Tyler, the 7 year old from next door, came over with a big piece of paper with his drawing of his first project - a large sort of egg shaped thing with a bunch of lines off the top. Not wanting to crush his creative, artistic effort by asking "what is it?", I went with "This is very interesting - tell me about it. Where'd you get the idea and what do you want to make it out of?" approach.

"It's a pinnaple bank and the leaves come off so you can put money in it!" (Kid's almost always speak in sentences punctuated with either an exclamation point or a question mark, or both - a hyperbang !?).

Then we got down to refining the idea. Need a slot to get the coins into the bank so should it be wide enough for a fifty cent piece or just a quarter? How do you get the money out? How much money should it hold? Maybe the really pointy leaves shouldn't be so pointy 'cause you don't want to stab yourself every time you want to put money in it. Money is heavy so perhaps we should keep the bank light.

With a preliminary "plan" it was time to search for suitable stock from which to make this functional work of art. A foot long cut off of a 4x4 redwood post could be the main component of The Pinnaple Bank. Some quarter inch ply - the size of the mortising chisel/bit set on the mortising machine - would be the leaves and some greenish poplar 3/4 inch cut offs for the bottom/base.

With the piece of 4x4 secured in a clamp and the clamp clamped to the table of the drill press, Tyler lowered the bit into the wood while I kept one hand on the clamp and the other hovering over the OFF switch. That's when we discovered that we couldn't drill holes deep enough for what we needed. A penciled cut line, witness marks acrossed the line on two faces and it was off to the bandsaw to cut the 4x4 at the top of the first set of holes. Kids stay back from the bandsaw - it's an adult tool - off limits to kids. But they do appreciate that it's not loud like the router or the table saw. Loud tools require wearing hearing protection and kids don't like them 'cause they might miss hearing something interesting.

Back t o the drill press where Tyler learned that a large forstner bit gets very hot while drilling deep holes. The drill was off, the bit had stopped spinning and while I was getting the drilled piece out of the clamp he touched the end of the forstner bit - why is beyond me. So off to the fridge for the bag of "blue ice" and Tyler got to hold it on his finger while pulling down the handle on the mortising machine. "Blue Ice" has become the Symbol of Dumbness - if you have to use it you must've done something really dumb. For some reason, kids just seem to have to touch a drill bit after it has stopped spinning so Tyler is not the only recipient of the Blue Ice Award.

Long story shortened - here's the Pinnaple Bank - redwood 4x4 body, 1/4" ply leaves and 3/4" poplar base with three or four coats of "bug spit" - that's shellac for the adults. Trying to get a picture of Tyler with his bank is like trying to catch smoke - he's always comes out blurred because he's ALWAYS moving!

The bottom has an eccentric plug - slip in the hole and turn to tighten. Simple and works great.

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