I’ve got wood. Fnarr! Fnarr! Chortle, chortle. The Sydney woodworking show. NSW, Australia

In an effort to explain why I’ve been so tardy with my postings lately I’d like to tell you about the latest thing that is distracting me.

Last week I went to the Sydney woodworking show with my good friend Paul. The woodworking show is basically porn for carpenters and as such, when discussing it, double entendres come easily and uninvited to my mind and it makes me feel like Finbarr Saunders.

Finbarr Saunders

It’s hard (I’ve started already!) not to have some ribald fun with sentences like, the men lovingly held their tools while they fantasized about what they wanted to do with their wood.

Or perhaps,

They stood in a circle, almost salivating, as a man in the centre rubbed oil all over his wood until it glistened. Every eye followed his skilled movements. Back and forth he went with a smile on his face and as he worked on his wood. Every man in the crowd couldn’t wait to get back home and try the same technique on their own wood.

Anyway, enough of that childish nonsense!

My wife, Engogirl would like me at some stage to make a solid wood table from one piece of wood. I’ve always thought that it would cost too much but I was very surprised to see that large slabs of seasoned wood are very reasonably priced and I’m pretty sure that next year I’ll buy a large slab of wood and give it a go.

Solid pieces of timber

All this recent talk of wood got me motivated to use my tools again. Over the last week I’ve begun making a cabinet (L 2000mm x H 800mm x W 500mm or 6’6″x 32″x 20″) to put our TV on and to hold all our CDs (we have about 600) and DVDs (about 100).

I started off in carpentry making sets in the theatre in Vancouver many years ago. I never really trained in carpentry but an old friend gave me a job and taught me the things I couldn’t figure out for myself. So in short, I’m not really a very good carpenter in a technical sense but what ever I make usually looks pretty good… from a distance and you don’t look at it too closely.

My trouble is that I tend to rush things. I’ve never really been a fan of process. I’m more interested in the end result. Which of course means that I always build things that I could’ve done better, and it bugs me! So for this latest project I decided to take a deep breath and take my time.

This will be a new experience for me, as I usually take the bull charging a red flag approach.

I’ve decided to make the cabinet out of plywood that will be custom veneered with figured sycamore and edged with solid wood. The veneering service alone, is going to cost $132 a square metre! So I’m going to have to take my time as I’ve spent about $1000 already on materials. I got a quote yesterday for the lacquering and it’s going to cost about $500 just to get it painted.

Here’s an illustrated mock up of what the cabinet should look like with the TV etc in and on it.

Hopefully it will look like this

I better do a good job or Engogirl won’t be very pleased if the money I’ve spent is wasted.

As usual, I’ve bitten off more that I can chew and I’m chewing like crazy! Here’s a video of a dovetail joint using a jig that is similar to the one I will be using to give you an idea of what I’ve gotten myself into.

[youtube L_dw_iV6-0E]

4 thoughts on “I’ve got wood. Fnarr! Fnarr! Chortle, chortle. The Sydney woodworking show. NSW, Australia”

  1. Best of luck to you with this project. Your mock-up looks cool, evidence of a plan!

    I have never been a carpenter. In high school, I barely survived wood shop, sneaking out of there having only managed to manufacture a quaint little napkin holder for my mom.

    And now, my girls are begging me for a tree house of some sort. I’m more the “Why not just pitch a tent?” kind of person . . .

    You’ll have to post pictures of the final product when you finish hammering it out.

  2. Tysdaddy


    I hated woodwork at school. The tools were always blunt and crappy, plus I never did want to make that teapot stand. I much more preferred metalwork.

    As for the tree house, just tell them that it will hurt the tree, not to mention the trees that would have to be chopped up for the materials.

    For sure I’ll put some photos up of the cabinet when I’m finished.

  3. Razz, you description of how impulsive and impatient you are when doing these projects and not exactly into “the process” is precisely why I’m not a good cook!! Try this method with cooking and your possibility of developing a hit and miss track record increases! Although, definitely not as costly as this cabinet! Good Luck.

  4. Pat

    I have to admit that most of the things that I cook are things that I just throw together. Fortunately they tend to taste O.K. The same can’t be said when I try to cook fancy things and I usually fail miserably. Of course I never do post about my failures in the kitchen, just the ones about the rest of my life.

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