Stuart enjoys making things in the garage. He is great with woodworking but also working with metal. He volunteered to make two metal braces for a sleigh in our theater production of Narnia. The project required welding and none of the other "builder dads" knew how to weld or had a welder.
Stuart let Nicholas watch him make the pieces. It was the first time Nicholas had watched him use a welder. Nicholas thought the welding helmets were really cool, especially the one that auto darkens when it "sees" the bright fire of the welder.
Once the braces were welded together, Stuart taught Nicholas how to use the drill press. Nicholas then used it to drill the 6 holes in the metal braces they just made. It was the first time he used a drill press.
After the required work was done, Stuart let Nicholas do a little bit of welding himself. There was a little bit more in-depth teaching time.
Then Nicholas made his first weld!
It is easy to underestimate our kids and their abilities. But if we take the time to teach them the skills and especially the safety issues around using tools, they can do more than we imagined, even at 9 years old.
Nicholas is very proud of his new ability and I love that he is learning a unique skill that let him make his own creations with metal.