I’ve always wanted to learn a skill that was useful, could potentially earn me some money in a pinch, and didn’t involve a computer. I’m not sure ever got much further than that thought when it came to deciding on what exactly. After purchasing our new home this past winter, we spent some money on a handyman. Long story short, I wasn’t too happy with regards to how much we paid him in exchange for the work he did. Some quick back-of-the-napkin math indicates that it might just be a lot less frustrating and cheaper if I simply purchase some tools and learn how to do this stuff myself.

Despite a close relationship with my father over the course of his life, he never really bothered to pass on any of his constructions skills to me, since he was fairly intent on and certain of my eventual attendance of college. He wasn’t a carpenter, and he was actually in a fairly atypical niche area of the construction field, but I can’t help but think of him from time to time as I measure wood, and saw, and occasionally use his level. I have to wonder about may have been his amusement over me buying tools that were for something other than opening up the back of a computer.

This is the first thing I built. It is a firewood rack. I worked off some plans and used this project just to get a handle on measuring and cutting. I feel like I learned a lot over the course of the project. I started off considering this woodworking thing in utilitarian terms. I need a place to store wood, and a place to store the kids toys’ in the backyard, and it is cheaper for me to spend $50 on wood than it is to spend $300 on something made of plastic. And that was about all I had in mind. But I actually found myself really enjoying doing this and I’m looking forward to a lot more projects. The big take-away from this is that one improperly measured and constructed right angle of a joint has an impact on every other aspect of the work. It turned out ok. But I will always know there is one place within this piece that could have been done a bit better.


I just started this one today. Its a combo deck box/bench for the front porch that will hold gardening supplies, some toys, some fold-up chairs, and probably a stroller. I figured this would be good practice for framing something out that was a bit more complicated. It was a great feeling when I cut the last 20″ piece of wood and it fit perfectly where it needed to fit and every angle was a perfect 90° all the way around. Next week I’ll get my hands on some all weather plywood and some nice trim to dress it up a little. Lucy wants to help me paint it purple.

Deck Box

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