Miscellaneous

Published on May 28th, 2017 | by Guest

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Build It, Don’t Buy It

In the present age, where fast food, instant gratification, and Googling for answers is king, it is so easy to just go out and purchase what you want. People are building and repairing less. Years ago, you would buy the materials to construct the swing for the front porch. Now, you hop in the car and drive to IKEA.

Obviously, there is nothing wrong with consumerism; but there is a definite lack of quality and individuality that comes from buying furniture that simply needs an Alan key to put together. Wouldn’t you rather know how to construct something special?

The good news is that you don’t have to be a wizard at carpentry or construction to begin building instead of buying.

Start with the Basics

Sure, if you never picked up a hammer before, you don’t want to make your first project something complicated like a wall storage. Practice does indeed make perfect, so it is wise to start with the basics. You can find endless templates and projects on the internet that have excellent instruction and pictures to follow. I recommend beginning with something a child could put together, like a jewelry or keepsake box, birdhouse, or file box.

After making a couple of knickknacks, you will have gotten used to reading instructions as well as measuring, clamping, gluing, and screwing in nails. Be sure to get comfortable. Then, advance onto something a bit trickier.

Power Up the Toolbox

Obviously, the more simplistic woodworking and construction projects don’t necessarily call for drills and welders. But you will eventually want to move onto more complex blueprints. Bigger projects require more specialized toys, such as a router to make intricate edging on your carpentry projects. A multi-tool disc cutter for cutting pipes or grinding old grout from tiles can help with house renovations or challenging metalwork. If you love spray painting, an air-compressor will help you create bigger, more awe-inspiring masterpieces. Building a deck? A drop saw for cutting the timber will be a huge advantage.

My personal favorite is a MIG welder, which I use for making garden sculptures and water features, like fountains.

As you can see, power tools can be rather addictive. You can’t have just one, because you soon realize how many projects can be simplified when you don’t have to put out extraneous effort. Still, you don’t just want to buy a bunch of power tools that may never be of use to you, so be smart with your purchase.

Buy a 50 piece tool kit that will have various screwdrivers, spanners, and other basic hand tools. From there, you can decide if an orbital sander and router will come in handy. Of course, you will eventually be needing a heavy duty work bench with a vice, drop saw, and magnetic tool rack… it’s just how the addiction escalates!

The great thing is that when you have all these new toys, you can realize your own creativity when making furniture, kids toys, organizational supplies, and artistic masterpieces.

Plan, Prepare, and Follow Through

One thing I cannot preface enough is that before beginning any major project, like your man (or woman) cave, you need to have a plan. There is a reason I said start with the basics and follow a template, because you will learn how to set-up a construction or project plan quite quickly. With a detailed plan, you won’t worry about making a mistake that could wind up costing you more money than anticipated.

Though some people will jot down their plans on a blank piece of A4 paper, I recommend something a bit more productive and organized, like a bullet journal (there’s even an online Bullet Journal). In this journal, you are going to figure out the materials you will need, the quantity, estimated cost, and the tools needed to get the job done.

Your bullet journal can even work like a checklist to make sure you have everything necessary. Trust, there’s nothing worse than starting a project and realizing halfway through you need to drop everything to make a run to the local hardware store. On that note, you also will want to schedule enough time to complete the project in its entirety. Otherwise, it may just become an incomplete project that never leaves the workshop.

Before and After

Document your project with before and after photos. When you look back at these pictures in a few years, you’ll be amazed how advanced your projects became overtime. Plus, people love seeing before and after photos of jobs well done and use it for their inspiration. This is especially true for revamped or repurposed furniture. And who knows? You might have a talent for refurbishing that has yet to be tapped into. Once its honed, you can use that skill to make money by selling your creations and repurposed goods on places like Gumtree, Etsy, and eBay.

Before-and-after projects are fun for kids too, especially when it is something they can use well into the future. Making something awesome out of a heap of wood and some tools will entertain them for hours and is far more educational than watching cartoons on their tablet all day long. Create some bonding time with your family members then share the photos at social gatherings to not only have bragging points but stories to tell.

New toys, new skills, and time spend with the family. When you build new furniture and decorations instead of buying factory fabricated goods, you are doing more than building, you are enriching your life. Make “build it, don’t buy it” your motto, and you will DIYing your way to a beautiful homestead and fulfillment.

 

Article credits: Brian Green from ProWelderGuide.com

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