I love when my boys come to me, asking if we can make something in the shop.
I love it even more when they have something specific in mind.
JJ came to me recently and asked if we could build a shield for him so we could play knights. Playing knights is a common theme among my boys. I would like to think it’s because of the traits a knight represents such as loyalty, chivalry, etc.
But then I remember we’re talking about my boys. They just want an excuse to whack each other with sticks. Okie dokie!
Whenever the boys ask to build something, one of the first things I have them do is sit down and draw out on paper the picture in their mind. Better to start with some real expectations for both of us.
Luckily, JJ’s mental picture matched really well with what I had in mind.
As most shops do, I have scrap would hanging around for just such occasions and easily found some 1/4″ ply-wood to use for JJ’s shield.
A quick pencil-sketch plus a few minutes at the bandsaw and we had the bulk of the shield done.
JJ held it up and asked if we could put a handle on the back. So I quickly found a spare cabinet-door handle and attached it to the back of the shield along with a length of shop-rag for a strap to slip his arm through.
That was just about it for his shield! That was also when I realized that his two little brothers would be left unprotected once JJ came charging.
I had enough ply-wood left over to use JJ’s shield as a template to trace around and quickly whipped out two more shields, handles, straps and all.
A few minutes spent sanding the edges, a little bit of spray-paint to spruce them up, and we have three happy boys wailing away at each other!
Oh, and I may have gotten a hold of one of them and Stars-ified it.