My Learning Journey through Woodworking

At the beginning of the semester (seven weeks ago), we were given an assignment to complete a learning project. Basically, we could pick whatever we wanted to do (baking, photography, drawing, ect), and document our process throughout. This class was all about technology in the classroom, so as you have probably guessed, we were supposed to learn to do these things online. It did not mean you had to choose to do something online, you simply had to get information online. When we were first given this assignment, I was ecstatic! I have been wanting to do woodworking for a long time but lead a very busy life and that was always my excuse. I was “too busy” to do it and so I never did. Finally, I had the perfect opportunity to do what I had wanted to do for a while so I was going to make the most of it.

I think I learned a ton of new information and possibly bit of more than I could chew in a short period of time but I will walk you through my process.

Week One- I decided I needed to make a new table instead of my cheap $40 one we had purchased off of Kijiji. Futuristic Architecture and The Design Confidential were my sources of ideas at this point.

Week Two- I was getting super adventurous here (I am not sure why) and decided that I should build two side tables and a tv table along with my kitchen table. I must have had a few too many drinks when I made this decision!!  I found Ana White’s blog in Week Two which contained the plans for the side tables and tv table and it was one of my go-to blogs from this point forward. I went on an adventure to shop for supplies and walked out with a whopping bill. Now looking back it, that $300 that I spent is peanuts in comparison to what I would have bought all six of these pieces for.

Week Three- I was well underway in my building at this point and got a little trigger happy with the nail gun while putting my boards together. After doing this, I found this blog post on how to distress wood as I thought it may make those marks look a little more like they belong.  I also made a call out to Twitter to help me search for paint and stain and it was well worth it!

Week Four- I started to look for more and more blog posts that explained what I was looking for and while Ana White still remained at the top of my list, I found Tru Furniture also. This was my second blog post that I fell in love with and got much of my inspiration from.  When in doubt, I also found a new Facebook group called DIY Farmhouse Style that was incredibly helpful. All of the ladies answered my questions right away and were more than willing to share advice.

Week Five- I finished building both of my side tables and when I had lumbar left over, I built two bedside tables for our room as well. I had an incident with a brad nail coming through the wood but this forum was so helpful in figuring out why and how to stop it from happening.

 

Week 6- In week six, I was starting to reflect on the work that I had done to this point and was feeling pretty confident. As a farm wife and a woman, I was proud to have completed and succeeded with these “blue jobs”. I realized that the internet is a brilliant place to gather valuable information and I learned that building is a TON of work but totally worth it.  This week I learned the purpose of pre-drilling holes, how to clamp wood together when it tried to separate and resorted to another one of Ana White’s videos to learn how to put together my table. My table was now complete and so were all of my other pieces. All that was left was painting and staining!

Week Seven- After being sick and tired of waiting for the weather to be perfect, I moved my workstation inside.

I made a time lapse video for the first time ever (new technology is always cool when it works)!! And I learned all about dry brushing and staining. I also learned what gel stain is and that it is not wrecked when it looks like this!

It has been a busy few weeks. My pieces all look great so far but I definitely bit off more than I can chew! I am hoping to have them all done by the weekend. Three out of six is not the best number but as you can see, it is a lot of work.  Some key takeaways out of this project have been:

-There are always ways to fix mistakes

-The internet is a marvelous source of information (for free)!

-Woodworking is a ton of work but to look at the pieces and know that you made them, it is so rewarding.

-It is (in this case) way cheaper to make items like this than to buy them. We already had all of the tools we needed so all that I bought was lumber, stain, paint, and sanding papers. Overall we got over $1800 worth of items I am sure and only spent $300

-Women can do “men’s jobs” too!

                                                                 Before!

 

 After!

 

         Completed Bed Side Tables 

 

Soon to be finished side tables and TV Tables.

 

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