I made a box

Last night I attended the first of five evening woodworking classes at The Building Block, a local community center in Worcester

As anyone that’s read my review in Hackspace magazine knows, I’m currently learning woodworking via an online course, so when I discovered there was a locally run evening class I jumped at the chance to attend (dragging my friend Kathryn along for the ride).

After the prerequisite health and safety bits (including being issued with safety glasses), and a brief introduction on how to use the tools available, we were challenged with making a box.

It was at this point that we were given a top tip – apparently tongue & groove flooring planks are cheaper to buy than regular planks of wood, meaning all you need to do is remove the aforementioned tongue and groove using the table saw, and you’ve got yourself a perfectly good plank of wood. Personally I’m skeptical of this, but flooring wood is what we were given to work with, so off we set ripping it down.

This is the first time I’ve ever used a table saw. I almost got to use one back in December, when I was given access by a member of the Cheltnham Hackspace to build some wall mounted bottle openers, but on that occasion the wood was cut for me. The funny thing is that I’ve actually owned a table saw for around three weeks now (purchased in a flash sale from Amazon), but haven’t have the space to do anything more than check it spins.

Which bring me to one of the main benefits of a local evening class verses anything online – they’ll generally supply everything for you need. The £140 it cost for the five sessions of evening classes is considerably less money than I’ve spent tooling up for the online one, and while the tools I’ve obtained are now mine to keep – it’s an expensive outlay for a hobby that you’re just dipping your toe into.

Anyway, in addition to the table saw, we had access to drills and drivers, a miter saw, a router, a brad nailer, and a pocket hole jig, the latter two of which I’d also never used before. The box was a simple affair, consisting of four sides cut on the miter saw, glued together on the edges, with the brad nails holding it all together while the glue dried.

Not the most elegant thing, but a good project to use the tools for, and one which you won’t worry too much about getting wrong.

My box, in all its glory

While we’re free to continue building boxes for the remainder of the sessions, the general idea is that we choose a project to work on. For my own part, I think I’m interested in learning to make frames, but I also spied a lathe in the corner, which I’m super keen on playing with as it was watching turning videos on YouTube by people like Peter Brown which piqued my interest in woodworking in the first place.

Watch this space, and I’ll post more updates on my progress in the coming weeks.

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