If you are going to buy a wood kit, then getting one that is well made and at the right level of difficulty is important. Good kits make the experience of building them so much better (and less frustrating).
The Stanley Jr Lifting Crane + Toolbox Wood Kit is a good project and can be built by an 8+ year-old, or younger with supervision.
Below is a detail of what’s included, the pros and cons, and my experience of building the lifting crane.
At A Glance
|Kit:||Stanley Jr Lifting Crane with Tools|
|Time:||1 – 2 hours|
|Materials:||Wood and Plastic|
|Tools Needed:||Hammer, Phillips head screwdriver, measuring tape (provided)|
|Pieces:||22 + screws + tools|
|Price:||See Today’s Price Here|
As far as woodworking kits go, the Stanley Jr lifting crane kit appeared (to me at least) to be a good starting point.
It wasn’t as cheap as some others, but because it had both a tool kit as well as the wood kit for a project included, I thought it was a good deal and got one.
The packing was a bit bent out of shape when it arrived but nothing was damaged.
- 22 piece lifting crane kit
- 4 paint tubs and brush
- Screws, string and 2 axles
- Instruction manual
- Phillips head screwdriver
- Flathead screwdriver
- Spring clamp
- Safety goggles
- Tape measure
*The tools are smaller sized and include steel components (think of them as ‘stubby’ sized real tools.) They also come with a toolbox which is great for kids (and parents who like tidy homes.)
** I didn’t use the paints. I don’t think the lifting crane needs it.
The kits are plywood pieces that look to be cut on a CNC router, with plastic parts such as the wheels and cover. The axles are steel.
What I Think
Being a woodwork teacher I have a lot of stuff in my shed. But even so, I like the fact that everything is provided in this kit, including tools.
And one of the best things about this kit is that kids get their own set of tools at the end of it. They even get a toolbox to call their own and to put all their new tools in.
Dad might get himself a new apprentice.
There are two lots of instructions. More traditional instruction drawings in a booklet that came with the product, then you can also download the Stanley Jr app (app store and play store) which has step-by-step images of someone building the kit.
I did use both when building the kit because they were each clearer in some parts than others. In other words, they both compensated for each other.
The app had a function to let you ask questions via message to someone (I assume someone who can answer them) which is a good idea. It also lets you see ones built by other kids.
The Finished Product Works
The crane is cool. It is simple, but it does work. my 3 year old loved to play with it. You can see from the pictures below how the crane hook works.
The NOT SO GOOD
Some of the Finer Details
The wheels on my kit are hard to attach. It’s a steel rod used as an axle that you hit with the hammer to put it in place. The first wheel on the axle is fine because you are hitting the steel axle, but because the wheels are plastic and the fit is very tight, putting the second wheel on is harder than it looks.
There was another finer detail that was commented on by other reviewers. Inconsistency with the sides not being absolutely flush (they are about 1-2mm out). I am not as fussed on it being absolutely precise because it’s a kid’s woodworking kit, but it is there.
A Lot of Screws
Everything is screwed on.
This is fine, but in my experience young kids love hitting things with a hammer. I feel as though if there was some nailing, it would help particularly younger kids hold their attention in the project better.
Stanley Jr Wood Kits In Summary
My measuring stick for woodworking kits is the experience I have with my son.
Stanley Jr wood kits deliver a good one.
The tools in this kit are a really nice touch. We had a fun time making our crane and my son played with it for about 3/4 of an hour before I got a chance to take photos.
I would recommend this kit as something to do together or as a birthday present for an 8 to 13 year-old interested in making things (or both).
This kit, although a little more expensive than other kits, is a good one to start with because it includes tools. The lifting crane is a good project also.
Thanks for reading. If you haven’t made up your mind yet I would recommend giving Stanley Jr Wood Kits a go. Many woodworking kits I have done aren’t as good as this one.
It is a fun project. Get your lifting crane and tool kit here.