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Preparing for a guest

Been a long, long time since I’ve had to think about childproofing things. But as soon as I finish this, I’ll be doing exactly that to my woodshop.

We haven’t had a kid running around our house since our daughter went out on her own years ago. But for the next two weeks, it’ll be our pleasure to have our grandson stay with us while she and her husband take a vacation. It’ll be fun, plus I’m way behind on teaching him things that’ll make my daughter cringe when she gets him back.

But grandson Jed is now seven-and-a-half, that age when they not only have curiosity about everything, but they’re perfectly capable physically of getting into anything. Plus, Jeddo gets up at the crack of dawn, so no telling what mischief he can get into before we’re up.

Compound this further by the fact that in previous visits I introduced him to woodworking, so he knows what goes on down in Grandpap’s basement. That was easier then; he couldn’t reach things as well and didn’t know what some things were. Now he can, and he does.

To that end, I’ve pulled safety keys (plastic tabs that disable power switches) from machines that have them, unplugged everything else, put sharps (chisels, drill bits, etc.) in drawers and, in general, have made the shop as safe as possible.

The safest thing I’ve planned to keep him out of trouble is to simply let him know that we’ll be spending lots of time in the shop together while he’s here, and we’ve planned a couple specific projects we’re going to work on. He’s a smart kid, and realizes that he’ll have more fun – and will be able to do more things – with me there, than with me not there.

But just in case, by the end of today my shop will be the most childproof place in Pennsylvania.

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