Weapons of mass construction

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My son-in-law and I just became enablers: We’ve outfitted my daughter with an arsenal of woodworking tools.

I told you last month about my daughter “discovering” woodworking at age 29, with no previous experience or desire to pursue it. Her deck seating project made with borrowed tools not only turned out fantastic for a first-timer’s efforts, it ignited a sudden passion for the craft that none of us – herself included – knew she had.

Since she completed that project, all she’s talked about is other projects she’d like to do. In an odd coincidence the phrase, “If only I had my own tools,” or words similar, has been repeated a lot in advance of her birthday two days ago. Hint, hint, hint.

Well, we took the hint. For her birthday I gifted her with a circular saw, drill/driver and a complete set of drill and driver bits. Her husband, after comparing notes with me, got her a top-notch jigsaw and random orbit sander. To say the least, she was thrilled.

Me, I have mixed emotions. I couldn’t be happier that she’s been overtaken with a passion for something that’s so important to me. For my daughter to embrace woodworking the way she has – and to display an obvious knack for it in her first attempt – instills a huge sense of pride in me for my little kid.

But I’ve just given her a lot of really dangerous stuff, and although she’s fully aware that she needs to go slow as she learns to be comfortable with all those tools I still can’t help but be a little worried. The feeling’s not unlike when she got her driver’s license. I expected that one, of course, as it’s something every parent faces when a child turns 16. This, though, came out of the blue and I have to admit I wasn’t really prepared for it.

I’m curious about those of you whose kids have followed in your woodworking footsteps – what was it like for you?

A.J.

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