Again this year, my son and I took part in Woodworkers Fighting Cancer. For 2015, my son reprises the role of “goofball” at various points in this video :).
The Woodworkers Fighting Cancer builds are, in my opinion, great projects to include kids in the shop. They’re approachable projects that a child can help out with some assistance, and have some fun and learn in the process.
I modified the original plans for this project by scaling it up for use by a 5th grader. The table height is 29″ and seat height is about 17 1/2″. I also made the surface of the table to be 42″ x 21″ as he will be using this to replace his current table I built for him in 2011 as he was entering the first grade. One other alteration we made is instead of a removable top with an box style underneath, we made 3 apron sides, leaving one side open for storage similar to a desk in school; leaving the top stationary.
The top is painted with grey chalk board paint. The apron, legs, and chair are painted in a dark green (the same paint used in last year’s toy chest project).
Thanks to Marc & Nicole Spagnuolo for once again heading up this year’s Woodworkers Fighting Cancer effort!
Drumroll please… The child size work table, my first true woodworking furniture project, is complete! I had intended the red oak end table to be my first project. However, I realized my son, who just entered first grade and is mildly autistic, (and therefore can be challenged at times with focusing on task – or sometimes over focused!), would benefit from a dedicated table where he could do his work. He also is very proficient at the computer, and with all the apps he wants to play around with, we also thought it would be better for him to have his own system. That would keep all that stuff off of mine or my wife’s system. My son now has her old system when we recently got an upgraded one for her.
I think my son really got a kick out of this project too, besides receiving the end product. He was with me when we bought the wood, he picked out the stain color, and helped me brush on some of the last coat. The wood we used was poplar (figuring it’s not too expensive and therefore not terrible when it ultimately gets beat up some). I also used pocket hole joinery to join the aprons to the legs – reasoning being that I can replace the legs with full length ones as he grows older – should the table survive that long.
Here’s another view of the table as the last coat was drying.
I have some of the parts milled to rough dimensions for the end table, but I am putting that project on the back burner for a short bit. I’ve been on vacation this week, and now that we’re into August, start of school is just around the corner. My son will be entering first grade, and I thought that a child size work table/desk was in order, so that he would have a place to do what homework they get in first grade. That, and the fact he is proficient enough in using computers that I thought he should have his own setup – and keep all those silly, kid apps off of my wife’s and my system – oh, and he can have his own Linux VM on his own system 🙂 .
This should be a fairly quick project. I have the table top glued up and I did a simple roundover along the edge. Being a kid’s piece of furniture and likely to get beat up some, I’m using poplar. I know some may cringe at this, but I’m using pocket holes to join the apron to the legs. The method to my madness here though is that, as he grows, I can easily replace the legs with longer ones down the road. I’ve started the pocket hole joinery, and should have the legs/apron part done hopefully tomorrow, and the piece ready for finishing sometime this weekend. I’ll post pics once it’s done.