Here in 2020, I share an office with my second-grade son. This morning they were talking about Hannukah and making paper dreidels. He got frustrated making his paper dreidel. After lunch, I tried my hand at making a scrap wood dreidel. I used the miter saw to cut a 1×1 stick of wood, then mitered one end into a top. A 1×1 is too small to clamp in a miter saw, and I wasn’t going to stick my hand that close, so I used a “push stick” to hold the piece in place as I mitered it out.
Of course, imperfections can be fixed with the miracle of sanding. “I made it out of clay,” I kept thinking as I sanded it down.
I popped the top into a bench vise and carefully drilled out a hole. A drop of glue and a dowel rod and the boy had a dreidel. I set him up to paint the letters on. He was a little underwhelmed with the quality of his first time painting Hebrew letters on a small wooden object, but I assured him the point of making a dreidel wasn’t to be perfect but to have a simple toy with which to play.
Through the afternoon, he practiced his top spinning technique.