Power to the People! (Or…Workshop)

So about three and a half months after I expected to have it finished, I’ve finally got power hooked up into the workshop!

All 19 (yep that’s right, 19) powerpoints are now wired up, and two of the 6 florescent lights are as well. We ran out of time to do the rest but I’m not worried about that; just those two are enough to light up the entire workshop. I’m starting to think that six will be overkill.

20140724_201641 (Medium)

Lots of dust in the air which explains the low picture quality

What a relief it is. I’ve already spent the past couple of nights out there working on the rocking horse and I haven’t had to drag an extension cord around once. Each tool is powered up and ready to go, a huge time saver for someone like myself who only gets a small amount of free time to use the shop.

But of course, there is not much point in having power if all my tools are lying on the floor. That’s why I’m going to build some hanging cupboards to start storing tools this Saturday. I’m hoping to build three cupboards and have them hanging across the back of the shop by the end of the day. This is the design in sketchup I’ve come up with but I’m not 100% if this is how I’ll go about it. I can’t decide between hanging them on a cleat to make them removable or if I screw them straight into the wall.


3m garage width or around 10ft to play with.

The best part of having electricity? I was finally able to plug in the new tablesaw. Thank god it worked. I was terrified that I’d switch it on and the motor would burn out or the fuse would blow or maybe the garage would just fall down. Pleased to say that none of the above happened and the saw works as planned.


That’s the legs of the rocking horse getting their first coat of varnish drying on top.

Here in Australia we aren’t exactly spoiled with choice when it comes to all things woodworking. So once I’ve spent some time using it, I’ll shoot a ‘product review’ video on the tablesaw. Hopefully it will help others who are in the market. From the very limited use I’ve had, it seems brilliant.

No. Way.

I have some news.

Power is coming to the garage. Later today in fact.

Good god. It’s been a long 4.5 months without it. If all goes as planned it will be hooked up by lunchtime on Monday; and yep, I’m a li’l excited.

Final sheets are up on the ceiling!

Final sheets are up on the ceiling too!

And bonus, my bro-in-law and I managed to get the last 3 sheets of plaster hung on the ceiling as well. It took all of 20 minutes to get them glued ‘n’ screwed in position. It took two mates and I, 2 hours to get the first few sheets up… Trade experience for the win.

My fingers are crossed that there are no dramas with wiring the place up, cross yours for me as well!

Printed Templates

I managed to find an hour outside to prepare the templates for the rocking horse gifts I’m working on.

Rocking horse templates

The template is all but done

I really enjoy working off of printed plans, they are clearer and easier to see than pencil marks. Spray glue and a printed template is my favourite way of doing things. I actually ran out of spray glue while doing these but I also ran out of usable ply as well so that evens that out I guess.

All but one section is cut out, I used the scrollsaw for all parts; I still need to smooth the edges but then they should be good to go. Using the scrollsaw for larger projects like this really drives home how much I need to start working on building a bandsaw.

The plan is to rough cut the final pieces with a jigsaw and then attach them to the templates to finish on the router table.

12mm scrap ply for these pieces.

12mm scrap ply for these pieces.

I think the main body will be made from clear pine, with sections of it stained a walnut colour. The rockers and base will probably be made out of a couple lengths of very hard and dense redwood that I have just gotten my hands on.

No real days off again this week, but I’m hoping to sneak a few hours in the shop on Tuesday morning after work. After cutting these out on the scrollsaw I’ve at least finally made some saw dust in there!

A gift for new parents

Two good friends of mine are having their first babies this month so I decided I’d like to try making something for them as a gift.

Rocker 1_1

Originally I was going to make a baby rocker for the bubby to use, I spent a bit of time designing it sketchup and ended up with this.

I really liked my rocker design, but when I checked it against the relevant safety standard I realised I would have to modify it quite a bit. The sides would have to be much taller and the base dimension had to be increased to fit an off the shelf mattress. I know I could have built it how I liked and cut foam to fit – but if anything was to happen to the baby using it, well, it’s not worth risking quite frankly.

By the end of the modifications, the small gift I was planning turned into a giant ark that would take up a whole corner of the room, an ark that would not even be used once the baby was over 6 months.

So I decided to instead make either a step stool or rocking horse. Wifey wasn’t a fan of the stool idea so rocking horse it is! Searching around I found a few free and paid plans that I liked, but ultimately settled on a plan from toymakingplans.com. I really like this design, I think it looks beautiful & elegant, and it is something the child will be able to use for 3-4 years as opposed to the 6 months use that a rocker brings.


I toyed with the idea of designing my own horse, but realistically I just wouldn’t be able to come up with a design better than this one so I’m happy to pay. I was pleasantly surprised to see just how thorough the templates / patterns are in the pdf. I’ve printed out and taped together the patterns and with luck will be able to start cutting routing templates out of mdf tomorrow.

Have you ever made a rocking horse before? Any tips for me?

Garage2Workshop Video Update

Rather than typing out another article I thought I’d do a little bit of filming and put that up to show how the reno is going.

I’ve been working 6 and sometimes 7 day weeks over the past two months, it really makes it hard to complete jobs like this one. I’m getting there though. Hmm, I may have said that last month too…

Anyways, here you go, what do you think?