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New Baby in the house

Hi All

I am very new to all metal work. Well not even pretend to know
anything at all but I am enjoying the work.

So here is my problem, My youngest (20 yr old girl) Is getting ready
to move in with us. She and her hubby will take one of the ex.
bedrooms and the other will be turned in to a nursery. My shop is in
the room right next to that room. I work with propane and use Sparex
as my pickle. I know I can use lemon juice for my pickle ( Thank you
board) but what about using propane?

I do have a shop in the basement and was setup there but We put our
bedroom in the room next to it. The ventilation is not the best down
there. I do not want the harm the baby in any way and looking for
some hints and advice on this. Thank you all for all the info I have
used on this board. There are a lot of incredible Artists here.

Lory Campos

    I do have a shop in the basement and was setup there but We
put our bedroom in the room next to it. The ventilation is not the
best down there. I do not want the harm the baby in any way and
looking for some hints and advice on this. Thank you all for all
the info I have used on this board. There are a lot of incredible
Artists here. 

My 2 1/2 year old was in the shop a couple of days ago. She came up
to my bench and hit the hose to my Little Torch. This knocked it off
the hook that it hangs on. It happened to be lit. I didn’t see it. It
fell behind her. I caught a whiff of smoke in time to see that her
head had caught fire. Time for a quick Michael Jackson maneuver. All
is well. She only cried from my beating the back of her head. Whew!
I’m looking for a better torch hanger now. The magnetic one looks a
lot better to me now.

Bruce

my baby is now a very healthy 11 and was basically born in my
workshop, sparex is very ok as long as you use it cold and keep a
lid on when not in use it is the gas not the liquid, and the same
holds true for your propane, always turn off the tank when you are
done, the only drama I ever had was when she managed to open my
alachol lamp and tried drinking metho, luckily it is so horrid
tasting she stopped right away, I have always avoided bad acids and
never locked my daughter out and never had a problem Anna-Margot

Hello All,

How about being sensible about this. Lock your shop and keep the
kids out. Period. There are far too many hazards to keep track of.
Children are curious about everything and will find danger in even
the safest environments.

Mark
Ps I don’t even let my dogs in the shop area.

Thank you for the help on this.

I did not think that my post went through as it was returned. And
yes I will have a lock on the door but hopefully The kids will be on
there feet by the time the baby is walking.

Thank you
Lory

  How about being sensible about this.  Lock your shop and keep
the kids out. Period. There are far too many hazards to keep track
of. Children are curious about everything and will find danger in
even the safest environments. 

I don’t agree with this. Children should ALWAYS be carefully
supervised, but don’t lock them out. If you love your kids, why not
inspire them, let them watch you doing what you love. Give them a
lump of wax or some beads. My 7 year daughter old uses a jewelers saw
to make her own jewelry. I was never locked out of my father’s
workshop and I have always felt comfortable around tools, even at a
young age.

Barb Baur

I was never locked out of my father's workshop and I have always
felt comfortable around tools, even at a young age. 

Hello Barb,

I totally agree with this. In my case my father was a welder so I was
welding, cutting and machining while most kids were out riding their
shiny new bikes. In fact if it wasn’t for those early days in the
shop I’m quite sure I would not be part of this group, or the
jewellery making scene, at all. Those early lessons, and yes mistakes
too, gave me the courage to get serious about jewellery making at a
particualry tough time in my life after just having walked away from
yet another unsatisfying “career”.

My $.02 is that it’s about risk management, not risk avoidance. Most
people that are taught to fear tools, for example, when they are
young never get the chance to change that in their later lives. The
patterns of youth are the patterns of life.

On the other hand I don’t have kids so I guess you could say that I
don’t know thing one about “new baby in the house”.

Cheers,
Trevor F.

    I don't agree with this. Children should ALWAYS be carefully
supervised, but don't lock them out. If you love your kids, why
not inspire them, let them watch you doing what you love. Give them
a lump of wax or some beads. 

I agree! Having a 7.5, 5 and 2 year old in the house and an open
studio within, it requires a lot of teaching and loving guidance up
front, as well as creative bench management. But having kids and
studio in the same locale can work well. My kids have their own sets
of pliers and a huge stash of beads and love to make jewelry as gifts
for friends. They have learned the dangers involved (well, my
youngest is just going through the learning process) and have a very
healthy respect for all tools. My 7.5 y.o. wants to make a piece of
jewelry for his girlfriend this holiday, so I’m getting ready to
teach him a bit more advanced stuff with wire and a bit of sheet. It
is amazing how much children are capable of. Though his first love
is my torch, and while I think of young ones in Bali more skilled at
10 with torches than I am today, I can’t bring myself to let him have
a go at it yet.

Another benefit I have seen letting my kids be actively around my
studio and business is that they view self-employment as a natural,
very do-able thing. My oldest is always thinking in terms of
businesses he can create both now and when he is an adult. He
doesn’t ever limit himself to places or jobs that he can work as an
employee, which I find interesting and gratifying. I think seeing a
self-employed parent doing something they truly love to do can have
an incredible, life-long impact on a child.

That said, my 2 year old has just today discovered that he can use a
step stool (that he, of course, provides) to gain access to the
wonders of my bench. Luckily, he is just hammer crazy right now
(thanks to a house remodeling project underway at the moment) and an
old, small chasing hammer satisfies him tremendously.

Carrie Otterson

    felt comfortable around tools, even at a young age. 

Barb - you are right on about this. When I was growing up (eons
ago) it never occurred to my father than I “couldn’t” do something.
He always said I just needed instructing “how to”. So very early on
I had tools in my hands, with admonitions to watch my fingers,
remember it’s sharp etc. I got to glaze windows, help put down tar
paper and roof the house (simply told “tar is hot, keep your fingers
out of it, don’t spill it on yourself! and for heavens sake pay
attention to where you are walking, it’s a long ways to the ground.)
mix concrete, help build cabinets, install hinges, lay flooring.
And I think learning to do all those things gave me an incredible
amount of confidence and I certainly learned manual dexterity and
"stick to itness” along the way. All of that contributed to
fabricating jewelry - particularly the old adage “measure twice, cut
once”. Because no one said I couldn’t I happily built tiny boxes
with drawers, designed lamp shades, created amazing tin and wire
Christmas ornaments. All the while learning skills that would aid
and abet jewelry fabrication later in life. But then again I grew up
without Television so there was nothing particularly competing for
my time. And my Dad needed a helper and I was cheap labor. I think
if you keep dangerous chemicals locked up and if you are in the
studio when the little one is in there, even small children can be
taught to respect things and just watching you do things let’s them
learn while having fun. Have some firm safety rules in place and
make them stick - particularly the one “you can only come in here
when I’m here”. You can certainly keep the room locked when you
aren’t around. Good luck.

Kay, who raised 4 and is still around to tell about it.

Barb,

I’ve been thinking the same thing myself as I read this thread -
it’s great for kids to be exposed to and inspired by what goes on in
a parent’s workshop. I attribute a lot of my interest in making
things by hand, as well as an inordinate fondness for tools, to my
stepfather, who taught woodworking and printmaking to middle and
high school students. Our basement was chock full of tools and
machines, of which I grew very fond.

Of course, you’ve always got to be prepared for a young enthusiast’s
tendency to experiment - like when I used my stepdad’s bench grinder
to carve bone and stank up the house for days to follow…

Best to all,

Jessee Smith
www.silverspotstudio.com
5949 Calmhaven Drive

My kids are 2 -1/2 and almost 5. I did not work with them in a
jewelry studio, but rather in our blacksmithing studio, in a
separate building. My perspective is that you want to keep them away
from harmful fumes, chemicals, lead, flame, and overly loud noises.
You’d want your kitchen, bathrooms, laundry room and your studio to
be equally well childproofed for a baby in the house.

It’s not so hard to have a baby around, one that can’t walk or
crawl. The hard part is when you have a toddler around. I could have
my kids in a backpack in the studio, with hearing protection (muffs
or silicone wax plugs) on them, when they were babies for as long as
my back could stand it. (Obviously, with some equipment running, like
a welder, they couldn’t be in the studio at all.)

Once they could move around, it was impossible because they wanted
to get down and into everything. Now that my son is finally getting
to a more thoughtful and reasonable age, he can come into the studio
for supervised periods. Of course then I don’t get any work done
myself. It’s that 8month to 4 year time period that you may have to
block off the studio.

-Kirsten
www.kirstenskiles.com

I can only reinforce what has already been said by so many about
children learning (for better or for worse) from what they observe
and experience. Two of our grandsons (12 and 2) just spent 6 days
with us while their parents were in London so this thread kinda
sucked me in.

The oldest began learning about my tools about when he began to walk
for a long time he was satisfied to wear a pair of goggles while he
watched me work (he knew which pair was his) and it wasn 't long til
he began to enthusiastically identify which tools were sharp or “don
’t touch, it could hurt you”, or “only when grandma helps me”.

Two years ago he made a pair of heart-shaped earrings and a pendant
for his mother using a jeweler 's saw (no broken blades!), a drill
and files. I showed him how to use each of the tools then talked him
through his project.

I can already tell that the little one will be hankering more for
the hammers and torch than the saw when he gets his chance! :slight_smile:

A few years ago, a niece who was visiting with her family didn 't
want to go on the planned fishing/camping trip (naturally: she was
14!). I stayed home with her, planning a little one-on-one, and
suggested she try making something for her mom. She was a natural.
We designed a simple sterling pendant for a smallish opal she picked
out. I showed her how to use each tool as she needed it and
encouraged her as she measured and cut a bezel, sawed the base and
made a wire bail. I was overwhelmed by the precision she
demonstrated with the saw. She was a bit afraid of the torch so I
helped guide her hand with that. She buffed the piece and set the
stone (with my trusty plastic cut-off toothbrush pusher) and was
rightfully proud of the birthday gift she gave her mother when the
campers came home. This niece is now a sophomore engineering
student.

I 'm sure that my belief that youngsters are so capable has a lot to
do with my own childhood.

I was blessed by being exposed to many interesting things while
growing up. Our parents enjoyed a variety of pursuits in addition to
their employment and parenting responsibilities.

My father couldn’t read music but played most instruments by ear.
He loved building electronic doo-dads, games and radios (kinda dates
me to say I loved sorting his transistors for him LOL). He built
numerous gadgets and tools that my mother needed as a seamstress,
weaver and sometime art/craft instructor. He even built her spinning
wheel from “stuff” they had saved because “it might come in handy
someday”.

Mom kept four of us occupied with crafts, textile-painting, sewing,
knitting, and whatever else she was enjoying or researching. I
learned to cook by watching her (she rarely used a recipe) and by the
time I was 10 or so she often “let” me start dinner while she was
sewing. She started spinning and weaving after all of us were grown
and gone, so I didn’t get that experience.

My grandfather, a mechanic, repaired all kinds of farm equipment and
cars and my grandmother, who was the best cook and baker around,
could accomplish about any job that needed to be done and showed me
that you can improvise when necessary.

Let the little sponges . . .uh, kids, watch and help. Just be sure
to teach and enforce safety and responsibility every step of the way!
The benefits go far beyond what we will personally witness.

Pam Chott
www.songofthephoenix.com