Kreg Owners' Community

Whether it's Hollywood portraying people who work with their hands as undesirable, our local schools reducing the value of skilled trade and removing it all together from the curriculum, or Silicon Valley's massive growth (due in large part to video games and entertainment gadgets), the percentage of our youth who are actively involved in trades such as woodworking is falling drastically.

In a time where far more kids think 'skills' are something they earn in a video game than something they earn through watching their mentors, some are choosing to do it differently.  Some are choosing to get Jr. out in the shop and show them first-hand the worth of building something with their own two hands.  There are many photos in this community (several shown here) of children learning to build with wood.  Several parents have sent us letter stating that teaching their kids how to build has helped them focus, learn basic math and geometry, as well as patience and other virtues.

Please use this thread to let the community know what you think about the "Woodworking vs. Video Games" debate.  
  • How can teaching our youngsters to build with their hands benefit them in the future? 
  • Have you had some success getting Jr. out in the shop?  What was your strategy?
  • What real-world skills can woodworking teach our younger generation?
  • Is the Kreg Jig uniquely suited in any way to help make woodworking more 'cool' or at least more approachable to young beginners?
  • Don't forget to post your photos below of your youngsters in action!

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My philosophies about life:

If you want to teach, you build off of what someone knows.
Remove the mystique of something, share knowledge, don't hold secrets.
If someone who can't graduate high-school can do it, I can do it. So don't be afraid to try, the worst case scenario you end up wasting some time and money and learn something in the process.

My first born is not due until August.
It's a well known fact that a broad set of skills and knowledge lends to different ways of thinking about a situation, and ingenuity for problem solving.
Completing a project like this would definitely be a confidence booster. I would think a child who builds a piece of furniture would be more likely to respect that furniture, not slam lids, not kick legs of furniture, not drop all their weight onto a seat or throw a book bag. Being handy in general is a great money saver in life, plus the ability to help others.

So we have knowledge, confidence, problem solving, respect, patience, value, community, hard work, and saving money.
Sounds good to me!
My grandson just the other day asked me if I could help teach him to be "Mechanical", This was asked while he was visiting while I was finishing up building the double sink vanity cabinet. He's 8 years old. Next time he's over I think we'll build a bird feeder for his yard at home. I'll be sure to snap some pictures as we go.
I just read in our local newspaper this morning that another Junior Middle School is closing it's wood shop program down because there was a lack of students interested in the class. They are going to put in a computer lab in it's place. I to am a musician and it really disterbing to hear about so many schools dropping arts programs. I still have the salad fork/spoon, bowls and candle stick holders I made in the 7th grade. So all you Grandpa's and Dad's that are teaching your children/grandchildren how to make things with their creative minds and hands, your doing a great service to them by passing on to them skills and creativity. Way to go!

I can relate to this topic. I took wood shop in middle school and enjoyed it but that was about the extent of my experience woodworking. I'm also someone who enjoys his video games :) nintendo generation and all.

Anyway, I tried to build some basic projects pre Kreg Jig but I was always intimidated by all the equipment I needed and knowledge I didn't have even for some simple projects.

I received a Kreg Jig for Christmas after talking about how cool I thought it was and how even I might be able to put it to use. So far, I've fixed up a couple of broken drawers and built a bookcase.

The biggest reward for myself and I'm sure the yougsters is having a hobby where something is actually accomplished. At the end of a project, you have something tangible that will last years, you can keep it, sell it, give it to a friend. Video games have their place in my life but when you finish a game, unlike a project, you really have nothing to show for your $50-$60 investment.

My two cents...
I agree with you wholeheartedly! I have been a high school sub for three years. When I sub "ag" or "shop class" the kids are so excited about what they are doing and feel such pride. They are so afraid they are going to be "shut down next year" and truly plan on using their skills all their lives. When I sub Keyboarding or a computer class the kids get their work finished in 5 minutes and spend the rest of the block playing online games. (Yes they are blocked but they always get around it through a proxy and most teachers let them!)

I think it is sad that the media/hollywood (as KregRep mentioned) is forcing our kids into thinking that technology is the future. Maybe it is to a certain degree. But my heart sank when I heard that funding for shop classes was cut and next year they were even going to tear down the building for more softball field parking!

But all I have control over is what happens in my home. My son didn't asked for a video game or system this Christmas. He wanted a cordless drill!!! Yes, it made my heart skip a beat! He immediately wanted to build himself a workbench...
After baseball season he plans on building picture frames to sell. I am thinking about just giving him my Kregjig and getting a Kregjig master system! hee hee hee I am just glad my son would choose woodworking over video games any day. And my daughter has a list a mile long of things she wants me to build for her room. She often looks at store bought furniture and see the flaws. (That's my girl!)
I have thought so many times that Kreg should manufacture a Jr. jig that holds the drill bit in place better. Maybe with a longer steel guide, shaft, or collar at the top. The only problem my son has is holding the bit steady and straight so as not to catch the top of the jig with the cutting edge of the bit. (This is ruining my bit!!!) And maybe only a few choices for wood widths... like the common ones.
I can see so many possibilities here for getting into communities and reaching kids with woodworking! Get busy KregRep! HA HA! We know you can do it! :)
Many, many years ago, the people around me made fun of me for always doing different things like home construction, machining, cabinet making, computers, etc. The list goes on and on. Personally, I just never could decide what I wanted to do full time forever. All these different things had a lot of neat stuff to learn and try. Flash forward to today. Guess what...I have no problem finding work. While all these other folks are complaining about this bein hard times, me and my family are crusing right along. My kid sees this and it's starting to make sense to her also. The wife loves it as we are saving a ton of money remodeling our house and she gets exactly what she wants. Encourage the young ones around you and lead by example. They might think you're weird but you might just plant a seed.

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