In the middle of the fidget spinner craze, my two oldest boys each wanted one after seeing a box full for sale with a small gold oval sticker on the back that read Made in China. We were at a downtown festival in our hometown where every kid had one and some had one for each hand. I suggested we make a couple of spinners instead of buying them and their eyes lit up as if making them would be much cooler.
Buying a couple of fidget spinners would have been much cheaper, but that wasn’t what I was after. I want to try to instill in my boys that if they want something the first question I would ask myself is, can I make that instead? So, we ordered the parts, which included the bearings and caps for the center. When we received everything we went to the shop and started with cleaning the bearings. These particular bearing were sealed, so I soaked them in Dawn dish soap and dried them off very good. After the cleaning I applied WD40 several times until the bearings spun freely. For the wood we a piece of cherry that needed to be planed down to the appropriate thickness. Once we were done planing down the board we drew a rough outline of what we wanted the spinners to look like. The first thing we did was drill the holes for the bearings with a forstner bit at the drill press and then we cut the shapes out on the bandsaw. The reason for drilling the holes first was to make sure we had enough material to hold on to while drilling. After cutting as close as we could on the bandsaw we finished them up on the belt sander and a little hand sanding. They didn’t come out perfect, but the boys had a blast helping in the shop.
The main thing as I mentioned was to provoke creativity and confidence in my boys as they set out to make something from an idea. In doing so, it will give them the motivation for next time when they want something. This is a great message for my boys to remember and even for myself.