When I was in elementary school, I had multiple teachers compliment me on my imagination. I could not only entertain myself, but I could out of nowhere make up a short story. And I really enjoyed it. The only problem was I was a poor writer. I would (and still do) mumble, fumble and stumble my way through the English language. I could slaughter everything I was taught about sentence structure, punctuation and flow in one single story. But despite all of that, my stories were good. And I liked getting up and sharing my stories. They were my creation and I was proud!
I have tried to be a creator in other areas in my life but none accept one has really stuck. Gardening. A few years ago I looked at our backyard and said to myself “I can do something with that!”. I jumped in feet first and haven’t looked back (although some of my efforts make me want to look the other way). There was something genuinely pleasurable about taking a bare spot and bringing color and life to it, which then brought the additional life of bees, hummingbirds and butterflies. I even have a plaque certifying my garden as an official “Butterfly Garden”. Take that!
But here lately I have startle dabbling in a new endeavor that is captivating my mind. Woodworking. I never got into building stuff. Same with cars. I never got an adrenaline rush to fix a car (although I do like the idea of saving money and doing it myself).
Our neighborhood is growing, and with it comes multiple construction projects. While taking a walk one morning I saw a long dumpster filled with wood: 2×4, plywood, OCB, pallets, 4×4 posts….all just going to the landfill.
Me being the thrifty guy I am got to thinking “What if I did something with this wood?” So I went home and got to thinking about some projects I could tackle around the house? What first came to mind was a bench with shoe storage for the garage. For the 18 months we have lived here, people leaving their shoes scattered around the garage has been a problem. So has been a place to sit down and take them off/put them on. So I sat and designed a bench made out of scrap wood and pallets. This was it when I finished
Then I stained it:
Then painted/distressed it:
It was such a rush! Of course half of the stain landed on me – but WOW!
I shared the news with my dad and he sent me a generous financial gift to buy a couple power tools (nothing more masculine than firing up a circular saw!)
So the bench was placed in the garage. What next? Well, since I am still a novice I decided to stay in the garage. The wife has complained (and rightfully so) how cluttered and unorganized our garage is. Between toys, bikes, tools, ladders, trash cans and grills – it was a mess
So I designed a corral for the grill and trash can. Then during Thanksgiving week created a shelving unit (which is displacing to shelving units we had). My goodness what a change!
The last item is going to be for me. A manly workbench! Full of man stuff, that smells like man stuff, and feels like man stuff. I will have a stereo that plays man music like: Tom T Hall, Glen Campbell and Fleetwood Mac.
I will begin the design phase tonight and hopefully start cutting and drilling this weekend. I have all the 2x4s I need, I am in search of some ¾” plywood in one of the dumpters.
In the three projects I have done, I estimate I have saved close to $200 in material.
After the workbench is complete I look to start doing some small craft/furniture projects in the house.
Pray for everyone in my home