Setting up

So, here is the inside of my new shed. I took a water supply from the house and plumbed in a janitor’s sink that a friend gave me. I put up a few hooks and put my tools neatly on them. I procured some hardwood offcuts from a nearby saw mill. I just need to knock up a lean-to for the bikes and I can build myself a woodworking bench from a beam I salvaged from the old shed.

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As I said in a previous post, I have always enjoyed working with wood. In the past I have made quite a few pieces of furniture; bookshelves, nested tables, desks, cabinets, tv stand, but, I had always relied on the timber mill to dimension the wood for me, and, more often than not, I used cheap pine, veneered plywood or, it pains me to say, MDF. I did once use some nice hardwood for some shelving, some big chunky pieces of Ash, but without proper dimensioning the joints weren’t ideal. When I was making my new shed, I decided that once it was built I wanted to try my hand at ‘proper’ woodwork. I wanted to be able to dimension my own timber if necessary, and use proper woodworking joints. That meant having the right tools for the job.

I did a bit of research and it soon became apparent that I should have built a bigger shed. I needed a table saw. I needed a router table. I needed a thicknesser and a planer. I needed a bandsaw. I needed a lathe. I needed more space and butt-load of money.

Well, neither were forthcoming, so I was stuck. The thing is, it’s not just the space for the machines that one needs, it’s the space around the machines as well. And it’s the extraction system one needs to keep the air free of dust. Systems like that require a simply baroque quantity of ducting, and that takes up space as well, not to mention more money.

I soon realised that if I was to get anywhere, I needed to go old-school. I found a chap on the interweb called Paul Sellers, and he was an absolute revelation. This is a guy who has been a professional woodworker for 50 years, and here he is advocating the use of hand-tools of all things. That had simply not occurred to me. I took his advice and hit eBay.



I picked up a few planes and hand saws

I purchased a couple of bit and braces and some spokeshaves


My kids gave me some nice chisels for dad’s day and I was away.

On YouTube, Paul Sellers has numerous videos on how to sharpen, maintain and renovate hand tools. The first step into this new unplugged world it would seem is to master sharpening. So, I put aside thoughts of big, nasty, noisy, dusty expensive machines, and turned instead to thoughts of diamond plates and saw files. Time to grind me some steel…

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