All week I’ve been working on what was supposed to be such a simple little woodworking project. P. asked me to build him this mediation bench. It looked like something I could accomplish with my limited skill set and tool set. Looking at the plans I figured I could whip it off in a couple of hours – max. Unfortunately for me, I didn’t get the beginners luck that usually comes with being a novice. Here’s just a few of the things I’ve learned with this little project so far:

  • How to saw straight with a skill saw – (a.k.a. table saw envy)
  • How to plane not-so-straight cuts made by a skill saw
  • How to plan ahead and buy more wood than I need so that when I don’t saw straight I can start over
  • How to read directions and believe them – even when they tell you to use a countersink drill bit and Lowes doesn’t carry countersink drill bits
  • How to order tools online and wait . . .
  • How to use a countersink drill bit – you have to drill down further than you think
  • How hard it is to clamp something without it slipping, getting in the way of the drill, or denting the wood (this took 30 minutes to figure out)
  • How, even when the holes are in the right place I can still have trouble screwing in the screws and never really learn why

So there it is and I’m not done yet, but hope to be soon. I’m thinking maybe another couple of hours – so maybe I’ll have something finished to show in another week or so!

Bench pieces