There are plenty of posts and videos I’ve done that showcase the main topic of what the Indie Creator Hub is all about. Wanted to spend a little bit on what I like to do that isn’t about alternative platforms and content creation work. Besides writing these blog posts and the videos I’ve done and continue to do, there is something I’ve found that I enjoy. You can probably classify it under creating or even making, it’s creating something out of wood.
I’ve been interested in the wood crafting aspect for some time now and found that making something with these raw materials is quite therapeutic. Now, I don’t have a large workshop as many do when you search for woodworking on YouTube. Working out of my garage at this point is more than enough. I wouldn’t even know where to begin if I did have a large workshop. Those people had worked through the phases of gathering their tools and getting to a point where they needed to move to a dedicated space for their craft. Working with an old table saw, a miter saw, several drills and a hand-me-down circular saw, I managed to build things I had never done before.
There was the project in trying to organize the garage a bit more, by building a dedicated workbench/table where I could set up a miter saw space and have enough room to do small projects. This was a simple design as it only required several two-by-fours and a sheet of MDF. I had the inspiration to do the miter saw station after watching the Fix This Build That channel on YouTube. I have to say that a lot of my project ideas and inspirations were from Brad on that channel and from Bob over on I Like To Make Stuff. Going through and planning out the design while making sure the measurements of the miter saw location would be correct. Of course, there was a lot of trial and error but in the end, it worked out. There was enough left over so I made a storage table on the other side to have our garage cans sit underneath the table, out of the way.
The woodworking bug had fully sunk in and it was time to get to that project that provided a bit more challenge. It was a moment in which my sister-in-law, husband, and kids were going to come down to our place for the holidays. Scrolling through pages upon pages of Murphy beds of all shapes and sizes to put in our office. Of all the options, noting stood out as being the one. Now, many looked close and had the right dimensions but, the pricing was much more than what we had in mind. That’s where the idea of I could just build it myself. The time crunch was one and I only had a month to finish the project. I set out on my quest to research and find the solution by purchasing the frame of the Murphy bed from our local Rockler store and using the plans that come with it to construct the cabinet carcass. Things were on their way.
The Murphy bed cabinet was something that hadn’t constructed at that size before and there were a few moments when I was wondering if I was biting off more than I could chew. In the end, everything came together. After staining and installing the bed in the office, I was confident in my work. Of course, being my harshest critic, I could see the areas in which I wasn’t entirely on the mark with measurements and the like. It was close enough and for being a complete beginner at this, I could give myself a solid B.
When I first started this project I was envisioning an entire room makeover starting with the Murphy bed as phase one. The next thing on the list would be constructing a custom L-shaped desk and finally, a set of cabinets with drawers to go next to the Murphy bed. Unfortunately, life had decided to insert itself into things which caused a few months of delays. Knowing that this delay was just temporary, I got busy researching and looking for design inspirations for the desk.
The time for the project was here and I had found a design I liked, With a few modifications I was ready. Again tackling a project that was this large proved to be quite troublesome at times. Dealing with limited space within the garage I had to do things in stages. This proved to be a great idea as I could construct the desk in a way that I could use it as a workspace. I planned to build in a way that I could move each piece into the house separately and put it all together in the office. Getting to the desktop was more troublesome, as I was still on the fence about how to build it and what exactly kind of wood I was going to use. After much internal debate, I had chosen the materials I would go with. Of course, this provided its unique challenge with the wood being used as the desktop was going to be one beefy boy.
Working with tools I had never thought about owning before was a great learning experience. With the desktop I tried as best as I could to make sure the top surface was flat as I could make it but, it was going to need some persuasion. Originally had ordered a manual planer which was not a great decision, especially for being the low-cost option from Amazon. So, off to the hardware store to get that electric planer I had my eyes on. This decision cut (pun intended) the working time of the project down a whole heck of a lot. My daughter joked that the sound the planer made was the same as a tornado siren. It was time to move the desk into the office and luckily for me, my family came down again to stay the week at our house. I knew moving all of these heavy pieces around was going to be tricky but, with another set of hands, it was completed.
After the desk and Murphy bed cabinet, I thought the next phase was not going to be so bad. I was off on that assumption. Getting started on the cabinets I came upon the first mistakes I had placed into the build. With every house, the walls are never perfectly flush. There are slight variations along the entire span which makes designing and building sections of cabinets a pain in the butt. That’s what I was running into with this next phase. I was going back and forth with the design, making changes as I went through the build. Eventually coming out on the other side with a product that in my opinion, is good enough. I know that I could’ve done a better job and maybe down the road I can redo the cabinet and make it better but for now, I’m happy with how it turned out.
Of all these projects I learned many different ways of how not to do things and an even bigger lesson. To get some large fans to get more air moving through the garage as building things within the garage in the middle of summer is not cool (I know, that was a bad one there). My big takeaway though is that I find woodworking is very relaxing and learning new things made me happier for doing it in the first place. I can look at what I made with pride and with the satisfaction of making things with my own two hands.