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  • Writer's pictureDeepak Mulajkar

Woodworking : A creative lifestyle hobby

Artefacts created by a Basic Carpentry Workshop participant

Experience the joy of creation - your thoughts turn into physical objects - the journey from an idea to a reality. You can start designing and building stuff wherever you are in life - you may be a student who wants to augment learning at college with practical experience , a working professional just starting off in career and wants a handy life-skill and make furniture to your exacting specs, a home maker who wants to get down to making a home, or someone who has got all the material trappings and wants to get in touch with the creative side.

Wood is used extensively to furnish our surroundings at home and work. It is used for making buildings as well, but has been replaced by concrete in recent times. Wood is recyclable and a wooden object can be modified for alternate applications easily. Wood is also eco-friendly, provided it is grown in a sustainable forest. It is easier to start working with wood compared to metal, which needs a bit more skill and setup to start with.

Working with wood is also a valuable lifeskill. Kids in US and Europe are exposed to this at a young age, and everyone there is able to do basic maintenance of their homes by themselves. You should be able to fix broken doors and drawers - with minimal effort and tools. A stitch in time, saves nine. The more creative hands can make simple furniture - shelves, tables etc with simple power tools. Having exposure to the wood and how it works will also put you in a better place to negotiate with your interiors team. You may employ a driver to drive you around, but its always better that you also know how to drive !!!

Toys Shelf (Montessori Style),with pre-laminated boards

DIY Shelf fixed in utility area

Doing your own woodwork is very cost effective. A 3BHK apartment can be done within 2-3L, instead of 6-8 L when contracted to a carpenter. Just like home food is different from the 5 star food, furniture made yourself has a very personal feel than what someone else builds. You can build your own kitchen by making the carcass yourself and order the doors from a factory. That way you will get the best of both worlds - cost efficiency and factory finish. Same strategy can be employed for your wardrobes as well. You can also buy used furniture from Olx or Gozefo and up-cycle it to your requirements.

Up-cycled Mothercare Baby Cot

To get started with woodworking, enrol for a workshop which will cover the techniques of setting up and using power tools safely and efficiently. This should give you a jumpstart on knowing about various tools - jigsaw, circular saw, routers and sanders - which are sufficient to start using tools safely.

Next, you can setup a mini workstation at home - depending on the space available - a foldable version, which can be stored away is a good idea for smaller homes. In a bigger place, you can allocate some area for workshop - which the family & friends can use over weekends to build fun stuff - build race tracks for kids to race their wood cars on - cake stands for the special birthday cakes - unique festive gifts for family and friends - or setup your own handicrafts business online - possibilities with a home workshop are endless. The basic power tools, hand tools and a home made worktable will cost in the range of 15-20K - the amount we spend on a smartphone each year. This investment will not depreciate over time - unlike the smartphone.

Simple Home Workshop Table, placed in a balcony

Woodworking is also a good excuse to collect different sorts of tools and gadgets for the gadget freaks. You can shop for various tools and accessories on your trips abroad. You will also look forward to visit a Home Depot and IKEA and buy the tools not available easily in India. ,, are some of the sites where you can source your tools from. Read more on shopping for your tools here.

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