2012-08-18: And Now For Something Slightly Different

Complimentary handcrafts

So June marked 6 years with my current employer and they wanted to mark the milestone by giving me something significant & special. I was given a budget which I applied toward the Woodwork for Beginners course through Sydney Community College.

I spent four Saturdays from 9 am to 1:30 pm learning to cut shapes with a coping saw and chisel out lap joints, enjoying every second of it.

Our first project was to build a simple bird feeder with pine. The techniques we practiced were:

Bird Feeder
  • Cutting a circle out of the centre of a board with a coping saw
  • Creating a mitred joint
  • Creating a biscuit joint
  • Counter-sinking screws
  • Finishing with putty, sanding, and oiling

I still need to give it another coat of oil before I hang it up out in the back yard and put some seed in the bowl to see if I can attract some birds in the neighbourhood.

Project number two was a small box made with Tasmanian Oak. Everyone got their choice of style for the box, I decided to make this one with a little handle & lift-off lid. We practiced:

Handmade box
  • Cutting the sides of the box to the correct measurements
  • Creating a lap joint
  • Finishing with putty & sanding

The box needs another round of sanding and then to be oiled or varnished (I'll probably just oil it.

I had lots of fun & gained some new skills and a lot more confidence about working with wood. I hope to do more in the future!

Our instructor Phil was really friendly and helpful. After the last class I showed him my turkish spindle & he gave me some pointers for trying to make my own. Another project idea is to make a little card weaving loom. I can't wait!