About 18 months ago my wife and I moved to near Cambridge. Laura relocated here for her work with Astra Zeneca and I took the opportunity to stop working (for money). A few months later, I joined Makespace.
At about the same time as my joining, Laura decided we needed to have a pantry cupboard. I was relieved after a trip to John Lewis to discover that the ceiling outside our kitchen was too low for the standard designs available. However, my celebrations were short lived when I discovered a local kitchen company quoted us several thousands for a cabinet that would fit. Sensing the opportunity to present Makespace membership as a cost saving, I said I would make one instead. My only problem was that I had not done any woodworking since making a chess table at school, forty years previously. Given it would be nearly impossible to spend as much on it as the quote we received, my only stipulation was that I needed time to learn how to make it. My start point was Fusion 360. The tutorials are very good, it’s capabilities excellent and it is free!! I was able to complete the design, check assembly and produce some renders. Once the client approved, I produced the cutting list and bought the wood.
Those days in the summer when I was not cycling were spent under the sky lights in the workshop trying to remember my woodworking. I was soon disabused of the naïve assumption that somehow the cabinet was going to magically appear on the CNC router bed from a large pile of wood chippings. Whilst some of it was machined, much more was achieved with the hand tools. Once I had learned how to set them up and hold them correctly, I started to experience some of the joy of using them. There is an inexplicable pleasure in producing curls of wood shavings with a plane. I also found a hitherto undiscovered world of woodworking videos on YouTube. Rob Cosman and Ishitani furniture are my favourites – and you don’t need to browse Incognito. I learned a lot from other workshop members too, Graeme and Michael in particular. I also decided to prove an old adage true – if you want to master something, teach it. I now train on the hand router and band saw. Once the components were made, I assembled the cabinet in the garage at home and finished it. Now we have somewhere to store the balsamic vinegar collection (in the racks on the inside of the door on the right). And I have a free lifetime membership of Makespace, so far as my wife is concerned.