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Friday, December 17, 2010

Making Things

When we visit my parents the kids like to make something in Grandpa's shop. It's sort of a ritual.

This year I think #3 started it by saying he wanted to build a "sniper rifle". We asked what each kiddo wanted. #1 wanted to make a plasma pistol from Halo. #2 wanted to make a Sten. #3 wanted to make a sniper rifle. #4 wanted to make a treasure chest.

First, the plasma pistol.

In case you don't know what a plasma pistol from Halo looks like, here is a pic of one you can buy for $199.

Granted, the one that Grandpa and I made with #1 doesn't have all the neat colors and sound effects, but I think I like the wooden version better.

Here is the Sten.

Here are some pics of real Sten guns.

A little bit of black and gray spray paint added to that would get you arrested in most big cities. The receiver started out as a rolling pin. We still aren't quite finished yet. We still need to add sights.

**Side note: I really need to get that couch recovered. It's been through 11 years of kids and that's the biggest issue with it so I guess it's not too bad.**

The sniper rifle proved to be a little more involved. My dad ended up finishing it himself. The results were worth the effort.

The barrel was an old shovel handle. The scope started out as a rectangular block of wood and the hole goes all the way through.

I'm waiting for my better half to send me pics of the treasure chest. It is made from a bunch of cabinet doors that were taken out of my parent's kitchen when they had it remodeled. It is just the right size for a little girl to put her treasure in and carry it around. I'll update this with the pics when I get them.

While we were working on these my dad commented that when he was a kid parents didn't take the time to make stuff like this for kids. I think that was the difference in the standard of living in those days vs. the standard of living in more recent times, plus there has been a big change in priorities. Heck, if you already own the tools, have a huge bin of scrap wood, and are retired so that time isn't such a rare commodity then creating toys like these makes sense. You can't buy the love of children and of woodworking that went into these.

Of course back in those days parents did other things with their kids. My dad told me that he and his dad went to stay at the farm one weekend. He crawled into bed to sleep and a few minutes later his dad got him up by throwing a lit firecracker next to him. They went outside and had a firecracker fight. Those were the days.

I try to keep some of that alive for my kids. Taking them out hunting and shooting is one of those things that parents don't do enough with their kids in my opinion. Building or making stuff with them is another. I do what I can.

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