When my grandson Owen (“Chewy” to me) came across a wooden saber that my son made as a teenager, the 4-year-old succumbed to the natural magnetic attraction between boys and swords. After a bit of practice with it, he wanted to sword fight with Grumpa. Problem was, now I didn’t have a weapon. I told the boy I’d make him one more his size, then we’d have two.
I grabbed a stick of clear pine, and quickly bandsawed it to rough shape. When reaching for spokeshaves and a block plane to round and refine the shape a bit, I spied a tiny thumb plane I bought on a lark a long time ago but never use. I realized it might be the perfect tool to allow Chewy to help, since the blade projection is so minimal it would be difficult for him to hurt himself. I just made sure to place rubber mats on the floor in case the plane took a dive.
Turns out he took to the tool as well as he did to the sword. After showing him the basic maneuver, he grabbed control, as you can see in the camera phone video his Mom-mom shot. So with each of us wielding a plane, we got the basic shaping done in no time, followed by hand-sanding, which of course, he helped with too (being too young to know that it’s not fun.) All that was left was brushing on some oil. I have to admit that he’s not as adept with a brush as he is with a plane, which is too bad, as I’d like to foist my finishing work off on someone as soon as possible. I guess I’ll just have to keep him busy with sanding (till he wises up about it, anyway.)
In the meantime, we’re apparently not done with our armory work. The boy is big-time into pirates now, and informs me that he needs a cutlass…