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8-woodworking projects in 12-months

Just over a year ago I began my first little build.  It was something I had been intending to do for a while, so when I found myself with some unexpected free time I decided to crack on.

I’m pretty pleased with the way the various projects have turned out, and I think they deserve a blog.

So here we go…

Project One: a storage-window-seat (note to reader: probably not the best project to begin with)

The first thing I learnt when building the window-seat is that Victorian houses are not symmetrical.  This means that if you are building something to fit a Victorian house, then every single measurement will be different because the walls aren’t really straight.

I wanted to make sure that my window-seat would be strong enough to stand on (I have a little girl who will, undoubtedly, one day use it as a stage), so I made a robust frame.

IMG_2716

I decided not to build-it-in because it was going in a basement room, and I wanted a bit of clearance between the edges of the seat and the wall for air-flow.  However, I forgot that all my measurements had been for a built-in unit, which meant they were, well, weird… I had to keep up the bizarre measurements throughout the project after that, somehow it all worked out!

Thanks to the mighty Sue for making the cushions, and to Ed-face for helping me select wood at the timber yard.

Project Two: entertainment unit

With the plywood off-cuts I built an entertainment unit to house our game consoles…

Project Three: bespoke playhouse 

As anyone knows, once you’ve built a couple of things you’re definitely ready to build a play-house/tree-house/climbing-wall/slide…

Yep. Not ambitious at all.

When my daughter turned 6-months old, I started saying that I wanted to build her a playhouse. I made my plans, my architect neighbour made them make more sense (thanks Rob), I bought a load of old scaffold boards and fence-posts, booked some time off work and got started…

Why build your own playhouse I hear you ask.  Well, we have a long but narrow garden. I figured that, over time, we’d end up getting things like playhouses and slides for the little one, and I thought they’d take over the whole garden.  We looked at playhouse/climbing frames, and they were all too big.  My own design seemed the best solution, but I wouldn’t say it was any cheaper…

Anyway, here it is…

A few people came to help me. Thanks Andy, Dad, Mom and husband-face!

Project Four: a garden table

Our garden furniture was rotting, I still had some scaffold boards left, so I decided to make a new garden table.

Really enjoyed this build, I used proper joins and everything!

Husband-face helped tighten some screws and provided logic when I got confused at one point.  Thank you husband-face!

Here it is:

 

Project five: a garden bench

A new table needs new benches.  The first used a lot of glue and was built to this design:

It looks good and it does the job but I discovered a crucial thing. I hate the glue-gun thingy.  They look like they might be fun to use.  They are not fun to use.  So I decided to make a different sort of bench the next time, because why learn from your first attempt when you can make new mistakes on a completely new design…

Project six: another garden bench

This design used left-over wood.  We already had a few old railway sleepers in the garden, the others were used in the next project I refer to, but the best of the bunch became this bench’s legs.

Project seven: a small wood-store and garden gate

From our garden you can access the basement/kitchen via some steps of doom.  A while ago I decided that we needed some sort of device to prevent children from falling down the steps of doom, but it was an awkward space to easily gate off.  It needed another structure to hang the gate from, and then it hit me… that structure could be a small wood store… yep, that’s how I role.

So I built this:

My dad helped a lot on this one.  Thanks Dad!

Project eight: a big wood store

I built this in stages.  The base was knocked together when I was building the playhouse.  This used the other sleepers from the garden and some old decking.

IMG_3337

We’d recently replaced some old fence posts, and I cut off the rotten ends from the old ones and used the posts for the frame. And the last bit of plywood from the playhouse build for the wood-store’s roof.

My dad helped a lot with the frame – thanks Dad!

I later added some old tongue and groove cladding that Dad was throwing out (even re-used the nails in the planks!). Then I used whatever left-over bits of ply I had to fill in the gaps:

My friend, Helen, foolishly popped by when I was painting so she grabbed a paint brush and helped me to start off the felting process.  Also, a neighbour saw me muttering at the felt later on, and he brought out some shorter felt nails and lent a hand.  I really hate felting.

Anyway – finished product!

That’s 12-months of woodwork!

I had always intended to get into woodwork, but the big prompt came when I needed an escape from my head after a traumatic event.  Since then, taking on the odd project hasn’t just been about needing to sort something out, like the steps of doom.

It’s been my happy place.

If I start finding it difficult to sleep, I book a bit of time off work, get out the tools and head to timber yard.

I may not be the best woodworker, but it makes me smile.

Author:

I lecture in creative writing, games and education. I write. I make the odd game. I work with the odd school to make learning more like playing a game...

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