Charlie Harte Passions

Charlie Harte: Woodworking for Grandchildren

  1. The origin of this was the photo I sent in with most of my truck fleet          1
  2. I became somewhat handy because I was given access to my dad’s man cave; full of tools and other mysteries of a dedicated fixer-upper.
  3. As I grew up and aged, I gradually lost the ability to play active sports: first football, and later tennis, basketball.   I needed another activity.
  4. So when our sons’ families began to include children, and the first 3 were boys, I looked for a meaningful way to make a contribution.
    1. By this time I’d exhausted available “2×4 and plywood” handyman opportunities such as decks, painted bookshelves, and basement renovations.
    2. Making toys occurred to me, and I got several books of plans and ideas, including airplanes and trucks.
    3. This seemed like an appealing hobby, and one that would transition into making real furniture, which is the long term objective.
  5. So I went to my shop to figure out how to make the changeover from the “2×4 and plywood” construction shop to one making smaller and more precise things with some aesthetics—like toy airplanes.   Here’s the shop in full operation:                       2  
  6. And here’s the first item off the line          3
  7. (The shop photo is really not mine, but the Ford Willow Run B-24 shop; aa part of the arsenal of democracy buildup)
  8. So airplanes worked out, but the fine detail of the engine is difficult and time consuming. Next I turned to trucks. Here are the first 2—a steam roller and flatbed transport:                                                          4
  9. And here’s the last of the fleet:          5
  10. Then we had a granddaughter, which required different items.   Here’s a doll bed under construction,                           6
  11. And a wagon so the granddaughter’s younger brother would have something to haul his stuff around          7
  • As the kids grew older, they began to request construction of other things. This provided a wonderful opportunity to put them to work                 8 & 9
  • The latest example was a grandson interested in the Civil War asked if I could make a fort-like thing for his soldiers. We began:                             10
  1. And here’s General grandson with his army in action:   11
  2. And so we end with some happy customers of all this:                     12 & 13