Last November I set out to make a toy chest for my son. It took about 24 hours of working time, and while I was happy with the final result it could have been MUCH nicer. The challenge I faced at the time was 2 fold: time & tools. I was limited to how much time I could spend working on each step between naps, and because I was working on the balcony I could only use the basic tools in my Black & Decker Matrix kit.
But now I have a garage – 400 glorious square feet of unobstructed work space! Well we are still unpacking, so there are boxes everywhere, but I can get around that easily enough. Having the space of my first condo to work in – with heat and light – is a game changer. The first thing I did of course – fill the space with tools.
For the last 4 months I’ve been scouring YouTube for woodworking videos, picking up pro-tips and compiling a “stuff to make” playlist. Of all the woodworkers out there I found Steve Ramsey’s videos to be the most entertaining and thorough. When he started his Weekend Woodworker course in November I signed up right away. The course walks you through ever increasingly complex projects, starting you off with basic woodworking and moving up to more complex and stylized projects. For around $200 you get 7 sets of plans and a great video guide detailing each step.
Admission time: I have NEVER used a table saw before Saturday afternoon. After watching some safety videos, picking up some tips from other woodworkers, and of course reading the manual I felt confident enough to get started.
While I can’t share the plans I can say this was WAY easier than the toy box. It wasn’t a less complicated build, I think I just had the right tools for the job, and the knowledge of how to use them to achieve what I needed to get done.
At this point I’m torn. As much as I’d love to say this was a sponsored post (Hint, hint to any tool companies out there…), I used so many different brands of tools for the project, each one serving it’s purpose well. So for now I’ll just say thanks to Ryobi, Black & Decker, and Rigid – I managed to put my garage together for less than $1,000, and I couldn’t be happier with the end results! If you’re looking for great gifts for the DIY person in your life, you can’t go wrong with tools, but for other ideas you should probably check out my 2017 Gift Guide and enter to win some stuff HERE.
Let me know if you are working on anything, I’d love to have a look. Next up for me – a dining/board game table!
Good luck out there.