Beginnings

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.

We always knew the shed wouldn’t last for ever. It was rotten in places and probably a health hazard. But more than that, it was in entirely the wrong place, blocking our view of the garden from the house.

Old_Shed_1

Obviously it had to go, but two things stood in our way:

  1. Money. I couldn’t just knock the thing down. I needed a replacement. And I wanted to build it myself, from scratch not from a kit. That meant digging out foundations for the concrete floor, and buying literally a shed-load of timber and cladding, not to mention figuring out the plumbing and electricity supply. This meant plenty of dobes that we just didn’t have.
  1. Bureaucracy. The place where I live has very strict planning laws, and the land that the shed was on, and where the new one was to be built, were classed as agricultural. There was no way that we would be allowed to build any kind of structure on land of that type.

Well, times change. Bank balances (sometimes) get healthier, and persistence (sometimes) pays off. Eventually, we persuaded the authorities to extend our domestic curtilage to encompass the necessary area to build the shed, and we managed to scratch together the necessary funds. The build was on! The only thing left to do was to find where I had put my shovel. The next few posts will document the build, my decision to take up woodworking as a hobby, and my realisation that hand tools were the way to go.

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