Having completed the cot – which may I add, was a cot which got high praises from all the friends and family members, I continued to keep building furniture. One piece at a time, 2 hours a day for weeks if not months at a time. Rather than sitting in front of the idiot box they called the TV, I locked myself in my garden of eden – “the workshop”

Driving to work one day, I heard a promotion on the ABC local radio about the Sydney Timber and Working with wood show. Having fallen so in love with the smell of Radiata and woodworking, it was a must see event for me.

Attending the event, I met 2 people who would forever change my approach to wood working – The Late Mr Tom Harringon from Sturt School of wood and Terry Gleeson from Terry Gleeson’s Woodwork School.

I really liked the idea of spending an entire year doing woodworking at Mittagong doing the Certificate IV in fine woodworking, but didn’t have the time nor money to do so. I did however start by doing weekend woodworking courses at Mittagong. The first weekend course was an introductory sharpening and plane fine tuning with Stuart Faulkner (the current Director, Sturt School of Wood)

I was always using the belt sander instead of the plane because I kept tearing the timber, I didn’t knowing why the plane was doing this – I just put it down to the fact that Radiata was difficult to plane. Knowing what I know now, it was down to the fact that the smoothing plane was in terrible shape and the blade was extremely blunt.

In just two days, I have learnt one of the foundations of woodworking – Sharp tools. All my blades are now razor sharp and I no-longer fear tearing out timber. As part of testing the edge of the blade, I can now shave hair off my arms with the blade of my planes and chisels.  These two days has really increased my love of woodworking because I can now create long strands of paper thin wood shavings off the plane.

I would greatly recommend anyone who is interested in woodworking as a hobby to get this foundation right because once you have this mastered, woodworking is so much more pleasurable.