Working with timber is something I never expected myself to get into. Volunteering at HSBNE opened my eyes and mind to the possibilities of many things, but woodworking had not been one of them. There are a few reasons for this. I’m usually someone to give things a go, but silly stigmas held me back.
– Woodworking is not an appropriate hobby to attack with a ‘let’s see what this does!’ attitude, especially in the interests of safety and not breaking machines
– Don’t like to work with machines that could be used for disposing of a body without a teacher and proper instruction
– As a female working on a hobby like this, it can be a bit of a tourist attraction to some and draw unwanted scrutiny/babysitting
Last year I met Meg and Clint Solly at HSBNE on a Tuesday open night, which triggered a change in my perceptions for the better. Meg began to trial her ‘SheSkills’ classes, woodworking for ladies.
I first attended the beginner’s workshop to build simple shadow boxes. This project was straightforward enough for me to get a grip on the basics and build up confidence. We learnt how to cut timber with a drop saw, drill pilot holes, mitre and butt joints and how use tape to make things easier.
I did the class with my room mate – Two are better than one!
I’ve found that working with your hands to create something with timber is very therapeutic, especially for someone who works on computers for long periods of time during the week. Thus began my woodworking journey.
Over Christmas my family finished off a Game of Thrones map puzzle that had been challenging us for an unreasonable amount of time. I decided it would be best if we showcased it in a coffee table rather than take it apart, put it back in the box and grieve over months of work gone. My stepdad and I designed and built the coffee table together. Here’s some progress of the build:
I also attended Meg’s recent recycled pallet furniture workshop pilot, and can recommend it after attending a beginner class. During the workshop, we took apart pallets, designed and built something of our choice from scratch. Something like this is a great confidence builder for more independent projects and advanced techniques. Here’s the vertical planter I built during the class.
Having success in this area has made me more confident to try out other things I hadn’t considered before – There’s an exciting world of productive hobbies out there.