Recently I have felt the need to get creative, to make things, and being the Blokey-bloke that I am, I decided that a return to the good old Woodwork was needed. A quick look around confirmed that the first challenge of any amateur woodworker was to make his own workbench (lovingly being strength tested by the three munchkins in the feature image).
I had to make plans, draw pictures and get to work. The first task was to work out the height and being a Munchkin myself I opted for a modest 34″. If you want to get a general idea just have a quick Google but DON’T look into it too closely you will never be able to look away, there are whole books dedicated to this subject (I know..who has that kind of time to spare). Then I designed the bench, the design was later to change as I felt there would be some weak points. Mapped out what was needed off I went to get the timbered up. Thanks to some family kindness I was able to get a discount too, cheers bud.
I have found that the most difficult thing about building a bench is……having children. The most challenging thing was just getting the time to spend in the workshop. Therefore this build took place over three sessions, firstly was the basic structure, (boring stuff) I decided to plumb for 12mm ply as opposed to the suggested 18mm as I wanted to keep the weight down as I wanted this to be light and mobile. I had everything cut to size for the basic structure so that it was basically a flat pack build.
For a long time I have admired people that can make things with their own hands and I felt that this should be me, I guess I also want the kids to see me do stuff like this, to show them that it can be done and they don’t needs to be slaves to consumerism. Added to this, I don’t want to lose (or rather really want to pass on) the ethos I was bought up with, the ‘make do and mend’ mentality and skills my parents were so proud of, which I suppose came from their parents living through the war and having no other option.
I digress, then I built the frame made out of 3″x2″. Again this is quite heavy but very sturdy. On the final build I did try to time laps our progress, (I say our, as I had help from my best bud, partner in crime and other laddish cliches) however who knew that it takes the power of three suns to power it and phone duly died.
As I said this was pretty much a flat pack so I was able to match the frame to the top exactly. It went swiftly and the progress we made was very impressive. Once completed the frame we turned it over and attached the 4″ casters, therefore our frame was 30″ in height. Then all that was left was to sink in the bottom shelf and attach the top. This had a nice dark wood look to it with, may I say, a lovely grain. I then added a simple pine trim round the edge for a sleek finish.
All that was left was to adorn my achievement with the necessary tools and ablutions that all men (and woodworkie ladies) should possess. I have tried my hand already at making candle holders and a guitar stand that needs attention as the guitar just falls off, oops.
To get started I had a few tools already, I know a lot of people are buying up budget tools from places like Aldi and Lidl, but I decided to buy decent second hand tools and hopefully get a good machine that will perform as opposed to an okay machine that struggles a bit. That’s just my thoughts though.
So if your thinking of having a go at a bit of the old woodwork, do it, it is fun relatively cheap and you get a huge sense of accomplishment from producing something, who knows it could be the start of a life long love or even career.
Much love to you, toodles.