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So I have bought my little hammers, saw, nails and sandpaper. I have goggles, wood offcuts and some ideas for risk asessments but I can't seem to source a workbench with a vice. Does anyone have experience of woodwork with under 5s? Any tips? If you do woodwork in your setting, what do you use as a workbench? - how do you ensure the wood is held securely so it can be sawed or nailed safely? Obviously I only want to consider undertaking this activity having made sure I have covered every safety angle.

 

Thanks

 

David

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You can either buy one from B&Q or similar or look at car boot sales. Either a workbench or a couple of vices would work. Try an advert in local shops too, our neighbour gave us a virtually unused one when he got older.

Your woodwork sounds exciting. :o

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How strange! I'm in exactly the same place! I found a cheap full size workbench, but not sure that full size is right .....

Thanks for the link Cait - although I think you may have an extra 'http' in your link so it didn't work for me.

 

£9.99 is a good price for the workbench - like you I'm not sure that children would be able to use a full size bench. The product details don't say how tall it is so I guess it would just be a matter of trolling into Wilkinson's with an appropriately sized child to see! How many children do you think could use this kind of workbench together?

 

Problem is that since we have to pack away we couldn't really have a traditional wooden bench unless it had lockable wheels, so if we could find a suitable smaller version of the portable workbench that would be fab. Guess I'll just need to keep looking!

 

Maz

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Can't help with vices but as a packaway group ourselves we used to use any of our tables (suitable child height), and the floor. What we did find useful was the rolls of rubber matting whic makes the wood non slip and as it has holes in it this helped to 'contain' any loose nails or tacks. xD This matting is also useful to place under sand and water trays. :o

 

Here is somthing similar MATTING HERE (but doesn't have the holes like the type I used) I think the type I used can be purcahsed in pound shops.

 

 

Have fun :(

 

Peggy

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Hello

WE have woodwork out all the time for our 3-5s and very few accidents and no goggles as they never stayed on.

 

We only have 2 children working there at one time, lots of offcuts , screws, nails, hammers and saws.

 

WE have a somewhat old woodwork bench inside and out with two vices, at opposie sides at opposite ends. Helps with the 'only 2 allowed' thing.

 

The kids love it and begin by experimenting with the tools and now the older ones are building 'things'.

 

WE have photos to influence them of vehicles etc.

 

WE also have things like bottle tops to hammer on to the wood.

 

Initially, I'd suggest that there is an adult to model and make sure tools are being used carefully, but after that......

 

Have fun :o

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WE have a somewhat old woodwork bench inside and out with two vices, at opposie sides at opposite ends. Helps with the 'only 2 allowed' thing.

 

So is yours a child-sized bench or full size? Where did you get it from?

I've been wanting to do woodwork with my class for ages (if you do a search you'll find a thread I started on the subject about a year ago!! Hopefully I'll get there eventually!)

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So is yours a child-sized bench or full size? Where did you get it from?

I've been wanting to do woodwork with my class for ages (if you do a search you'll find a thread I started on the subject about a year ago!! Hopefully I'll get there eventually!)

I think ours is full sized. Some children stand on stools. But now you've got me thinking!!!!!

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They have one in www.eibe.co.uk but I believe it may be quite expensive

You can download their catalogue - here's what I found:-

 

Page 232 workbench for four children - £606 120 long x 70 wide, either 67 or 75cm high and

a planing bench with front and side tongs (whatever they are) - £384 120 long x 70 wide x 67cm high

 

Page 233 a starter model (with only one vice) £276 101 long x 52 wide x 80cm high

 

On page 232 there's a pre-school woodworking toolkit in a wooden cabinet: compact£35.10

On page 233 there's a 40-piece set in a lockable cabinet for £158.00

 

All these are marked as suitable for children aged three and up!

 

The workbenches all seem to be designed to be permanently sited - wonder how easy (or rather how safe) it would be to put some lockable castors on them so that we could wheel them in an out of the cupboard each day? :o

 

Maz

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Excellent and very helpful replies everybody. Many thanks. I think £600 is a bit steep for a workbench - I'm going to have a word with my local handyman - see what he can knock up for us. I do want something at the right height for our children. Another handy suggestion I read somewhere was to use a section from a tree as a hammering block. This means you can free up the workbench and they can pound in nails down at a lower level. Still not sure about the goggles - I am a bit worried about nails and bits of wood pinging off into eyes but the children who I have tried our goggles on didn't want to keep them on for more than a second so I can see how this might be an issue. I have written a draft policy (uploaded) would be interested in other's opinions - feel free to criticise, pinch and adapt or ignore!

 

David

woodworking_with_children.doc

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Having had a cursory glance, I must say your policy looks very comprehensive, David!

 

Just quickly thinking about when I have taught this part of the Level 2 course, another 'rule' we suggested was that children should be taught that no tool should be raised above shoulder height in order to minimise the risk of injury. And we also suggested that if adults were concerned about children hitting their thumbs when tapping the nails in initially, children could use a fork to hold the nail in place until it had gone into the wood to a depth sufficient to remain upright.

 

Sounds like your little ones are in for a great time!

 

Maz

 

PS perhaps your handyman might consider a 'side line' if his experiments with making child-sized workbenches are successful! And also if he can crack the solution to those of us who need a portable solution, he'll be onto a winner! :o

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Our workbench is the same as this It doesn't seem to be available on the UK site now unless I'm missing something.

I must admit Community Playthings was the first supplier I thought of - but no joy there I'm afraid!

 

Shame - it looks like just the job!

 

Maz

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