DIY Garden House Technique Woodworking

My First Year

I began this blog a year ago. Happy Birthday Messing About With Wood!

On the 29th December 2019 I signed up to WordPress, with the idea of documenting my efforts with chisels, saws and drills. I didn’t really have any intention for the blog. It would be little more than a personal record, I could use it to improve my writing, and I hoped it would give me some sort of discipline to stick to. I thought the readership would stretch, at best, to those few friends and family members who felt obliged to humour me, or give in to my nagging. I had no idea that real people would actually want to read what I might have to say, and some have even signed up to do so! I must sincerely thank you all for coming along.

So 2020 wasn’t that good a year, but it did at least allow me to continue my hobby, for which I am grateful. Here are a few of the things I managed to do this year;

I started by attending a Dovetail course at the exceptional Silva Foundation. Silva is one of the reasons I feel lucky to live where we do. I shall seek out more courses, and visit some of their other projects whenever the opportunity arises.

Having learned the basics, I got some practice in straight away, by making a Book Stand for the kitchen. This also let me practice my skills with a Plane, and I finally made use of a White Horse I had created while practicing with the Scroll Saw.

The Book Stand sees regular use from all of us, which I’m pleased about. Here it is, helping with Christmas preparations.

There were plenty of little jobs to do. Here is where The Chap and I repaired an anglepoise lamp by building a new Lamp Base,

and here I gave a garden fork a new Handle. (And yes, I made the obligatory Two Ronnies joke. Sorry.)

It was a sunny summer, fortunately, and I had plenty of chores to keep me occupied, and scrap wood to keep those projects going.

First up, was a rebuild of the Compost Bins. This was mostly a lesson in grazed knuckles, post-fix pouring, and figuring out how to preserve wooden boxes that are intended to hold rotting plant matter.

Then came some Shed Repairs. Bitumen was the main topic this time, though I got to saw up a pallet and make some new pieces for the end gables.

The second most complex project I worked on over the summer was a Cold Frame. This was all about salvage. The box frame and sides, and the glass in the windows, came from an earlier cold frame that in turn I had made out of parts salvaged from an old shed – so this was third generation re-cycling. I built the frame into a table, made from a shelf salvaged from a fitted wardrobe, and stood it on legs made from old fence posts. I even re-used the trellis that the fence posts had held up, to make a shelf below the table.

I stumbled a bit over fitting the hinges, and I had to concede that the window frames should be made out of newly bought wood to increase their lifespan, but all in all, I feel very proud of this piece.

So if that was the second most complex project, what was the first? Well, I’ve not written it up yet. There’s a small hint above though. It’ll take a few posts to cover, and I’ve been saving it to get a proper run-up. Also, I kept finding other things to write about:

like the Bathroom, which I needed to re-grout, and so was prompted to talk about how I modelled it in the first place;

and the Chap’s Room, wherein, having already written up several projects, I was prompted to write about how I gave it more space by knocking a wall down.

What else have I worked on this year? Ah yes, as winter set in, I moved back to indoor projects and began to build a 19-inch rack for our music room. Posh eh? Well, the end room is home to musical instruments we variously play (or mostly just look at, sadly) so we call it the Music Room.

The story behind this rack is that The Chap is turning into a really good drummer. He has an electronic drum kit, and, anticipating the possibility of him and friends playing music together, I decided to get a small mixing desk and powered speakers as an amplifier for the kit. The mixing desk allows microphones, keyboards, guitars, etc. to all plug in together and be mixed to balance the sound. It also connects to a computer to allow his playing to be recorded, and recordings to be mixed in with his live playing. Useful, since he needs to play along to records for practice. Also, during the lockdown he had a period where lessons could only be conducted by email.

So basically, having got this kit, I needed somewhere to put it! I couldn’t resist an excuse to work with some really nice oak here.

Building this rack lets me introduce the second reason I feel lucky we live where we do; Oxford Wood Recycling. OWR have provided me with all sorts of new and old, polished and rough-cut wood, have given me ideas I had previously thought were beyond my reach, and have taught me the value of a good finishing oil. Thank you, OWR!

(I made this TV Table from a slice of Cherry Tree I found in OWR a couple of years ago.)

So that’s what I’ve been up to, woodwork wise, during 2020. I’ve been building these sorts of things for many years now, and have told various other, older stories over the course of the blog – this is the 48th post I’ve written now. If you’re interested, I wrote a summary in the summer, The Story So Far, that points to many of these projects. I hope I still have more stories in me to keep going through this next year.

Thank you again for coming along!

By nickcnickcnickc

I spend my working life staring at computer screens, so in my spare time I look for things to do with my hands, preferably involving wood. It's a little ironic then that I've now starting writing a blog about my woodworking, and thus introducing computer screens to my main hobby..!

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