Porkish chop

This Christmas just gone, my nipper was given some nice new tools in a tote. I’ve set aside a place for them on a shelf under the bench, and from time to time he joins me in the shed to work on a project. dsc00131Some times it’s a school project, but other times it is just for fun.


Here is a simple box he made, under supervision, earlier this year. I dimensioned the timber for him, but he had a hand in everything else. Continue reading “Porkish chop”

Resawing by hand

Sometimes, you find yourself with a piece of wood that is just too damn thick for what you need it for. You might have a nice plank of walnut, say, or maple, that is just over 2″ thick, but what you really need is two planks, each about 1″ thick. Or, maybe you just need a plank that is ½” or ¾” thick. What are going to do? Continue reading “Resawing by hand”

Sharpening #1

When I was building my shed, it really was a predominantly power tool affair. With one exception. I decided that I would use a good old-fashioned chisel and mallet to chop out the notches for the noggins and studs. There must have been nearly two hundred of them. I needed to learn to sharpen my chisels.



All I had was the coarse/fine reversible oil stone and honing guide that came with my chisels, and that did the job nicely, a bit crude, but fine for the rough work I was doing in softwood.

Continue reading “Sharpening #1”

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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Continue reading “Setting up”


Once my eyesight had returned back to normal I was itching to get back to business. I had taken delivery of some pressure treated feather-edged board that my local timber mill had made for me, and I soon got to work cladding the shed.

11_CladdingIt went up surprisingly easily and pretty soon I was ready to treat it with some decking oil to preserve the golden color against the elements. Continue reading “Cladding”

More Haste, Less Speed

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So, this is a picture of my skull.

In fact, this is a picture of my fractured skull.


Continue reading “More Haste, Less Speed”

Shed construction

Once the  concrete had cured for a week or two I began the task of constructing the timber frame. I used Canadian Lumber Standard (CLS) for everything. I believe it is usually used for stud-work, but it is a fantastic material for building a shed. It is supplied planed and with rounded edges and is 38mm by 89mm. I got my local timber mill to deliver it in 4.8m lengths.


Using a chop saw for speed, I made my frame one wall at a time and constructed them flat before raising them and staking them in place. This way I could do the whole thing on my own. I used a circular saw and mallet and chisel to notch out the recesses for the studs and noggins and I made my stud centres just the right width so that when I started skinning with 6mm ply, I didn’t have to make too many cuts. Once the walls were up, the whole frame was bolted down to the concrete base, and it was time to start the roof. Continue reading “Shed construction”

Groundworks and slab

It took me quite a while to mark out exactly where I wanted my new shed to be. Eventually I decided on about a metre away from the house and, as per plan, the dimensions of the shed just under 4 metres by just over 5 metres (12′ x 17′). That gives me a floor area of 20m² (200ft²). I would have like to have more, but alas, I am no only restricted by the authorities in this case – the old shed was in the way, and I didn’t want to knock it down without the new one being built.

01_Marking_out    02_Digging_out

Continue reading “Groundworks and slab”


I’ve always enjoyed woodworking. When I was a kid I’d be out in my dad’s shed, fiddling about with bits of wood, whittling at sticks, breaking his tools. Recently though, I’ve taken up ‘proper’ woodworking as a hobby. I’ve also, for various reasons, decided to go down the hand tool route as much as possible. There is a bit of a back story to this, so before I start posting about woodworking, I thought I’d spend a bit of time talking about how I got to the stage I’m at now.

About 15 years ago, my wife and I bought our house, which came with an old asbestos clad packing shed. It was the ugliest thing going, but it was useful to store the bikes and lawnmower, and the ever increasing stash of tools that accumulated as we renovated the house.

Old_Shed_2     Old_Shed_3

As you can see, it became quite the pigsty. It always took an age to find anything. Continue reading “Beginnings”

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