A slightly different post today!

One of the other things I do is woodwork.  At the moment my free time (Wednesday arvos and Sundays) is pretty much split between painting and shed-time, where I work on my projects.

I love my shed.

When I bought the house, the shed was this crappy falling apart weatherboard rubbish. It had the washing machine in it. We decided to knock that shed down and replace it with one that, frankly, had a door and a floor  – took a while to be able to afford it though.

Old shed in the process of being knocked down ( I got to kick the weatherboards off, that was fun)


See how weatherproof it was? NOT!

And look, a little pile of asbestos from the roof. THIS COSTS A LOT TO BE PROFESSIONALLY REMOVED



The replacement shed was built by a really good builder. In retrospect, i should have gone with a much bigger shed but at the time I didn’t know I’d be taking up woodwork as a real hobby.

new shed

For a long time I kind of puttered around in shed and did various things until it occurred to me I really needed to learn how to work with wood properly.  I did the Holmesglen (chadstone campus) introduction to woodwork course. I made a tool box from pine (you can see the edge of it below on the middle shelf):


I then did woodwork level 2 at holmesglen – we made a table. You work with a guy who loves crafting and creating wood things, the number of tips and hints I got from him was awesome.  This is the table: it’s in tasmanian oak with rosewood.

This was inspiring. It’s held together with biscuit joints (the top), i routed the edges, i planed the legs to taper, we dowel joined the frame, and cut out bracing with saws using offcuts. Basic joinery and use of tools. Until this course I had a plunge router I was just too terrified to use.


I decided to add more insulation to shed, including putting in a tongue and groove ceiling and paneling and painting the walls so it was a much more pleasant place to work in. Warmer in winter too. I even got a shadow board. I painted the floor. that was a kind of fun job, took me ages, cost heaps, but it was fun.


So since I did the course I’ve decided to not work in pine for anything I want to actually use. Pine is naff.

Mostly i use  tasmanian oak as it’s all there at bunnings and easy to get, but i have discovered Hughes building recycling near by  – they sell everything from demolished houses, so I have picked up a fair amount of good used wood there for a fraction of the bunnings price.

I made a small laptop table (which i am in fact using now to rest my laptop on). This was in tassie oak from bunnings. Same construction as the table from the course.


I made a coffee table for the back room in tas oak and second hand oak, i discovered during the making of this that i did not have long enough clamps and it all came out a bit off-centre. Oh well.  You live and learn. I used shellac to finish this one and the one above. This was my first attempt at mitred edges – i used tassie oak skirting board as it was nicely edged, but that makes it a bastard to clamp as the edges are curved not flat.


I made Kellie a hall table, this was my first foray into adding shelving half the way down. Lots of problems to solve. (she didn’t get to keep the cat). It is also a bit off kilter but it looks really good against the wall she’s got it on.


I made Laura a coffee table (stained very black, in tassie oak). I think this is one of the best things I’ve made yet in how it all came together and how I put effort into figuring out the shelf BEFORE i assembled the legs.


Here are these two items during construction – both the tops were from clamped together reclaimed oak, and the rest of them were new timber.


I finally made a new kitchen bench top, out of linden(?), which was reclaimed wall lining from Hughes. The cats are always there to help. This was too long to do in the shed so this is in the back room.


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and finally this week i finished a cabinet for Ian, made out of reclaimed jarrah flooring and posts. Jarrah is very soft and i was not careful enough with it so it chipped. Also it’s dense and I can barely lift the thing. It does not photograph so well –  but it turned out really nicely. Very rustic!

Also i got red sawdust over every single thing in that shed, has not helped that Dave was in their sanding river red gum posts and so there is red dust coating on all and sundry.

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My stuff has gotten more ambitious and I’ve never worked from a plan yet. But after having tacked the cabinet, i think I need to do more consideration the more elaborate my stuff gets.

I’m currently working on making an amp box for my new amp (i have the electronics but they are naked!). I need to tackle more mortise and tennon rather than using biscuits and dowel joints, I need to work on my mitres cause they are really out of whack, and I need to do something that is a bit more challenging than a table. I’ve never made a door or a drawer. These things will come as I’m more confident with working with wood.
Also I’ve learned- things look dreadful while you make them. My grandfather had a saying “never show anyone a job half done” and he was right. Putty and sanding hide a lot of mistakes and errors of size.

Next up is finishing the amp box, then i need to do a new tv cabinet that is not cheap crappy pine, so that will be a challenge.