The boys decide that they want some furniture for the tree house and decide to build some benches. The boys decide they know how to build some benches so they gather up some wood left over from building the tree house and some tools and get to work.  You go out looking for Adam and Aaron to tell them it is time for lunch.  They are out at the back of the property building the benches when you walk up to them.  

You notice they are using the power saw.  (Red arrow in picture.)

AARON - 10 & ADAM - 12
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You ask the boys about the saw.  Adam says, "We know what we are doing and no one got hurt."

Your response?

Can you dig it?

John Boy

Wrong, some bottoms are about to hurt and they should hope I don't decide the lumber would make a nice paddle. Time for change is before you do something not after.


Editor Extraordinaire
A lot depends on what, if anything, I said would be the consequence of using tools unsupervised. Assuming I've given the rule but not specified consequences, I'll just give them a reminder. I think perhaps I can ease up on my rule a bit. Both boys, but especially Adam, are at an age when they should be able to use *some* power tools without my supervision if I've taught them properly. I wouldn't like them using a table saw or jointer on their own, but most handheld tools should be no more dangerous than lawnmowers. Very Happy No eye protection? Whack 'em.



I agree with Kat. A 12 year old who has been properly taught safety procedures ought to be able to use a circular saw. And Kat, if as mine will be, the power saw is a SawStop (,d.eXY -- if you haven't watched this before, please do), it would be safer for them to use a table saw, than a circular one. Not so with a jointer, having just left my class taught by a 7-fingered instructor, the result of a jointer mishap. But...since they aren't wearing eye protection, I haven't taught them properly, or they haven't learned their lesson. We will talk about that. But no spanking, unless it was the specified punishment for this (mis)behavior when we talked about it previously.


Judging by the cack handed way they are using the hammers they haven't learned very much about the correct use of tools, power or otherwise. Sad

Their next lesson can be to test the stability of their bench by stretching along it, sans shorts, whilst I wield my belt.




"I didn't ask you if anyone got hurt, or if you think you know what you're doing. I asked you what the rule is about using the power tools."

That should let the boys know they're in trouble.

Now, I honestly agree with Kat. If the boys have been using the tools a lot under my supervision, that would probably have been the time to update the rules. However, it would also depend on the boys. Do I trust both of them to know what to do in an accident (and to not panic)? If I do, and if I haven't made any specific consequences, then I think we can let this off with a lecture about asking permission. If I have, then I'm going to apply those consequences, but maybe a bit more softly than normal. If I don't feel the boys would be safe if something happened, I'm going to explain that to them, stress how dangerous power tools can be (if nothing else, in tools like a saw, simple body mass does account for something), and I'll apply the promised penalty.

"In the end, it's just a story. But if you ask me, it's all true."

Y Lee Coyote

The whole scene is a safety horror!   I don't know where to begin.  I'll try with that blue power cord right in the mists of the work area to trip over and more.  If the ground or under construction bench is unstable then it could fly up at hit the other lad bending over when hit with the hammer.  Strange hammer grips although some allowance is needed especially for the younger one.  I note also the other power tool -- that yellow thing which is probably a screwdriver or drill.  And the tape measure as a tripping hazard.


We won't even get into the design factors that screws would be better than nails and braces are needed.

As was already mentioned -- they still need a lot more supervision and training.

They are definitely in big trouble.



'You require that you be there to supervise'. This to go with the other bits of poor practice pointed out here shows me the boys have a way to go before I can relax that rule I think I will be testing the sturdiness of that bench by bending the boys over it for a paddling to remind them of the safety rules. A true object lesson

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