Kids in the Shop, a Work Bench & Set of Tools

When Harry Bryan built a tool bench for his grandchildren, it got us to thinking that maybe there’s a workshop in Passamaquoddy Bay that’s just as good as the one a few hours further up at the North Pole.

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14 Responses So Far to “Kids in the Shop, a Work Bench & Set of Tools

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    DONALD REXER says:

    I have enjoyed the kids and tools video! Last year I built a wood tool tote with my oldest grandson (6 yrs). I cut out the pieces and pre-drillepld the screw holes. He pressed the button on the battery screwdriver to seat the screws. He was happy and put his plastic tools in it. This year he got some real but smaller tools.
    Are there plans/dimensions for Harry’s sawhorse? I have a crank grinder and my Dad’s old vise. Not a VersaVise, but I will look for one. My other grandson is younger, both grandsons have older sisters. The sisters have tasked me build a sailboat with them! I need a couple of sawhorses…
    Don Rexer
    Hendersonville Tennessee

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    Conbert Benneck says:

    Harry, when our two children were still a bit younger than your grandchildren, we gave them a pound of 10 penny nails, a good hammer, and a few thick pieces of wood as a Christmas present. It was a smash hit with the children. They learned to pound nails…. in the beginning a lot of them got bent, but as they gained skill, and nailing accuracy; … they DROVE Nails…! Today they are 60 and 61 years old, but that nail pounding lesson as children, has been useful all their lives. Later they helped me build two OPTIMISTS in the cellar of hour house in Munich, Germany and learned to work with sharp tools, and to sail.

    Thanks for the happy Christmas video, and for seeing children that are allowed to use “real” tool and not the phony–baloney plastic imitations of tools that Fisher-Price sells.

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    Lannis Morris says:

    Congratulations Harry,
    The legacy you are going to leave is inspiring. Your grandkids are being given this opportunity to create, which I believe is one of the higher callings in life. If only his tongue can hold up to the task.😂 .thank you for setting the example.

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    Terry Smith says:

    Another OCH video where my smile muscles became exhausted. Every father and grandfather loved this video.

    It never fails: no matter how “blah” some day may seem, the arrival of a notice from OCH that “here’s one we think you will enjoy” makes this subscription the easiest annual renewal I make.

    Thanks, fellows.


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    Alfred Pinkham says:

    There is much to be learned by kids in the shop “Great Video”

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    Walter Konopacki says:

    Can relate so much to Harry. Recently joined off centerharbor and love it. Turning 72 this February and still working part time at a Sherwin-Williams paint store in New Jersey. Boater and fisherman all my life. Looking to build a stitch and glue boat in the future. Funny thing is still feel like a kid especially out on the water fishing. Looking forward to hopefully a bunch more years.

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    Chris Callahan says:

    Your miraculous website just keeps getting better. It’s hard to watch boat videos with tears in your eyes.

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    Dick Vilamil says:

    FANTASTIC VIDEO – Introducing Kids to basic woodworking by building their own “boat” is one of my more enjoyable activities. This Christmas they each get a handmade tool tote for their tools. My 10 year old grand daughter has used most of my hand tools with a great sense of accomplishment. Wish they had this activity in the public schools……

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    Richard Marsiglia says:

    My apprenticeship started when I could hold a broom. Today society is raising children instead of training the next generation of adults to take their rightful place and be productive people.

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    James Greene says:

    If I may make a request, it would be to make this video free for all. This is a video I believe I could share in social media to get people to check outOff Center Harbor. My 2 cents.

    • Steve Stone

      Steve Stone says:

      Hi James. We have made it public. Feel free to share the URL to everyone you know.

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    Peter Brackenbury says:

    Thanks so much. Unbelievable timing. I just approached the principal of the elementary school I teach at for some funding to get a Woodworking club together. I am a hack myself, but I have had so much fun and learned so much about myself in the last decade as I develop my skills (very slowly!) that I thought it important to get others doing it. Schools in my board don’t seem to see the importance of the freedom to create things with your hands. Thankfully, my principal is excited by it as well. I was all worried about the cost of setting up and this has given me a great and inexpensive starting place. I’m sure we could figure out dimensions that would work, but would there be any available from Harry to help me get a quicker start? What are Harry’s thoughts about using a Brace instead of an eggbeater?
    Thanks Again,

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      Conbert Benneck says:

      Peter, go to Tag Sales / Estate Sales / tractor and antique car shows, and you should be able to find many basic tools at give-away prices – or for free if you explain why you need them. Teach them how to use a saw so that they can cut to a line; teach them how to sharpen plane irons and chisels – and knives – and their wives will love them because their kitchen knives will always be sharp. The egg beater drill is best for No 1 to 60 size holes – or up to a about 1/4 inch. A brace and bit is for boring larger diameter holes – say up to maybe 1 1/4 inch in diameter. The one I used he most was the egg beater- the same model as Harry’s –

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    Peter Heuken says:

    Oh Harry,

    This is how I started. I was given a real cabinetmakers’s toolbox for Chritsmas at the age of 5. My parents were told to be insane, but they were not.
    I made my first boats with the help of my grandfather from the pointed ends of split fence posts (1 fence post makes for 2 hulls) and grandmother’s tea towels for sails. Grandma had a cabinet with all my boats in her laundry.
    Since then I build boats. Thanks to WoodenBoat and you guys they are much better now than fence posts, but still from wood.
    The urge to build and create (boats) laid in my childhood days has not ceased. It keeps me going today and will do so tomorrow.
    Someone asked me recently how I want to die. My answer is: In my barn with a plane in my hands.

    Best regards,


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